Articles | Cultural Heritage
Persian Garden
Safavid Mural-Louvre

Khoobchehr Keshavarzi 

Translated by Roya Monajem 


The great substantial art exhibition held on Persian Gardens at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts in 2004 and registration of Persian Gardens on the list of UNESCO World Heritage in 2011, make it opportune to refer to a vital significant point hidden from the eyes of researchers of the subject so far: Persian Garden is the manifestation of a wise-humanist process with its form and geometry naturally following this process. As the result, the garden finds a destiny shared with those who use it. Thus the wiser is the design of the fate and destiny of the garden, the more extensive will be its interaction with the users. On entering a Persian Garden, the users will have all their senses, including their faculty of imagination aroused and inspired with the result that knowingly and unknowingly, consciously and unconsciously, the rhythm of their whole being will harmonize with that of the nature and in this way it is transformed, renewed and refreshed (frashkard

Now I ask Bahman (1) to (lead me) to cultivate land, so that I would attempt it in good manners. (Zoroaster) 

As a process of an extensive vast complex, Persian Gardens speak of good-mannered persons who created them and through that a signature as transparent and radiant as good mannerism and wisdom appeared under their cultivation which is in fact what grants them such a lofty place. According to the beliefs of constructors, good manner is the result of good thoughts, good words and good deeds; which in itself is a reasonable answer to the two questions: Should the garden be Persian or the approach to the garden? The third question which arises is: how much the name and qualities of the Persian Garden is indebted to the worldview of long-gone people who created them?

First of all, it is necessary to explore the meaning of the name (Persian Garden, Paradise, Ferdos, a symbol of Eden). In recent eras, Persian garden is introduced and defined as an earthly symbol of the heavenly world. What has brought about such a surmise is the word Pardis, Paradise and Ferdos now known as Heaven, Eden. Meanwhile the very word paradaêza (=pairir-daêza) giving rise to all the subsequent heavenly allusions and inspirations is actually lost! In Dehkhoda dictionary under the entry Ferdos it is said: “Ferdos, the Arabic word of the Persian pardis is mentioned twice in Avesta as pairir-daêza consisting of the prefix pairir, meaning surrounding, environment; and daêza, meaning accumulation, piling, enclosing with walls.
Writing about Manouchehr [Pishdadi], the son of Iraj, the son of Afridoun, Ibn Shadi Hamedani (c.590HG) (probably on the basis of Sassanid Khoda’ynameh-s [Epistles of Gods]) says: After the destruction of towns and the land of Iran, all in the city of Ray, by Afrasiayb [Tourani], Manouchehr began to rebuild everything from the scrap because of the scale of demolition, and called it Ma’hjaan (Ma’dga’n), Ma’hma’n (Ma’dma’n) and designated that ruined place, Supreme Ray… Manouchehr then collected various blossoms, flowers and herbs from the mountains and fields and planted them there, ordering to build a wall around that cultivated land.