The Iranian city of Shiraz has a certain well-deserved renown for its gardens. Bagh-e Eram is one of the most charming country houses in Iran and if you have the courage you can visit it today, both inside and out, as it is now a national monument. Its distinctive architecture of hand-painted tiles and mirror-encrusted stalactites is unique. Once a private palace, built during the Qajar Dynasty, the lavish estate was constructed in the nineteenth century and combines typically Persian features with some Western, even Italianate notions of the country manor. In 1953, the Iranian government donated the mansion to the faculty of Law at the Pahlavi University of Iran.
Today it's a museum and impressive botanical garden—Bagh-e Eram means the "Garden of Paradise." The city of Shiraz is known as the city of rose gardens, nightingales and poets. Two of Iran's greatest ancient national poets, Hafez of Shiraz, and Saadi, are buried here. Saadi requested that the following verse be inscribed on his tomb: "From the tomb of Saadi, son of Shiraz - The perfume of love escapes - Thou shalt smell it still one thousand years after his death."
Hand painted tiles for an impressive mural above the villa's central loggia.
I admired the "total white" of the loggia interior.
The curious mix of cultural influences.
The extraordinary maiolica craftsmanship.
The style of black and buff colored stone.
The references to ancient Persepolis.
The corner pilasters.
The Persian canal.