GARDENS OF PERSIA. ANCIENT ISLAMIC PARADISES

gardens-of-PersiaThe Middle East and Northern Africa represent the places where the European Culture was originally born, and then developed by the Greeks and the Romans. Over those difficult times (War, crisis, Humanitarian tragedies), I decided to publish the article I had prepared about the Gardens of Persia, a World Wide Peace Heritage. Hope Peace will soon be restored. Enjoy this feature article, prepared for Unesco Magazine.

 

The ancient Islamic civilization is the legacy of history, tradition and  wisdom of people very different from each other, from Africa to the Middle East, passing through India and southern Europe. Majestic art attracts thousands of visitors every year, fascinated by architecture, calligraphy, and ancient values.

 

Among the tangible heritage of recent acquisition, the gardens of Iran, by 2011 the UNESCO World Heritage. Inextricably linked to the idealized image and awaited the OASIS, these gardens represent the fulfillment of meaning and metaphor of heaven divine. Ideals of perfection, as the garden of Harun al-Rashid in One Thousand and One Nights , a famous literary hyperbole that attracts countless scattered gardens in Dar al-Islam.

At the base of each Islamic garden there is the principle of Chahar Bagh (the four gardens), applied for the first time in the first garden associated with the ancient Achaemenid Persia: Pasargadae, Royal residence of the founder of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the great (559a.C. -530 BC).

 

 

In the source and intent, the beauty of Persian gardens relies on the geometric layout of gardens, an “organized nature“. The garden is a place of coolness and relief for his guests, thanks to the plants and water courses, very rare elements in the Iranian plateau. The design involves geometric patio subdivision into four parts, where evergreens, fruit trees, exotic flowers and hydraulic engineering marvels create a perfect resting place escape after long journeys in the wilderness.

Natural elements, together with the local manual techniques, create true works of art that blend perfectly artistic ideals, philosophical, and religious symbolism. Through these devices, the Persian garden materializes the vision of heaven of Allah on Earth.

 

 

The etymology of the word “paradise” entered the European language thanks to the Persian version “pardis” which was originally the name of a garden surrounded by walls. The Persian garden became over time a model archetype of the ideal garden, reflection of the cosmic order on Earth in the eyes of the people of the Islamic faith.

Unesco has decided to include some of the most distinguished examples of the ancient tradition of Persian gardens to represent the various forms taken by the Iranian landscape design throughout the centuries.

 

 

The nine selected sites are:

Pasargad and Eram (Fars province), Pahlebanpur and Dowlatabad (province of Yazd),

Chehel Sotun Fin and (Ishafan province), Akbarieh (South of Khorasan Province), Abbasabad (in the province of Mazandaran), Shazdeh (Kerman province).

 

 

A historical evolution that despite the numerous climatic hardships ensured in these green heritage of the desert of undying fame, as happened to the hanging gardens of Babylon. There are few.

 

ERAM GARDEN

Bagh-é Eram (garden of Paradise) is a huge garden built in the Qajar era. Inside it has an impressive Palace, where lived the feudal elite, tribal leaders of Fars Province, and later also the real Iran. The complex was later acquired by the Pahlavi University, which he used for his lectures on jurisprudence. Still University property, is open to the public as a Museum and is protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.

 

SHAZDEH GARDEN

Historic gardens in the province of Kerman, was built during the Qajar era. Built in the late 1900 ‘s style, measuring approximately 407 metres to 122. Its rectangular shape enclosed by walls is the only green presence in the surrounding desert. Water features and elegant pavilions welcome visitors in what looks like a veritable oasis of beauty and coolness.

 

DOWLATABAD GARDEN

This garden is a tourist attraction par excellence of Iran, even for the architectures that are hosted inside. The Park has countless varieties of pine trees, Cypress, fruit trees. Roses and vines spread everywhere in the air a scent. The architecture of the harem by the incisive angles make it even more evocative reflections on the water chasing on the walls and in the pool of the complex.

 

FIN GARDEN

This garden is an example of monumental Royal Garden of ancient Persia, which recalls the fine carpets of the motives of Iran. Exotic flowers, a luxuriant foliage and water recall once again the image of paradise. The way you water channels intersect invokes perhaps the ancient Mesopotamia.

 

In conclusion, to embrace this art heritage of philosophical and religious inspiration, so different from that of the countries of Christian tradition, the gardens may be a privileged meeting place. They represent places where all paths converge of beauty and peace of every culture and civilization, which are never less, despite the alternation of the seasons and generations.

 

 

 

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About Odile Milton

I travel through words whenever possible. Odile Milton is my signature on the web as I wanted an alter ego to indicate only my writings and works, not my personal life. Odile like the dancer in black swan, and Milton from the novel An old-fashioned girl. View all posts by Odile Milton

3 responses to “GARDENS OF PERSIA. ANCIENT ISLAMIC PARADISES

  • Chas Spain

    Thanks for this post – i’m heading to Turkey soon and know it will just be a small insight to this fascinating region. Sad that much of the western media/commentary on Iran has failed to enlighten us in any way about this part of the world.

    • Christie F.Mi

      Thank you for your message. Hope to visit the Gardens by myself soon. Hope you will share pics of your beautiful Journey. Enjoy your stay!

      • Chas Spain

        I’ve always wanted to spend more time learning about Islamic gardens – a planned visit to Seville a few years ago was scuppered by snow and closure of airports etc – so I hope this is my opportunity, even if it’s just a first taste.

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