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Fin Garden

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Fin Garden

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Published On : saturday 11 November 1393

Being among the most attractive Persian gardens, Fin Garden has managed to reach an unsurpassable stage of unique perfection.
Since the distant past, the Fin district has always enticed kings and rulers with an offer of its exhilarating fresh water spring. According to Qom History, the oldest history reference book, the buildings and qanats (underground water channels) were constructed in this area under the consent of king Jamshid Achaemenid. Later on, the royal buildings were constructed by the Buyid dynasty and renovated afterward during Mongol Ilkhanid period. After the 1572 earthquake, the garden was reconstructed in its current location by Safavid kings. The vestibule entrance, overgate building, central palace, Safavid bathhouse, towers and bastions were all constructed within this period. Then, in Zand period, the Karim-Khan retreat mansion was built adjacent to the garden. Afterward, the Qajar kings added some other sections to the garden including the Qajar shotorgeloos, i.e specific water irrigation systems, Qajar bathhouse, throne room, Nezam el Dowle retreat mansion and wind tower mansion, the current library. Some sections have also been added during the contemporary times. This garden is mainly famous for 2 reasons, water engineering techniques and the murder of Amir Kabir, the great Iranian minister in the Qajar period.
Fin Garden was registered as the National Heritage under registration number 238 in 1936. Later in 2012, this garden, alongside 8 other Persian gardens, was inscribed on the World Heritage list under registration number 1372.

The Safavid Kooshk
A kooshk is a small palace usually situated in the center of a Persian garden at the intersection of horizontal and vertical axes. The central two-story kooshk was built in Shah Abbas Safavid I period for varoius purposes from recreation to holding celebrations and public meetings. A fascinating pavilion was later added to the top this building, no traces of which have remained today. The Safavid kooshk is a foursquare building with a extrovert design, i.e. it overlooks all 4 sides of the garden. The presence of a pond in the center of the building creates a pleasant atmosphere. The water naturally flows onto the pond which resembles a water spring. In fact, the water flows out of the water supply (the feminine spring) down the land slope through the underground channels and finally reaches the pond.

The Garden’s Ramparts
One of the most distinctive features of Fin Garden is its strong ramparts which have given the garden the royal glory as well as the stance and impenetrability of a strong fortress. The main rampart, with its four towers, was built in the Safavid period, when the garden was established. The rampart faced transformations within the next periods such as the destruction of the southern towers due to unknown reasons. Following the addition of Nezam el Dowle retreat mansion and the stable to the garden in the Qajar period, 3 new towers were built.

The Bathhouses
There are two adjacent bathhouses, one small and one large, on the east side of the garden behind the rampart. In terms of historical background these bathhouses are known to belong to the Safavid and Qajar periods. Similar to all other Persian historical bathhouses (garmabehs) , these two ones consist of the dressing hall (beyneh) and the hot bathing hall (garmkhaneh). Beyneh is an interspace between the entrance and garmkhaneh. it is slightly warm in this interspace so that the patrons would not face sudden thermal changes while entering or leaving the hot bathing hall. the main hot bathing pool (khazineh) and other smaller ones are all located in garmkhaneh. There are two entrances to these bathhouses which are outside the garden so that the public could use them without entering the garden. These two bathhouses are connected today and their exterior  entrances are closed. In 1852 Amir Kabir, a man of integrity and the greatest minister of all Iranian history, was martyred inside the small bathhouse.

The Vestibule Main Entrance and the Overgate Structure
The two-story entrance structure was built in the Safavid period upon the establishment of the garden. This structure, however, has undergone several alterations in different historical periods.  
The entrance is important due to two reasons; first, its excellent location in the garden and second, its functional role in admission and reception formalities. The magnificent overgate structure includes a large hall and terraces which provide a broad view of the garden.

The Karim-Khan Retreat Mansion
During King Karim Khan Zand reign, a complex containing a retreat mansion as well as some other  buildings was constructed inside the garden. The retreat mansion has been renovated and is accessible today. This private area contains a small yard surrounded by interrelated rooms. The retreat mansion could be accessed either through the entrance opening to the garden or through the public gateway. This place is currently used as the Cultural Heritage Office’s guesthouse.

The Qajar Shotor-geloo Mansion (a specific curved aqueduct system on uneven ground which resembles a camel’s neck or an S and helps water flow easily. Moreover, due to its special shape it prevents animals entering the main water supply. This creative system was used in the traditional Persian architecture in order to convey water into a house. According to fluid dynamics, the water flew onto a pond inside the house. The pond was usually located inside an impressive building.)
This building was added in the Qajar period. Fath-Ali Shah Qajar, who had a great attachment to the exotic Fin Garden and Soleymanieh Spring, commanded Haj Hassan Khan Sadr Azam Esfahani  to fully repair and decorate the garden which had been severely damaged in the 1778 earthquake. It was the time The Qajar Shotor-geloo mansion was built. This mansion includes a throne hall, a spring house (a room with a pond in the center), yards and several rooms. The marvellous decorative paintings have multiplied the charm of this building.

The Bubbling Pool
This admirable example of water engineering was built in the Qajar period. This pool introduces an astounding water flow system. There are 160 holes at the bottom of the pool; water flows out of 80 holes onto the pool and down through the other 80 ones. Then the clay drainage pipes conduct the water to the 12-fountain pool, which operates the fountains.

The Throne Room
This vaulted hall and its two Gooshvareh (earring) rooms were built in the Qajar period. This room has a view of the bubbling and the 12-fountain pools, a feature which enhances the visual beauty. In the past, such halls were used as guesthouses. This room is also known as either the Panjdari (the 5-door room), since it has 5 doors opening to the yard, or the Orosi room, since it has Persian-style sliding sash doors which are called Orosi.
The Nezam el Dowle Retreat Mansion
In 1827, Haj Ali Mohammad Khan Sadr Esfahani known as Nezam el Dowle, king Fath Ali Shah’s son-in-law, was appointed as the ruler of Kashan. He chose Fin Garden as his main residence and  court. Following this decision, a building was constructed outside the main garden serving as the harem, i.e. the private residential area. This building was known as The Nezam el Dowle Retreat Mansion. Nowadays, the Museum of Kashan is located on the ruins of that building. The only remaining parts include the vestibule and some rooms behind the museum.

The Stable
on the eastern wall of the parking lots next to the museum, there is evidence of a stable which has not been mentioned in any historical documents. In his book “Iranian Caravansaries”, Maxim Siro provides a rare plan of the stable, which necessitates further research and archeological investigations.  

The Water Division (the Feminine Spring)
Having passed a distance of 2 kilometers through 17 wells, The Soleymanieh spring water flows out of the qanat outlet just behind the garden. Under Shah Abbas’s command the Fin Garden was intially located adjacent to the outlet of the qanat so that the garden would be the first place where the water flowed through. Before entering the garden area, over one-third of the incoming water flows in the water division and is sent to the Safavid and Fathali Shah shotorgeloos and The Bubbling Pool through subterranean channels. This building was formerly known as the Feminine Spring since it was the main source of water and this characteristic was comparable to a woman who is the main source of birth. This building has experienced architectural and function changes.

Kashan Museum
In 1958 Kashan-Natanz Association of Cultural Heritage Protection was formed, which was a joint venture between the two cities of Kashan and Natanz. This association decided to build the museum of Kashan in the west side of the garden on the ruins of Nezam el Dowle Retreat Mansion. During 9 years culture and art lovers made priceless contributions to this project and finally, in 1967, the museum opened to the public.
The Library and its adjacent extensions
The library building is located in the east side of the garden. There is no evidence of this building in history references. However, undoubtedly, this building was added to the garden during the Qajar period. since 1995 this building has accommodated Amirkabir public library.

By : All Rights Reserved By Kashan

Source : All Rights Reserved By Kashan CHT

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