Shazdeh Garden meaning Prince’s Garden is a historical Persian garden located near (6km away from) Mahan in Kerman province, Iran. Mahan is a city in and capital of Mahan District, in Kerman County, Kerman Province, Iran.
The Persian garden of Shazdeh has different spectacular landscape in every season!
Shazdeh garden is 5.5 hectares with a rectangular shape and a wall around it. It consists of an entrance structure and gate at the lower end and a two-floor residential structure at the upper end. The distance between these two is ornamented with water fountains which are working by the natural incline of the land.
The garden is a fine example of Persian gardens that take advantage of suitable natural climate.
The garden was built originally for Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar Sardari Iravani ca.1850 and was extended ca.1870 by Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodolleh and during the eleven years of his governorship in the Qajar dynasty. The construction was left unfinished, due to the death of Abdolhamid Mirza in the early 1890s.
Built in the traditional style in the late 1900s, the Garden consists of pools in a terraced fashion. It is rumored that upon hearing the news of the Governor’s death, the masons immediately abandoned their work and as a result the main entrance still shows some unfinished areas. Its location was selected strategically as it was placed on the way between the Bam Citadel and Kerman.
Other than the main residential building, at its entrance the Garden also consists of a two-storied building for which the second floor was used as living quarters and for receiving guests. Other smaller utility rooms are situated along the sides of the Garden. Amongst them a few side entrances also connect the Garden to the outside.
Water fountains can be seen over the land flowing from the upper ends toward lower ends on a water cascade style at Shazdeh Garden. These fountains look very beautiful and have been provided impetus by the natural incline of the place.
The clever use of the natural climate of the land can be seen in this garden which is the primary aspect of every Persian garden.
The garden itself consists of a variety of pine, cedar, elm, buttonwood and fruit trees which benefit from the appropriate soil, light breezes and qanat water enable such an environment in contrast to its dry surroundings.
As a result of the 6.4% slope along the garden, and its 407 meters length, a height difference of about 20 meters occurs. This natural slope has led to divisions in the garden defining the nature of the garden.
The water enters the Garden at the upper end and while irrigating the trees and plants along its way, flows down through a series of steps and falls.
On the two ends of the water path, meaning at the main entrance and the residential structure, there’s a pool that collects and subsequently redistributes the water. All together from top to bottom there are 8 levels/falls along the water path.
The vital resource of Shahzadeh garden is streams originating from adjacent mountains. Tigran qanat, originating from Joupar altitudes, is the water supply of this garden. This stream flows into the garden from the highest level and constitutes the garden’s designed irrigation system.
The selection and configuration of plants in Mahan Shahzadeh garden plays a determinative role in the garden’s identity. The trees and vegetation seen in the bed of Shahzadeh garden are in the order as follows:
- Evergreen and windbreak trees such as pine and cedar
- Shady and wide-leaf trees such as wild wych-elm, rowan, sycamore and aspen (In addition to their importance in creating shadows, these trees are resistant to the region’s climate)
- Ornamental plants including ornamental cedars, and ornamental juniper, and Shirkhesht, yielding pint size blossoms in winter.
- Fruit trees, planted in both side plots, especially create unique view when seen from the upper routes.
- Other trees such as ash, salsify, and pine When you enter the garden, in the whole space along the main axis landscapes of Joupar altitudes are seen. This long landscape is hidden by the huge size of the main structure and is reinforced by the trees at both sides having different colors at different seasons.
The water’s overall stream along the garden’s main axis and the waterfalls and their sounds, have contributed to a high quality for this axis.
Tree reflections, the façade structure and the gazebo have contributed to a relaxing feel about the garden, one of peace and solitude. Light and shade play a significant role in this landscaping.
In 2005 experts of the Research Center for Historical Sites and Structures were preparing documents to register Shazdeh Garden, amongst other gardens, on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Garden was finally inscribed in June of 2011.