Boasting the rich history and culture, Shiraz has the plethora of historical buildings. One of the distinguishing houses in Shiraz is the Shapouri House, dating back to the Pahlavi era in the 20th century. Shapouri House and Garden is the precious example of Persian – European architecture, representing innovation in design, facade and structure. It is one of the most extraordinary historical houses and at the same time a museum, restaurant and café in Shiraz. Visiting the Shapouri House should be an integral part of any Shiraz tours and Iran tours for those who travel to Shiraz.
The Brief History of the Shapouri House
Located in the Anvari Street in the heart of Shiraz, the Shapouri House was built by Abolghasem, the famous architecture of Shiraz and owned by Abdolsaheb Shapouri one of the prolific merchants in Shiraz. After being purchased by the Cultural Heritage Organization in 1999, the house was enlisted as the national heritage. The house was restored from 1995 to 2002 and later turned in to a museum, a traditional restaurant and café for public visit.
The Architecture and Features of the Shapouri House
Shapouri House was one of the first houses in Iran with unique architecture and design, different from previous Persian houses and gardens. Covering an area of about 840 square meters, the Shapouri House is situated in the north side of the garden measuring for about 4635 square meters. The house is perched on two floors with exquisite stucco works, tile works and magic decorative pillars. The forefront of the building is decorated with beautiful paintings including a picture of a man with two wings, reminiscent of the Achaemenid decoration in Pasargad, the picture of the lion and the two great Persian poet, Saadi and Hafez in each side of the forefront,
There are some features in the Shapouri House and Garden which distinguish it from the rest of the historical buildings in Iran. The Shapouri House the first example of the Persian house which was influenced by the European architecture. One of the unique feature of the house is related to the unconventional shapes of the ponds in the garden. The typical form of the pond in Persian architecture is a rectangular one being rested in the direction of the main axis of the entrance to the main building. However in the Shapouri House, there is a large pentagon pond in front of the building with some pathways around it leading to the main buildings. There is also another pond in a shape of heart in the other side of the house.
Another distinguishing feature of the garden is the flow of water which does not lead to the ponds in the garden, unconventional to the previous Persian gardens. Besides, the Persian gardens used to be divided into four square sections lined with different trees and flowers. Instead, there is no such division in the Shapouri Garden and the trees are not symmetrically planted, creating a vast open view in front of the mansion. The other distinct feature of the house from a common Persian garden is the location of the main building. In a typical Persian garden, the main mansion is located in the central axis of the garden, rested in the middle. However, the Shapouri mansion is nestled in the north side of the garden with a 90 angle far from the main axis.
The influence of the European art is also seen in the buildings. In a typical Persian house, there are some stairways in each side of the building leading to the interior. However once entered the Shapouri House, there is a central decorative stairway leading to the upper rooms. The function of the rooms is also a distinct feature in the house. In previous Persian houses, every room had multifunctional purposes such as the resting room, the living room, the guest room and etc. However in the Shapouri House, every single room had its own special purpose without being used for other purposes. The presence of a balcony was also another unique feature in the Shapouri House which was not common before in Persian house.
Apart from the main mansion, there used to be other buildings in the garden dedicated to a specific function. There are two buildings in the north side which were used as a service part and Andarouni (private house). The third building is situated in the southwestern part of the garden used to be a kitchen, most part of which was destroyed during the time. Besides that, there was a flower house and a water well in the northeastern side of the garden.
Other Shiraz Tourism Attractions near the Shapour Garden
If you plane to travel to Shiraz and visit the Shapouri Garden, there are also other attractions which are worth visiting. The Famous Vakil Complex including the Vakil Bazaar, the Vakil Bathhouse and the Vakil mosque are situated in the distance of 3 kilometers from the garden. They are the best example of the Persian architecture dating back to the Zand era. Among other nearby Shiraz tourism attractions which should also be included in Shiraz tours or Iran tours is the magnificent Arg of Karim Khan or Arg Karm Khan Citadel in the 3 kilometers distance from the Shapouri Garden. Also the Shahcheragh Shrine is another historical heritage of Shiraz in the vicinity of the garden.
Near restaurants near the Shapori Garden
Fortunately, there is a restaurant and café inside the garden where you can enjoy delicious food and drink and the surrounding in the open space setting. The other suggested café is the Naghashi Café located in the Roukadi Street nearby. It is famous for its high quality food and various kinds of drinks. If you are looking for delicious burgers and hot dogs, the Komach Fastfood on ZolAnvar Street is the best option. The other option is the Ferdowsi Café in the Ferdowsi Street nearby. Another cozy restaurant nearby is the Hedayat Café restaurant which offers nice traditional Youkhi (cookie).
Hotels in Shiraz near the Shapouri Garden
There are a couple of nice Hotels in Shiraz near the garden. They include Ariana Hotel, Apadana Hotel in the 200 meters away from the garden. Sasan Hotel and Kowsar Hotel are also in the vicinity of the garden.
When to visit the Shapouri Garden
The visiting time of the Shapouri Garden is from 8:00 A.M. to 12 A.M.