Did you know that there are such places as Aali'qapoo and Chehel'sotun palace in Qazvin too? Don’t be surprised, at the center of Qazvin, there is a green area with high-rising trees called Safavid complex which is the remnant of the Safavid dynasty in 16th century A.D. and Chehel'sotun palace and Aali'qapoo are located in it.
The complex of the Safavid garden has got various other names such as Sa'adar Aabaad garden, the cultural garden of Qazvin, Dolat'khaneh or the governing house of the Safavids, or Tahmasbi erg or fortress and strats at the northmost part of sepah street in qazvin, which is considered as the oldest street in the entire country, and then stretches on to Sabzeh Meydan or green square. This complex is the remnant of a time in which the capital of Iran was relocated from Tabriz to Qazvin. This complex consists of the Aali'qapoo over door, Naderi edifice, Pahlavi and Qajarid edifices, grand hotel, Chehel-sotun palace, Qazvin museum, Peyqambariyyeh or prophetic tomb and Omid School. Some of these monuments are ruined and some are under renovation and reconstruction.
After the capital of the country having been moved from Tabriz to Qazvin, shah Tahmasb ordered the establishment of a beautiful garden and a glorious edifice in the new capital. Thus, the best architects in Iran were gathered in Qazvin to outline the sketch and design of a garden which came to be known as the Safavid garden. The edifice raised there, too, came to be called the summerhouse edifice or Chehel'sotun palace.
The over door of Aali'qapoo
In the past, the complex of Safavid garden had seven gates. The over door of Aali'qapoo is the only one remaining from those days. Since the time of the original construction of this monument until now, there have been many renovations made on this over door. The over door consists of a tall balcony surrounded by three rows of arches. In each side of the balcony or iwan, there is a pair of arches placed on each other. Through the staircase of the entrance porches, the access to the upper floor and the site of the tymbal players was made available.
Naderi Edifice in Qazvin
It is said that this edifice is located on the eastside of Aali'qapoo over door and had once been one of the most important palaces of shah Tahmasb of the Safavid dynasty. This edifice had been reconstructed and renovated several times but eventually completely destroyed. It has been also through the archeological findings that the experts came to learn about its existence.
The Pahlavi and Qajarid Edifices
These edifices or monuments are located next to each other but each of them belongs to a different historical periods. The Qajarid edifice whose front pool has doubled the beauty of its environment has got delicately and beautifully designed column headings and decorations. However, the Pahlavid edifice is newer historically in comparison with the former edifice that is, the Qajarid one, and is in two floors without much decorations worked out in it. This edifice was once used as a constabulary and its back yard also was once used as its prison for the detainees.
The Grand Hotel of Qazvin
One of the spectacular and glorious edifices found in Safavid garden is its grand hotel which has got a unique significance both with regard to its architecture and the events that took place in it. in early 20 century, when the influence of Britain had increased in the domestic political structure of Iran, grand hotel was the residential place of the headquarters of the military forces of Britain in Iran and a number of ground-breaking decisions for Iran were taken in it. This hotel is built in three floors and each floor has got columned balconies and rooms for the residence of the guests.
The edifice of Chehel'sotun is considered as one of the most glorious monuments found in safavvid garden complex and, in overall, in the entire city of Qazvin and is located in the northern part of the complex, close to Aabzeh Meydan, and surrounded by massive trees. This palace is double-story and each of its floors has got a balcony that has wrapped around the entire floor. One of the distinguishing features of this palace is the paintings done and worked out on its walls which, unfortunately, due to the military application of the palace during the reign of the previous regime of Iran were ruined and damaged. However, this palace is now turned into a museum of calligraphy and valuable samples of ancient books and calligraphical works are preserved in it.
The museum of Qazvin is located in the Safavid garden. In this museum, you can find earthenware and pewter belonging to some thousands of years B.C. and arranged by the side of other items and objects related to the post-Islamic period.
In the western side of the Safavid garden, there is tomb or Boq'eh in which found Christian prophets, by the names, Salam, Salom, El'qia, and Sohouli, are buried. The tomb of Imam'zadeh Saleh'ibn Hussein, too, is located in this site. This tomb is the pilgrimage destination of the followers of these religious figures.
Omid School is the first modern school established in Qazvin in the year 1904. This school is adjacent to Aali'qapoo over door and is not used by the organization of cultural heritage, handicraft industry, and tourism of Qazvin province as the center of archived documents and library.
When you are in Qazvin, there are four ways for you to get to the Safavid garden and you can get to this destination by taking a taxi from anywhere in the city.
- Through Imam Khomeini Street
- Through Naderi boulevard
- Through ayatollah Taliqani Street
- Through Shohada or the former Sepah Street.
However, from any point in Qazvin, you can simply get there by taking a taxi.
9 am – 6 pm
It is better to visit Chehel'sotun palace in the morning. The sunlight passing through the colored glasses of this palace creates a beautiful interior brightness. The northern end of Sepah Street, which is considered as the first street designed in Iran, is close to the over door of Aali'qapoo. Along with visiting the Safavid garden, you can visit this street as well. however, 9th of Shahrivar, that is, about 30th of august, it is free of charge to visit all recreational and touristic sites of the city, plus there are free tours arranged by the city's municipality for this purpose.