The blessed capital of the Safavid kings, Isfahan, with a wide range of historical monuments in various parts of the city, is a great destination for domestic and foreign tourists. In every corner of the historical fabric of Isfahan, you can see the works of Safavid kings. In the meantime, the palaces, gardens and mansions of Chaharbagh were considered the center of attractions of the splendor of Isfahan in the Safavid era. One of these Safavid buildings is Hasht Behesht Palace.
Isfahan has no shortage of sights and you can spend days and weeks in this city and find a sign of an attraction with great and attractive features in every alley and street. Among all these sights, today we are going to Isfahan’s Hasht Behesht Palace to review the features of this building.
Hasht Behesht Palace is a historical mansion in the heart of Isfahan city, which is located in the middle of a large park. Its construction dates back to the Safavid era, more precisely to the year 1669 during the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid. Thy made this palace in Isfahan architectural style. It was also known as “Hasht Behesht Mansion”, “Eight in Eight” and “Eight in Behesht”. Let me add that Behesht means Heaven in Persian.
In order to understand the importance of Hasht Behesht Palace, you must know that during the Safavid period in the Chaharbagh area of Isfahan, there were several palaces and mansions, of which only this palace has survived after centuries. A palace whose decorations and special architecture leave visitors in awe. That’s why they called it the most beautiful palace in the world. The tourists who were allowed to visit this palace during the Safavid era considered it the best building in the world and referred to it with the phrase “… more delightful than the most luxurious palaces of European countries”.
It is good to know that Hasht Behesht Palace has been registered on Iran’s National Heritage List since 1934.
Location of Hasht Behesht Palace
Hasht Behesht Palace is located in Shahid Rajaei Park, on Bagh Goldaste Street. You can use public transport or private car to reach this place. You can also use metro and bus to get there, that we will discuss later on.
This palace is close to Naghshe Jahan square, Si-o-Pol bridge and you can easily walk to these places to visit them.
How To Get To Hasht Behesht Palace
Address: Hasht Behesht Palace, Shahid Rajaei Park, Bagh Goldaste Street, Isfahan Province, Isfahan City
Access to Hasht Behesht Palace is very easy because it is located in the center of Isfahan city.
By Private car
If you want to go to Hasht Behesht Palace by your own car, be sure to get help from online maps, Because there are traffic restrictions in the city of Isfahan and you cannot directly access this palace.
In Imam Hossein Square, which is located a little higher than Shahid Rajaei Park and Hasht Behesht Palace, there is a metro station with the same name, which you can use to get to Hasht Behesht Palace. All you have to do is find your way to Chaharbagh Street or Goldesteh Street and from there you will reach Hasht Behesht Garden (Shahid Rajaee Park) and the palace.
But the easiest way to reach Hasht Behesht Palace is to use the buses. Imam Hossein Square and Bagh Goldasteh Street (Hasht Behesht Street) bus stops are located near the palace. You can get off the bus and walk to the palace.
History of Hasht Behesht Palace
The construction of Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan was completed in 1669 and coincided with the third year of the Safavid Shah Suleiman’s reign. It is an example of the finest residential palaces of the Safavid era. Mirza Mohammad Tahir Nasrabadi, the owner of Nasrabadi Book, who wrote poetry as well, revived the names of more than a thousand poets of the Safavid era in his book. He has written poems about the Hasht Behesht Royal Palace of Isfahan, most of which are about the glory of this royal palace.
Hasht Behesht mansion was converted into a Royal school during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar and Zal Sultan’s rule over Isfahan. Mir Seyed Ali, the author of History (Al-Isfahan) which was published in 1923, On page 64 of his book, explains as follows:
“Zal al-Stan founded a royal school in Hasht Behesht Mansion under the leadership of Ali Khan Nazim al-Uloom. Although it didn’t last more than two years, it had good effects.”
Dieulafoy also mentions Hasht Behesht Homayouni (Royal) School in his travelogue about the garden and mansion of Hast Behesht:
“Young and old Iranians, students or teachers, all, put the paper in the palm of their hands or on their knees to write down or read. And wherever there is a carpet lying on the floor and a stick (which the teachers used to punish the students in case they didn’t pay attention) is seen next to it, you can tell that it is a school.”
Hasht Behesht garden and palace was handed over to Banu (Madam) Azmi Iftikhar al-Dawlah by Naser Addin Shah Qajar; Provided that he does not change its status and architecture and maintains its boundaries in Chaharbagh street in perfect refinement. After the death of this lady, the garden and palace of Hasht Behesht remained in the possession of her heirs; But during this period, general changes were made in the condition of the garden and palace by the occupants. And like Ali Qapo and Chehelsotun, its paintings, gilding and mirror decorations were hidden under a layer of plaster with plaster decorations.
From the 6th of september in 1964, the rest of Hasht Behesht Garden and the palace were officially handed over to the Ministry of Culture and Arts. Today, Hasht Behesht, like other historical buildings and monuments of the country, continues to exist under the supervision of the Cultural Heritage Organization.
Architecture of Hasht Behesht Palace
The Building and the Porch
This mansion is 30 meters long and 26.35 meters wide. It is two meters higher than the adjacent level of the garden, and it is separated from the ground by two 10-step staircases (connected to the eastern and western facades of the palace). After that, there is a porch with two tall wooden columns that connects with entrances to the central hall. The arch of this entrance hall ends with a dome-shaped skylight with eight wooden windows. In the middle of the hall there is an octagonal basin with a diameter of 3.30 meters and a fountain. The doors around this entrance hall lead to octagonal rooms that are dedicated to receiving women.
The main porch is towards the north of the palace and is octagonal and has two long columns of cedar wood. In the middle of the main porch, there is a 2.80 long and 2.30 wide pond with a fountain in the middle. The roof of this porch has many decorations, and the inner walls of the palace are decorated with painting and gilding, different bird shapes, colorful flowers, glass works, and mirror works. In this hall, there are two large paintings that show Fath Ali Shah on the throne and some of his children are around him. This whole building is placed on a foundation which is made of beautiful Tabriz marbles.
The First and Second Floor
The rooms on the first floor in the four corners of the building are decorated with stucco and paintings. On the second floor of the building, a series of corridors, rooms, arches and windows add to its beauty. This floor is divided into several corridors and rooms, each of which has its own special decorations. Some have water tanks and some have fireplaces. The walls are also covered with many mirrors.
All the roof of the palace is covered with excellent mosaics and they are surrounded by very beautiful and harmonious corridors. An important point in this building is the connection between its different spaces and parts. This connection makes Hasht Behesht mansion of Isfahan enjoy unity and integrity and remarkable decorations in the same diversity and multiplicity of space.
The outside of the mansion is covered with hard stones and in the middle of this part, there is a small water Reservoir in which the extra water from the ponds inside and outside the mansion flows. From this conduit, the water falls into two large fountains with a width of eight meters and a length of 50 meters, which are located in front of the western and eastern porches of the mansion. The palace area is surrounded by tall plane trees and flower gardens decorate it. These flowers are mostly rose and jasmine. The northern street of the palace is related to Chehelston Palace, and the western street is connected to Chaharbagh street with a large entrance.
While the Hasht Behesht Palace is a remarkable example of the elegance and sophistication of Persian royal architecture, it’s just one of the many majestic palaces that Iran boasts. Discover more about the grandeur of Iran’s palaces, each telling a unique story of Iran’s rich history and royal past.
Where to Stay near Hasht Behesht Palace
Fortunately the place is located in a very vibrant spot, close to many other attractions in Isfahan. Therefore it is surrounded with lots of great place to stay. Here are a list of 10 best place you can stay close to Hasht Behesht Palace:
• Abbasi Hotel: Amadegah St., Chaharbagh-e-Abbasi Avenue, Isfahan 81464, Iran – about 500 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Hasht Behesht Apart. Hotel: Alley No. 8 Ostandari St., Isfahan 8145657333, Iran – About 700 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Ghasr Monshi Hotel: West Ghasr Monshi Alley, Neshat Str, Isfahan, Iran – About 1.4 Km from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Esfahan Tourist Hotel: Abbas Abad St, Chahar Bagh Blvd, Isfahan 81464, Iran – About 700 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Safir Hotel: Amadegah Street, Isfahan 81464, Iran – 600 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Piroozy Hotel: Chahar Bagh Paiin St, Imam Hossein Square, Isfahan 19167, Iran – About 700 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Parsian Kowsar Hotel: Blvd Mellat, Isfahan 81736-9653, Iran – 1.5 Km from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Setareh Hotel: Hafez Street., Naghseh-Jahan Square, Isfahan 81464, Iran – About 1.9 Km from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Part Hotel: Chaharbagh Abbasi St. Jahanara Alley, Isfahan 81464, Iran – 650 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Alighapou Hotel: Chaharbagh Abbasi Ave, Isfahan 81464, Iran – About 650 meters from Hasht Behesht Palace
Where to Eat near Hasht Behesht Palace
The same is true about the places you can eat closeby the Hasht Behesht Palace. There are lots of great cafes and restaurants to eat and relax around this place. Let’s check the 10 most popular ones together:
• Cafe Tanhaei: Chahar Bagh e Abbasi St Across Sheikh Bahaei St – A few meters away from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Dooz Cafe And Bakery: Chahr Bagh E Abbasi – 0.1 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Liyana Cafe: Chahar Bagh Abbasi Hasht Behesht Complex First Floor nomber 231 – .1 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Theater Cafe: ashtBehesht Building, Chahar Bagh Abbasi First Floor – 0 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Chehelsotoun Restaurant: Shahid Medani Str. Abbasi Hotel – 0.1 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Radio Cafe: Sepahan Alley Opposite Sepahan Cinema – 0.2 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Ahang Cafe: Chaharbagh Abbasi Ave., Sepahan Lane – 0.2 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• DiroozEmrooz Cafe: Amadegah Street No. 106, Across Abbasi Hotel – 0.2 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Restaurant Shahrzad: Abbas Abad Street – 0.4 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
• Namakdan Mansion Restaurant-Cafe: Posht Matbakh – 0.4 miles from Hasht Behesht Palace
Hasht Behesht Palace, as we said, is located in the historical context of Isfahan and is close to many historical attractions such as the following:
• Naqsh Jahan square at a distance of 1.5 km on foot
• Si-o-Se Pol Bridge at a distance of 2.5 km
• Isfahan Imam Mosque at a distance of 2.1 km
• Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque at a distance of 2.2 km