Dolat-Abad Garden: A Green Refuge in the Middle of a Thirsty Desert
You may know Iran as a dry land, covered with hot, parched deserts. Well, though Iran actually enjoys different climates, you are not wrong and a large part of it is covered by deserts. However, many of the cities which flourished in these arid lands are spotted by magnificent gardens, inheriting features from a long tradition of garden making which stretches as far back as the Achaemenid Period. As a matter of fact, anyone interested in Iran is well-acquainted with the term “Persian Gardens” and what it connotes.
In this article, we are going to introduce the Dolat-Abad Garden, a heavenly sight which no visitor to Iran should miss visiting. Dowlat Abad Garden was built in the 18th century in the city of Yazd. This enchanting residential-governmental garden, with an area of 6.4 hectares, includes the tallest adobe wind-catcher in the world, large pools of water, many years old pines and cypresses, a very special qanat and delicately designed mansions, unique qualities which designated it as a National Monument in 1965 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
So, whenever you are in Iran, make sure that you will visit the mesmerizing Dolat-Abad Garden and to know more about it, please continue reading out article.
A History of Dolat-Abad Garden
In the first quarter of 18th century and at the end of and Zand dynasty, Muhammad Taqhi Khan Bafqi, known as “Khan-e Bozorg” or “the Great Khan”, entered Yazd with his 70 gunmen and became the ruler of the city for the next 53 years.
As the first contributions to the city, Muhammad Taqi Khan built the 65-km long Dolat-Abad Qanat, originating from Mehriz heights.
Having enough water at hand, he then built the huge Dolat-Abad Garden which was used both as his residence and seat of government. At this time, the garden was located outside the city of Yazd, tightly packed with various kinds of trees. The abundance of trees made the garden also known as “the Garden of Thousand Trees” in the public imagination.
During its life, the garden welcomed many important guests such as Karim Khan Zand. However, little by little, the garden became disused and lost its glory.
Fortunately, in the year 1969, the Ministry of Culture and Art hired the garden from the Department of Religious Affairs and entrusted it to the office for the Protection of Antiquities. Under the protection of its new guardians, the garden was renovated and a new life was injected into its veins.
The Architecture of Dolat-Abad Garden
As we mentioned before, Dolat-Abad Garden was used both as a residential and governmental monument. As a result, the garden is divided into two parts: Biruni (external) and Andaruni (internal). These two parts are located perpendicularly in relation to each other.
- Andaruni (the inner or the residential part of the Dolat-Abad Garden)
The andaruni, or the residential part of the garden, is located on the southern part of the complex. Being the larger part of the garden, it includes the following parts:
- The wind-catcher Pavilion: Attached to the southern wall of the garden, you can find the main mansion of the garden, known as “Emarat-e Badgir” or “Emarat-e Hashti.” In the middle of this two-storey octagonal mansion, there is an octagonal marble pond. On three sides, the pond is surrounded by three large rooms and a corridor. The outer façade of each room is enclosed by a sash window, decorated with colorful stained glass. Each room also includes a pond and a fountain. Attending the garden at the appropriate time, you can enjoy the splendid play of color and light in these rooms.
On the southern side of the pond, there is located the tallest adobe wind-catcher in the world. It is 33.8m. high and 80cm. wide, equipped with a dome-like sky-light. Previously, instead of the dome-shaped skylight, the wind-catcher was equipped with an octagonal skylight.
- Tanbi Hall: On the western side of the wind-catcher mansion, there is a luxurious, square mansion known as the Tanbi hall. This hall also includes a square wind-catcher which faces the garden. The first floor of the Tanbi hall is flanked by several smaller halls, bed-chambers and porches. Under the hall, there is a deep basement. The basement is connected to the garden on one side and to the wind-catcher on the southern side.
- Service-Buildings: On the eastern side of the wind-catcher mansion, there are a number of buildings including a kitchen, a pantry, a coffee house, and also a water cistern. These buildings are generally referred to as service-buildings.
- Watch-Tower: On the western-side of the garden, there is a high adobe wall and a watch-tower built to protect the Andaruni from any foreign intrusions.
- Entrance Gate: The western part of the garden also includes a gate which functioned as the entrance to the inner part of the garden.
- The Garden: The largest part of Andaruni is made up of a splendid garden. Right in front of the Wind-Catcher Mansion, there is a large pool with fountains which stretches up to the southern end of the garden or Biruni. Each side of the pool is divided into four rectangular gardens including the cypress, pine and fruit trees such as pomegranate. The reflection of the wind-catchers and the trees in the pool provide stunning views that you will never ever forget. Be sure to spend enough time in the garden and enjoy the eye-catching scenes in the garden.
- Behesht-Ayin Mansion: On the southern-end of the garden, there is a mansion called Behesht Ayin. Actually, the Behesht-Ayin mansion was used as the winter residence of the Andaruni.
- Biruni: The southern part of the Dowlat Abad Garden, perpendicular to the northern part, makes the external part of the garden, known as Biruni. It includes several structures and mansions such as the entrance, Jelo-Khan Square, Tehrani Mansion and Court House. official ceremonies and sport events were held in this part of the Dowlat Abad Garden. Unfortunately, the external part is not open to visitors