My visit to Golestan Palace: Part 1

 Morten Hjertholm– Getting to the Golestan Palace complex is not very hard, from Imam Khomeini square it is around a 15-20 min walk heading south. For the people who do not want this walk, you can take a taxi there easily. Directly outside were a lot of taxis lined up for people returning from the museums and complex. Golestan Palace is an old historical monument in Tehran.

  It consists of a huge park filled with trees, several large fountains, several palaces, museums and a grave surrounded by very decorative walls. If you want to eat you can go across the street from the entrance where there were several places to buy food or drinks. Inside the complex we did not find any place to buy food and drinks, however we did bring it with us inside the park and ate there without any problem or comments. When we entered the area there were several shops on both sides of the complex mostly selling many different types of local made crafts. Take a look if you find something you like.

We saw several copies of the old animal figures from other museums in Tehran and there where also several Matryoshka dolls with Iranian influence over them. Hijabs and other type of clothing were also for sale there and inside the gift-shop you can find postcards, cd-roms with pictures and books.

You really have to just start a place and try and walk around the complex. We took to the right passing the shops and hit the ornamented walls surrounding the park. Not all parts of the complex was open for the public at this time in 2010, but trust me, you will have no problem finding things to spend your time on here.

As I said we started walking to the right of the entrance and the first corner we met was this. With the marvelous park on the left in the picture, closed buildings on the right and a part of the decorated walls in front. From afar it is hard to understand what all of the different parts of the walls are filled with. It looks like an explosion of colors, especially of blue and yellow. It seems to be made in a special pattern so that the emphasis of any special color do not stand next to each other.

This is a closer view of the same part of the wall you see in the above picture. The detail level is scary and you begin to understand that this is almost like a history book depicting different stories or motives. Every part is unique with its own story to tell and its special composition of colors. As I wrote earlier the main colors are blue and yellow with variation in strength and composition. Separating all the main pictures are the “pillars” with different motives and color schemes, some with their own stories as well.

Here is a close-up of the painting to the left in the above picture. Clearly it shows a hunting party on horses, a very popular motive in these pictures.  Above the hunting party there are 2 angels holding up a bouquet of roses.
In the small circles there seemed to be mainly building, both on the left and the right of the riders and above the rose-bouquet. This is indicative of a group of hunters traveling from 1 city to another where there is a river in between. The amazing artwork is well worth a good peak; find your own favorite and enjoy it.

Below is another close-up of one of the paintings. This focuses on a group of different birds flying over a river between 2 parts of a city.
In my imagination this shows Isfahan and the birds represent the yearly migration of birds from colder climates to hotter. A very typical motive from older times from many cultures. Birds have always hold a special place, especially migratory birds. There are also 1 dove on each side among the flowers. The focus on yellow in the picture is much higher then in the previous picture. This is my favorite color so it attracted me to it.

A view of the vegetation and walkways inside the park. As you can clearly see, I was very lucky with the weather, a clear and blue sky over Tehran. This is just one of many green lunges inside the city of Tehran. To the north-west of this park is a much larger park called Sharh park. I only passed this park on the side along the road.
As I said, the walls go on and on with the motives. Some of the tiles that the pictures consisted of were missing as you can see over the door on the right of the picture. But remarkably few places were there much sign of age.
You often forget that these are several hundred year old and are all outside in the strong sunlight. How the colors are so bright and alive after so many years is beyond me.

Next post will be more from Golestan Palace complex, focusing on the buildings. But the walls around this complex are enough for a whole days observation.

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