A Study of the Pattern System of Baghe Takht in Shiraz by Recreation of the Garden Map

Document Type : Research Article



The art of construction of gardens has a long history in Iran and this country is deemed one of the pioneers of this art. Garden was assumed to be a symbol of paradise in pre and post Islamic era, and this led to construction of many gardens all around Iran. Takhte Bagh in Shiraz city is one of these gardens, which has largely been neglected. It is situated northwest of Shiraz on top of Babakoohi Mountain. It is one of the few hanging gardens of Iran. Baghe Takht is one of the most important historical gardens of Shiraz city which was established in Atabakan Fars era (5 A.H.). It was reconstructed during Qajar era but fell to dilapidation afterwards. Today, it has administrative-military applications.  After Qajar era, the garden became an administrative- military place and its architectural values were neglected. Due to the existing limitations, no photography of or visit to this garden is possible. As a result, the authors decided to make a comprehensive research on this garden in order to detect its unique properties.  Some differences were observed when the historical documents were compared to its only existing map.  The research aimed at reconstructing its plan in accordance with the existing written historical documents. The method of this research was descriptive-analytic. The existing photographs and descriptions largely belong to tourists. But these descriptions are different from the garden plan established by Donald Wilber Newton in some details. Aerial photography (1957-1967) was used to solve this problem. The authors analyzed the garden using the historical documents and images and concluded that it includes an entrance garden, a layered garden, and a private garden. The authors also conducted some field studies to finalize the garden’s plan. Its only existing map attributed to 'Donald Wilber' was used by the researchers as the base of the study. Two parts namely the northern garden (Private garden) and the layered garden were inserted in this map. But considering the evidences from Asar ol Ajam book, this garden also has a southern part which was not included in Wilber’s map. The following hypothesizes were made for reconstruction of the southern part’s image:   a) The entrance garden is similar to the pool garden and these two were close to each other according to Wilber’s map b) According to Forsat Hosseini Shirazi there was an entrance garden which became an urban street after the garden changed in the next era, and some building were constructed around it c) Aerial photography (1956) indicated that the entrance garden only acted as a gate and was relatively small in size. Two small gardens existed at the western and eastern sides of the pool which are not included in Wilber’s map (Fig.22). They formed the two entrance avenues which have been described by Forsat Hosseini Shirazi Considering the data in table 1 and aerial photography (1956), the third hypothesis was deemed more suitable for preparing the garden’s map. Therefore, the garden can be divided into three parts as follows: 1. The entrance garden, which consists of a gate, two avenues and a big pool. The pool was 90x65 in Zar ( each Zar equals 41 inch or 104 cm). 2. The layered garden, which consists of seven platforms each 90x10 in Zar (each Zar equals 41 inch or 104 cm). The remaining waterscapes belong to the first platform which was located against the two western and eastern Pergolas (map 1). These Pergolas were located on the first and the second platforms. The western one remains unchanged. 3. The Private garden, which was visible in Wilber’s map, houses the main building and salon. Its plan and elevation are presented in the text. Considering the radical changes in post-Qajar era, the southern part has completely been lost. In addition to making accurate studies possible, recreation of the garden’s map is an efficient step toward maintaining the spiritual and cultural values of this national wealth.