Once known as the most beautiful palace in the world, Hasht Behesht Palace is a pavilion built in the Safavid era, specifically during the reign of Shah Suleiman I, in Isfahan. The palace is built in a garden that was originally called “Bolbol Garden”. Bolbol was also a part of a larger garden named “Naqshe Jahan Garden”
The name “Hasht behesht” literally means “Eight Heavens”. The two story building is made up of eight sides and also holds eight main rooms inside. Four rooms on the bottom floor and four on the top floor. This somewhat octagon shape, combined with the unique placement of the rooms which are also octagons, had turned this palace into such an artwork, that visitors from around the globe described it as the most beautiful palace in the world.
Hasht Behesht Palace was being used by the king and the king’s court until around 100 years ago. Not a lot is known of the history of the palace, but Naser Al-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty gave the Palace to his daughter as a gift. Under the condition that whilst she resided there nothing of the palace and the gardens around it be retouched or changed. After the death of Naser Al-Din Shah, and the death of his daughter, the palace was handed down to her children.
It was then that Hasht Behesht took one of the strongest blows it had ever gotten. The palace changed a lot and the paintings and the goldworks were removed or covered. So much so, that some of the visitors from other countries started to believe that it was actually the Qajars who had built the palace.
To this day, Hasht Behesht Palace is one of the greatest works of architecture in the world. There were a number of other palaces also called Hasht Behesht around Iran but sadly, none of them survived through the times. For anybody visiting Isfahan, it is very important to visit this gorgeous building and feel the history behind it. For those who won’t, it is a great loss.