Haft Tanan Garden: Tomb of the 7 Unknown Mystics
Haft Tanan is an Iranian garden and museum dating back to Safavid times. The people of Shiraz have a special connection with the Haft Tanan Garden. They used to go there both in the past and now to ask for rain and for prayers to be answered, and they asked God to grant their wishes. Art, architecture, and mysticism all come together in one place at the Haft Tanan Garden.
Haft Tanan, A Beautiful House for Ascetics
This garden is an incredible example of Iranian architecture that you can see from the Mansion of Haft Tanan Garden. An extended porch with two stone columns can be found on the northern side of the building. Above these ornamental columns is a wooden roof covered with beautiful oil paintings with flat sides.
The columns of the porch are decorated with lemon-colored marble stone and the floor is covered with red tiles. A large pond greets you as you enter the garden, and the area in and around is filled with diverse trees that are over 200 years old, such as cypress, orange, and pine.
Haft Tanan Garden has converted into a museum of stone and tile after being an abandoned convent that housed dervishes and ascetics. It now stands among the people as a monument of culture. The garden was constructed several centuries before Zandieh, although the mansion was built within the lifetime of Karim Khan Zand.
Seven Mystics Rest in Art
Years ago, seven Shirazi mystics were buried at the hillside of Chehel Magham Mountain. Karim Khan ordered that tombstones be constructed for these seven people during the Zandie period, but due to their anonymity, there was no inscription to put on their tombstones.
The upper niches of this porch are among the most masterful decorations among Iranian buildings. The two columns, like the pillars of Hafez’s tomb, can be seen on a large and integrated stone, which is a beautiful design of flowers and leaves. In the south of the mansion, there is a garden full of trees, which has a wall with a brick arch. Although the garden of the Haft Tanan Stone Museum is smaller than other gardens, it is not without grace to see it.
The different parts of this garden include the tombs of mystics, which is one of the reasons for the importance of this garden. Seven anonymous mystics have tombstones of the same size and shape, six tombstones are in a row and parallel to each other, but the seventh stone is located singly at the bottom of the sixth tomb.
Paintings: The Narrators of the Past
Some very unique paintings can be seen on the porch of the Haft Tanan mansion created with oil paint on plaster. These five paintings depict respectively a dervish (Dervishes are mystics in Iranian culture who follow the path of asceticism.) with poleaxe and ax, Moses’s role as a shepherd, Sheikh Sanan, and Christian daughter, Ibrahim, and a young age dervish.
The Appearance of a Dervish
One of these five paintings is a dervish with a white hat and beard and an ax that conveys a strange atmosphere to the visitor.
On another canvas you can see the image of Moses as a shepherd, grazing his sheep. This painting illustrates a state of forgiveness and simplicity on the way to dervish’s behavior.
Moses had to be a shepherd for eight years before he was allowed to marry the daughters of prophet Shoaib. In the first educational work, Prophet Moses was constructed spiritually and inwardly. Also, these years have left a deep mark on this character of Prophet Moses to lead the society.
Another painting of Sheikh Sanan and Christian daughter in the middle of the porch depicts what is Sheikh Sanan falling in love with a young Christian girl and expressing it to her. This story is borrowed from Al-Tair Attar Neyshabouri, who lost his faith because of a girl but gained it once again through his friend, and then the girl became a Muslim. This painting also illustrates the same thing.
When Sheikh Sanan fell in love with a Christian girl on a trip to Rome, he had to agree to her conditions. Her four conditions were prostrating on an idol, drinking alcohol, leaving a Muslim, and burning the Qur’an. Sheikh was in love, so he accepted drinking alcohol. However, he refused all three others. He got drunk after drinking alcohol and he ended up doing three other things.
Despite the girl’s high dowry, the poor Sheikh could not afford it. Instead of silver and gold, the girl showed empathy, and the girl has given him the responsibility of caring for it for a year, which was accepted by the Sheikh.
The Sheikh’s friends, who couldn’t stand the humiliation and disgrace, abandoned him and concluded that his deeds should be reported to his disciple who was absent. In his opinion, they left their Sheikh in such a state of neglect. So he went to Rome and prayed 40 nights for God to save the Sheikh. On the last night, the faithful follower of the Sheikh finally sees the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed, in a dream, bringing him the good news that the Sheikh was released.
The fourth painting is the story of Abraham’s ordeal and the sacrifice of Ishmael. This painting skillfully shows Abraham’s readiness to break with his greatest worldly attachment, which was to give up his child.
This is the fifth painting depicting Shah Abbas Safavid. When he was in the kingdom, he wore a disguise and reached out to the poor and helpless people to help them. He believed that there should be no mediator between himself and his people so he lived among them and listened to their demands. This is why Shah Abbas Safavid is portrayed as a dervish in the mentioned design.
The value of these paintings is so high that they were restored many years ago. In addition to these paintings, the doors, walls, and porch are decorated with colorful flowers and shrubs.
How To Go To the Haft Tanan Museum?
By public transport such as buses, one needs to take the lines that pass through Haft Tanan Boulevard, then get off at the mosque station and travel a short distance to the Haft Tanan Museum in Shiraz. But if you want to go by metro, the nearest station is Haft Tanan Museum in Valiasr Square, which is 3 km from Haft Tanan Garden. Take a taxi or walk from this station.
You can also use the linear and transit taxis, which run to Haft Tanan.
Attractions Around Haft Tanan Garden
Stay Nearby This Mysterious Garden
There is no worry for stay close to this garden. Shiraz Grand Hotel, Persepolis Hotel, and Shams Hotel are only a little over one kilometer from the Haft Tanan garden.
Pasargad, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Karim Khan Citadel, District 8, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Tange Reghaz, Fars Province, Iran