One of the questions that it always arises for the visitors of Hasht Behesht Palace, is the name of this building that is 8 heaven; why it is not 7 heaven? That is this article we addressed to it briefly. Also, by putting many of the available photos in this article, we tried to show the spectacular architecture of this mansion that is the remembrance of a part of the glory of the Safavid period.
Why is it recommended to visit Isfahan Hasht Behesht Palace?
This palace is a sign of the glorious Safavid era, which has earned the title of the most beautiful palace in the world at that time, with a very eye-catching architecture that has attracted the attention of tourists from around the world. It has a pleasant climate due to its location in the middle of the nightingale garden.
Introducing the Palace of Hasht Behesht
Hasht Behesht Palace is one of the most important sights of Isfahan. The decorations of the palace during the Safavid period were so magnificent and artistic that no tourist has refused to admire them.
This palace is also known by other names such as eight to eight and eight in heaven. In 1313, with the number 227, the palace of Hasht Behesht was registered in the list of national monuments of Iran. Today, Shahid Rajaei Park is located around the palace and is one of the most popular resorts in Isfahan.
The historic Hasht Behesht Mansion is an example of the palaces of the residence of the last kings of the Safavid period, which was built during the reign of Shah Suleiman (Shah Safavid II) in 1080 AH.
Tiles with all kinds of flying, predatory and reptile animals engraved on them are among the works of this palace. Not much is left of the vast garden of the Hasht Behesht, but its historic palace is still a valuable and interesting work.
Hasht Behesht Palace was built during the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid and in 1080 AH in the Nightingale Garden. After this, in the former Safavid capitals, Tabriz and Qazvin, there were also buildings with this name, of which no trace remains now, but the Hasht Behesht of Isfahan with a world of imagination still remain.
Isfahan was one of the centres of government during the Safavid period, so it has valuable monuments.
The mansion that is located in the middle of a large garden is called a pavilion. The same word, kiosk, was later introduced into other languages, and it is the same word we hear as a kiosk.
The story of Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan becomes more interesting when you know that Shah Soleiman Safavid or Shah Safi left this palace for his minions.
Of course, when we talk about minions, we do not mean one or two, 8 king minions lived in the mansion of Hasht Behesht in Isfahan, 4 of them lived on the first floor and the other 4 lived on the second floor. Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan has many arches and decorations.
Chardin described the Hasht Behest palace and the garden around it, in this way:
“I bet that in the description of the gardens around the beautiful street of Isfahan, explain about one of the halls of one of the gardens, called Bagh-e- Bolbol. this hall is called heaven mansion and the heaven is the tenth floor of sky. in this way, it can be called Ferdous.
the length of the hall is 60 feet and it is built irregular, it has seven angle or side that the last is the widest and has a domical middle shape. the height of it, is 30 or 35 meters and its dome is on the bow-shaped pillars and arches that their size is equal to the size of the hall’s angles and sides.
all the floor is made of great mosaic, the walls and pillars are double decked and the hallways and corridors are also appearing around it. in this hallways, there are hundred places that considered the most fascinating and the most enlivening point of world. this lightening is symmetrical with entertainments that this building is made specially for them.
none of this points are the same like others in terms of shape, building, ornaments, and decorations. you see a new and different thing in every place, in a way that in some of them, you see various heaters and in the others, pools and fountains. the fountains that are getting water from the tubes that are inside of the walls.
This strange hall (Hasht Behesht) is in fact a labyrinth structure, because human got lost in the upper part of it everywhere and the strairs are so hidden that you can’t find them easily. the down part is made from the Jasper stone to 10 feets from the land, the fences made from the gilt wood, the frames and frameworks from silver, the cups from crystal and also, the instruments made from colorful, fine glasses.
but about the decorations, we can’t imagine this extent of fair, greatness, attractiveness and charm that are combined with each other. the crystalline mirrors are used in the walls in everywhere, the complete mirror works that are the most glorious of its kind in the world.
there are small rooms there that have only the capacity of a bedstead. in the east part of land, the bedstead doesn’t have any curtain and it’s spreads on the earth. I saw a remarkable bedstead that only the quilt of it, costs 2000 eco (currency) that is made from the skin of the Marten for warmth and lightness.
they said to me that king has many mattresses with the same material. I will compose a book about the decorations, pictures, shapes, miniatures, dishes and inscriptions of this hall.”
History of the Palace of Hasht Behest
The construction of Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan was completed in 1080 AH and coincided with the third year of the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid and is an example of the highest living.
Mirza Mohammad Taher Nasrabadi, the owner of Nasrabadi’s memoirs, revived the names of more than a thousand poets of the Safavid era in his memoirs and he also wrote poetry. He has written poems about the royal palace of Hasht Behesht in Isfahan, most of which are the material of the history of this royal palace.
The land of Isfahan was crowned with a beautiful tall palace (1080)
The last mansion of Solomon at the time of worship was the Word of the King (1080)
Hasht Behesht mansion became Homayouni school during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and the rule of Zell-e Soltan over Isfahan.
Mir Seyyed Ali, the author of Tarikh (Al-Isfahan) on page 64 of this book, the first book of which was published in 1342 AH in Isfahan Farhang Printing House, explains as follows:
1300-Zell-e Soltan established the Homayuni school in Hasht Behesht, under the leadership of Ali Khan Nazim al-Ulum, which did not last more than two years. But it has good effects.
Diolafoa, while describing the garden and mansion of Hasht Behesht in his travelogue, also refers to Homayouni Hasht Behesht School:
Iranians, large and small Bedouin or calligraphers, students or teachers, but all the paper in the palm of their hand or put it on their knees and write. If a carpet has fallen on the ground and a constellation is seen on the side, it can be understood that this is the court of the house or school.
When the Qajars came to power, part of the palace became a school. The school operated for only two years under the direction of Ali Khan Nazim al-Ulum, although at the time of its operation, some good effects remained from the school, but its lifespan was not long.
The Garden and Palace of Hasht Behesht were handed over by the Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar to the Grand Lady Iftikhar al-Dawlah, provided that its condition and awesomeness did not change and that its sanctuary on Chaharbagh Street was cleaned and refined.
Eight paradises remained in the possession of his heirs; But during this period, general changes in the condition of the garden and the palace were made by the occupiers, and like Aali Qapo and Chehelston, its painting and gilding decorations and mirror work were hidden under a layer of plaster with gypsum decorations.
Madam Jane Dieulafoy, the French tourist (the time of visit: in the period of Nasser-al-din Shah):
“In the time of going from Chehel Sotoun to the Hasht Behesht palace, I should pass from the side of a pool that it was situated between the two gardens.
this garden shows the Iranian’s taste and joy as well and it not similar to the British parks that are adorned with gardens of meadow and the hills of exhilarating flowers and trees, nor to the French gardens of 17th century that were entirely irregular and impressive.
These gardens have very tall plantain trees that scraped their branch to the head and the earth is tantamount a vast farm that therein, flowers are planted compressed and disjointed in an irregular way and the order, quality of goods and color are never observed in them.
although closely, they have a strange and ugly landscape, but I should admit that they are very good looking and notable from the long- distance, especially in the sun and every flower blaze more than the pretty butterflies that caresses with its wings.
in the other side of the pool, there is an octagonal palace Hasht Behesht that is composed of a central, big hall, four porches and four unit of mansion and they are connected by the stairs and the galleries that are made on the porches.
on the wall that is near to the porch, two big tableaus are seen that in one of them, the picture of Fath Ali Shah with his sons are drawn and the other tableau, shows him while hunting the wild animals. the king in bended on the horse and plunged a spear in the mouth of the wild and fearsome animal that it is not obvious that it is a lion or leopard.
like Chehel Sotoun, the Hasht Behesht palace was disolated and there is not seen any rug or sofa in that. from the eight Houri, means the favorite women of Fath Ali Shah that were ornamenting of Hasht Behesht previously, there is not any name or address left. it is obvious this much that eight pretty queens were lived in this royal hive, 60 years ago.”
The remaining gardens of Hasht Behesht and the said palace were officially handed over to the Ministry of Culture and Arts on September 6, 1964. Hasht Behesht today, like other monuments and historical monuments in the country, continues to live under the supervision of the Cultural Heritage Organization.
This mansion is 30 meters long and 26.35 meters wide, it is two meters high from the level adjacent to the garden and is separated from the ground by two 10-step stairs (connected to the eastern and western views of the palace). After this, there is a porch with two tall wooden pillars that connect to the central entrances.
The arch of this foyer ends in a dome-shaped skylight with eight wooden windows. In the middle of the foyer is an octagonal pool with a diameter of 3.30 meters and a fountain. The doors around this foyer lead to the octagonal rooms, which are dedicated to the reception of women.
Hasht Behesht Palace has an octagonal design and attempts have been made to implement patterns and symbols of the number eight according to the name of the palace. If the number of building units is eight, the central basin is octagonal. It also has octagonal floor tiles. The rooms of its two-building units are also octagonal.
In the exterior, the palace is decorated with interesting tile work above the pond, some of which refer to instructive stories, some of which contain epic and national symbols, some of which depict scenes of hunting animals and birds, and sometimes a myth such as a phoenix.
At the end of the Qajar period, the Hasht Behesht mansion became the private property of individuals and was deprived of the exquisite and precious ornaments of the Safavid period. So that today there is no trace of all the glory and charm inside the palace and the fountains and streams of running water.
Gusset | the time of visit in the period of Fath Ali shah Qajar:
The main porch is to the north of the palace and is octagonal and has two tall columns of cypress wood. In the middle of the main porch, a pool with a length of 2.80 and a width of 2.30 has been built with a fountain in the middle. The roof of this porch has many decorations and the inner walls of the palace are decorated with paintings and gilding and shapes of different birds and colorful flowers and glass and mirrors.
In this foyer, two large paintings can be seen that show Fath Ali Shah on the throne, and around him are some of his children. This whole mansion is located on the foundation that is the foundation of the building and the beautiful marble of Tabriz is made.
“This palace is built in the middle of the garden, equable two meters higher from the land’s surface and has 30 meters’ length and 26/35 meters’ width. the rooms of it are totally painted and plaster- molding and its doors are inlaid work and pretty.
the hall in the middle is dome-shaped and in the center of it, a pool with 3.30 meters’ diameter is appear that is made from great marble. the pool that is famous to the pearl pool, is carved in a way that when the water exists from its holes, it seems the pearl seeds are existing from it.
the stairs of this palace are built in a way that have accessibility to the upper and underlying palace from any side. the palace has many corridors and halls and also old trees and regular plane trees are surrounding it, a part of the king’s meteoric water is entering from the opposite of upper palace to this garden.
the doors and walls, plinths, Malalies, domes and finally all of this palace are decorated with gold from head to foot and different pictures of birds, flowers and etc. were added to the beauty of it. the palace has painted and pretty tableaus that attracts the attention.”
The north porch of the palace has a shallow marble pool called the pearl pool, The palace porch is also a waterfall-like process, designed as a vertical channel in the porch wall, which flows from a pool covered with copper from the upper floor and flows like a waterfall into a small lower pool.
The rooms of the palace are completely decorated with murals and mirrors, most of which were destroyed during the Qajar period.
The rooms on the first floor in the four corners of the mansion are decorated with plaster and paintings. On the second floor of the mansion, a series of porches, rooms, arches, and windows add to its beauty.
This floor is divided into several corridors and rooms that have their own special decorations. They are installed in some water basins and in some wall heaters. The walls are also covered with many mirrors.
Engelbert Kaempfer, the German tourist/ the time of visit: in the period of Soleiman Shah:
“I only say about this palace, to just suffice to mention the most important contents about it that it is in the middle of a wide, open square, which is carpeted with four squared slates. in the given seasons, a row of marble bench and also a raceway was devised around it.
from all around, the garden’s margin of the sidewalks that put pretty fences around them and on both sides, they planted plane tree that they are stretched to the palace.
in the inside, there are series of streets that are stretched from north to the south, they are cut with attractive gardens, while rows of eastern-western guides the water to the garden that it is taken in the Chahar Bagh and in the underground; this water is used for filling the pool that has 11 foots width and made of four square stones and ducks and swans are swimming on surface the of this pool.”
All the roofs of the palace are covered with excellent mosaics and the corridors, etc. are surrounded by them in a very beautiful and harmonious way.
The important point in this mansion is the connection that has emerged between the spaces and its different parts. This connection causes the Hasht Behesht mansion in Isfahan to enjoy significant unity and decoration, as well as diversity and multiplicity of space.
The perimeter of the mansion is covered with hard stones on the outside and in the middle of this part, a small paving stone has been installed, in which excess water from the pools inside and outside the mansion flows.
From this channel, waterfalls into two large fountains eight meters wide and 50 meters long, which are located in front of the west and east porches of the mansion.
The palace grounds are surrounded by tall sycamore trees and are adorned with flower gardens. These flowers are mostly of the rose and jasmine type, the north street of the palace is connected to Chehelston Palace and the west street is connected to Chaharbagh street with a large entrance.
Consider the words of André Godard, a French architect and archaeologist:
“Hasht Behesht palace with a hall that is open from each side and with four pavilions in the four side, had kept the original and concise compound of the favor and charm of the past eras.”
“Despite all the encroachments, the Safavid beauty of this building has remained, as archaeologist and Iranologist Andre Godard says:
“Hasht Behesht Palace, with a hall that is open on all sides and with four pergola mansions in its four corners, still retains the original and brief composition of the grace and kindness of the past.”
It is worth mentioning that the decorations of this octagonal palace, which is a sign of the architectural spirit and decorations of the late Safavid period, along with its building, which is located in the middle of the garden, have been widely imitated later.”
Also, this palace was so glorious that its name can be seen in the book of tourists and poems of many poets such as Mulla Mirza Mohammad Taher Nasrabadi.”
This palace has a two-story porch facing north, its roof is also very beautiful and it is made of vaulted, that is, under the roof, decorations and decorative ledges can be seen. On the first floor, the rooms are full of plaster and paintings.
What are the architectural features of Hasht Behesht mansion in Isfahan?
The second floor also has beautiful arches and windows, the number of rooms and various spaces of Hasht Behesht Palace is high, but they are placed next to each other in such a way that there is a coherent connection in the whole building.
The decorations that were implemented in Hasht Behesht during the Safavid period, as well as the location of a house in the middle of a refined garden, were later imitated and became more prevalent in the style and context of Iranian architecture.
During the Qajar period, many parts of Hasht Behesht Palace were changed. It was during the Qajar period. Qajar harmed the palace of Hasht Behesht palace, why? Because at the end of the dynasty, the palace became privately owned.
What the Safavids had carefully and tastefully implemented in the palace, was hastened from the door and the wall during the Qajar period. For example, the decorations inside the building or the fountains and ditches in the flowing garden underwent many changes.
Anyone who has passed the Hasht Behesht mansion in Isfahan has not hidden the beauty and precision of its architecture. The discussion is not only about Iranians who love it and find it beautiful. They are considered more attractive than various European palaces.
Mr. Hosseini, the department of Archeology of Isfahan/visit: in the year of 1334:
Actually, this palace is in possess of Mr. Abolfath Qahreman (Sardare-e-Azam) because of a the handwritten of the owner and apparently has done some changes in the lands and the old gardens and the original palace is uncared- for but remained ruined.
its resources are destroyed. suddenly, in the period of ministry of Seyed Zia Aldin, it became the national garden but during the reign of deceased king, it got restored and its door was closed again. in the year of 1334 AHS that this palace was visited, it needed complete repairs, because it’s pretty drawings and perfect plastering (like the decorations of Ali Qapu) are destroyed and what has remained is also attracts the attention.
the pictures of wild animals, birds and hunting grounds that some of them old, and some are new are formed on the tiles and installed in the back edge of the around, are remarkable and spectacular. the approximate area of it, is near 7500 square meters.
What other places of interest can be visited near Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan?
One of the features of Hasht Behesht Palace is its proximity to many tourist attractions. Therefore, you can visit several historical monuments in just a short time:
Chehelston Palace, Naghsh Jahan Square, Aali Qapo Palace, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
What hotels are there to stay near Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan?
Isfahan is a city full of attractions that every person should visit during their lifetime, and since Isfahan is considered as half of the world in terms of beauty and the number of historical and tourist attractions, then definitely visit this ancient city needs a few days stay in Isfahan. Here are the best accommodations near Hasht Behesht Palace:
Sheikh Baha’i Hotel: 4 minutes walk, Iran Hotel: 3 minutes walk, Abbasi Hotel: 6 minutes walk, Safir Hotel: 7 minutes’ walk
Venus Hotel: 12 minutes’ walk, Partikan Hotel: 20 minutes’ walk, Jam Firoozeh Hotel: 20 minutes’ walk
What restaurants and eateries are close to Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan?
If you need to rejuvenate after visiting this garden to visit other attractions, then it is better to visit the restaurants and eateries around Hasht Behesht Palace:
Shahrzad Restaurant, Traditional Restaurant of Abbasi Hotel, Barbad Restaurant and Fast Food Cafe, Namakdan Café
Where is the Palace of the Hasht Behesht ? How to access it
Hasht Behesht Palace is located in Shahid Rajaei Park, on Bagh Goldasteh Street. To access this place, you can use public transport or a private car.
The nearest metro station is Emma Hossein Square (Government Gate), which can be reached on foot from the station to the destination. Also, the bus stations of Imam Hossein Square (Government Gate) and Bagh Goldasteh Street (Hasht Behesht Street) are located near the palace. The public parking lot of Goldasteh Street is also located at a convenient distance from Hasht Behesht.
Visiting hours of Hasht Behesht Palace
Entering Shahid Rajaei Park is possible at no cost and at all hours of the day and night, and in the park, you can see the exterior of the palace. To enter the palace, you can visit the building from 9 to 17 o’clock.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where is the Palace of the Hasht Behesht?
Hasht Behesht Palace is located in Shahid Rajaei Park, Goldasteh Street
When was Hasht Behesht Palace built?
The construction of Hasht Behesht Palace was completed in coinciding with the third year of the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid.
What are the visiting hours of Hasht Behesht Palace?
Entering Shahid Rajaei Park is possible at no cost and at all hours of the day and night, and in the park, you can see the exterior of the palace. You can visit the palace from 9 to 17 to get a closer look.
All the tourists and travelers who have visited Isfahan and managed to enter the Palace of Hasht Behesht, have called it one of the best buildings in the world, as the French tourist Chardin wrote about this palace:
The Palace of the Hasht Behest is located in the Nightingale Garden. All its mosaic ceilings are excellent. The walls and rafters have two floors and corridors around them.
There are hundreds of places in these corridors, which are considered to be the most charming and joyful places in the world, and each of them is illuminated by a hole through which light shines.
None of these points is similar in shape, structure and decoration, everywhere there are new and different things, such as in some various heaters and in others, there are ponds and fountains that take water from inside the pipes through the walThis strange hall is in fact a labyrinth where man is lost at the top and the stairs are so hidden that they are not easily found.
The lower part up to ten or from the ground level is made of jade and the fences are made of gold wood and the frames and frames are made of silver and the cups are made of crystal and the tools are made of delicate coloured glass.
How is the palace these days?
Eight paradises have been registered among the Iranian national monuments. These days, as a park, you can walk and go sightseeing. After Enghelab Square, the space of the green area of the garden has become wider and the whole space is called Shahid Rajaei Park.
From the distant past, the pond and some big trees are remembered, but many changes have been made in the collection. This palace and its garden are next to the art market, and all those who travel to Isfahan, leave a special place in their plans to see the Hasht Behesht mansion.
One of the attractions of Hasht Bhesht is that it is located inside the city. Basically, Isfahan has something to surprise us in every corner. This garden and its excellent location are one of these wonders. From this garden, you can easily go to other places of interest in Isfahan.
It is about a 15-minute walk from the garden to the 33 bridges. To reach Naghsh Jahan Square, you have to walk for 20 minutes. Walking in a garden in the heart of a busy city can be ideal fun and relaxation for the days of boredom. It is amazing to walk among the big trees and imagine the history of the building.
Of course, what needs to be done alongside visits to historical sites is a careful study of their history from credible sources. You can’t just see and cross. To understand culture and history, one must read and think about it.
Why Hasht Behest? Why not seven Behesht?
In the narration of the story, the name of this mansion is defined. According to one, the eight minions of Shah Safi who lived in this mansion were the reason for naming the Hasht Behesht. Another proverb says that the architecture of the palace is the main reason for its naming.
The plan of the palace is a square that has cut angles and looks like an octagon. Now what is the main reason, we do not know. Perhaps more research and more extensive history studies are needed. Basically, this is the number seven, which has a well-known position among Iranians.
Shah Safi must have had a good reason for this naming and went to a number other than the seven for naming the heaven which cannot be seen anywhere.
Which part of the palace is the most beautiful, the most amazing and also interesting and attractive for you? We are waiting for sharing your experience from this palace.