Chehel Sotun Palace

As one of the surviving palaces on the royal precinct stretching between Naqsh-e Jahan Square and Chahar Bagh Abbasi Street, Chehel Sotun palace (literally means Forty Columns), this Safavid-era complex was built by Shah Abbas II as a small pleasure pavilion and reception hall to receive dignitaries and ambassadors, using the Achaemenid-inspired (columnar porch) style.

While passing through the elegant terrace that perfectly bridges the transition between the Persian love of gardens and interior splendor with its 20 slender, wooden pillars rise to a superb wooden ceiling with crossbeams and exquisite inlay work reflected in the long pool in front of the palace, one gets to the Great throne Hall containing a rich array of frescoes, miniatures and ceramics.

The upper walls are dominated by historical frescoes on a grand scale, sumptuously portraying court life and some of the great battles of the Safavid era such as the battle of Taher-Abad in 1510 where the Safavid Shah Ismail I vanquished the Uzbek King.

Known as a veritable museum of Persian painting and ceramics, Chehel Sotun palace contains some aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature style which celebrate the joy of life and love along with its magnificent garden as an excellent example of the classic Persian Garden, making it be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Located inside a vast royal park at the far end of a long pool with two rows of water-spouts and fountains in the shape of stone lions at the four corners, the palace is surely among the must-see destinations that appeal to tourists.

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