The Zandiyeh Ensemble of Fars | An architectural masterpiece
The Ensemble of Zandiyeh in Fars is considered as the fundamental structure of the old Shiraz from Zandiyeh up to the present time.
Zandiyeh Complex consists of Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath, Vakil Bazaar, Vakil Water Storage and Kolah Farangi Mansion in Nazar Garden.
Karim Khan Citadel (Arg-e-Karim Khan)
Karim Khan Citadel was built in 1697 under the command of Karim Khan. During Zand dynasty, it was Karim khan place of residence and during Qajar dynasty it was resided by local rulers and was later on used as a prison in Pahlavi dynasty. From the architectural point of view, it has 4 walls with 12 meters height that are attached to 4 circular brick towers of 14 meters height, with a 90-degree angle.
Vakil (Soltani) Mosque
Vakil mosque was built in 1773 and has a surface area of 8660 square meters, which was built on an 1100 square meter space. Vakil Mosque has two Iwans on the northern and southern sides of a large open court. The Iwans and court are decorated with typical Shirazi seven-colored (haft-rangi) tiles. Its night prayer hall (Shabestan), with an area of about 2700 square meters, has 48 eye-catching, monolithic pillars carved in spirals. The pulpit of this hall with 14 steps, is cut from a green marble, and is considered as one of the master pieces of Zand dynasty.
The simplicity of Iranian art and Persian paintings, eye-catching tiling and the delicate use of colors are all the beautiful features of this mosque that catches the attention of every visitor.
Vakil Water Storage
Vakil Water Storage (Ab Anbar) is a water cistern which was built in the late 1700 during the Zand dynasty. Today, it is changed to the Gallery and Museum of Water, which is considered as the deepest gallery-museum of Iran.
The reason of the construction of its wind catchers was to cool the air and help to ventilate the space inside the water storage. The upper part of the wind catchers have been decorated with tile works.
Zandiyeh Law Court
Zandiyeh Law Court was used as a government center and a place to manage the administrative matters of Zandiyeh dynasty. Having 2 stories, the architectural style of this building is introverted, in a way that its exterior part is simple, and the inner section is decorated with different, decorative and artistic drawings. From its beautiful architectural features we can mention eye-catching paintings, Muqarnas on wood, stone and plaster and stone carvings with designs of animals and plants.
The Kolah Farangi Pavilion (Pars Museum)
Kolah Farangi Pavilion is located in Nazar Garden. Nazar Garden was one of the largest gardens of Shiraz during Safavid era. Karim Khan Zand ordered to build a magnificent mansion to use it as a place for hosting foreign guests. This structure was in an octagonal form, with extraordinary beautiful decorations, especially the tiles that have floral motifs and birds and flowers depicted on their surface.
In 1936, the pavilion became a museum. Pars Museum displays handwritten Qurans and some beautiful paintings of famous Persian artists. The 4 fountains on the four sides of Nazar Garden, adds to the beauty of this place. It is interesting to know that Karim Khan is buried in this complex.
* Written by Arefeh Firouzan.
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