Friday, 27 November 2009

The Fingarden Palace

Built around 1580, this wonderful palace was a summer residence for the Shah and his court. It is laid out within high walls and has formal gardens cut by walkways and the pools, fountains and baths are fed by a natural spring. The detailed decoration on the ceilings and walls is best described as stunning and the state of preservation is a tribute both to the builders and to those who now care for it so lovingly. Located some 150 km South of Tehran it is on the outskirts of the City of Karsan.

The main part of the palace sits across the southern wall of the enclosure and the springs rise from the pools in front of it and beneath its wing pavilions. At this time there was nothing as splendid as this in Northern or Western Europe and even the Southern Europeans were not enjoying this degree of expertise except where they interacted with the craftsmen of the East.

The stunningly decorated vaulting of the eastern pool pavilion.

The interior of the large plunge pool in the Bath House of the complex. This has a number of rooms and includes a hot pool, a tepidarium, toilets (waterborne flush) changing rooms and a massage room. All courtiers were expected to bathe regularly, a marked contrast to European Courts of the time. James I of England (VI of Scotland) is reputed to have never done more than wipe his face and hands with a damp cloth.

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