Shiraz is home to several historical museums. The oldest Museum in the city is the Pars Museum dating back to the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722). Located in a pavilion in the Nazar Garden, the museum is the precious collection of the old and contemporary Iranian objects. The Pars Museum is one of the most important parts of every Shiraz tours or Iran tours for anyone who those who travel to Shiraz.
The Brief History of the Nazar Garden and the Pars Museum
Nazar Garden is one of the oldest and largest Garden in Shiraz which was a prolific garden during the Zand rule. The Nazar Garden is Located in one of the most historical districts of Shiraz, near some famous Shiraz tourism attractions in the Shahriar square. The Nazar Garden is also known with other names such as the Museum Garden, the Tomb of Karim Khan Zand, the Kolah Farangi Mansion, the Governmental Garden and the Prince Garden.
The garden went under several restoration and expansion since it was constructed. During the reign of Karm khan Zand (the 18th century) major restoration was built in the garden and a few buildings were added to it such as the Emarat Kolah Farangi (Pavilion) -the current Pars Museum, Divan Khane and other buildings. These buildings were used to hold important official ceremonies and entertain the governmental officials and foreign ambassadors.
The Architecture and the Features of the Pars Museum
The striking feature of the Nazar Garden is the octagonal pavilion rested in the middle of the garden which were inverted into a museum in 1936. The pavilion is perched on a monolith dadoes with the height of 1.5 above the surface of the garden. The exterior walls of the pavilion feature exquisite tile works with floral and birds motifs. There are also the hunting scenes and the scene of the Prophet Soleyman throne on each side of the building. In the eastern and western side of the pavilion there are two rectangular ponds with a few flower vases around them, creating a pleasing scene. The garden is also filled with pine trees, cedar trees, sour oranges and beautiful flowers which add to the beauty of the mansion.
In four sides of the building there are four wooden doors, leading to the interior of the mansion through curved stone steps. The interior of the mansion comprises a central hall with four magnificent alcoves and angled rooms between them. The stone tomb of Karm Khan Zand is situated in the east alcove which is a marble stone with some delicate writings on it.
The dome and the walls of the building are embellished with splendid stucco works with beautiful floral and botanical paintings and frescoes, typical of the Persian decorations in the Zand era. There are 10 painting scenes dating back to the Zand Dynasty on the walls of the building. They include the battle scene of Nader Shah Afshar and the Indian Mohammad Shah, the romantic scene of Sheikh Sanan and the Nosrani daughter, the scene of Yusuf and Zolaikha, the study scene of Saadi- the great Persian scholar to the Atabak`s son and daughter and the scene of dancing. The distinguishing painting is the scene of Karim Khan Zand surrounded by his guests while smoking hobble bobble.
Another elegant feature of the mansion is the octagonal pond at the center of the hall, made from marble.
The Pars Museum in the pavilion
One of the eye catching section of the pavilion is the Pars Museum which went under twice restorations in the 70s and 80s due to the destruction done by Agha Mohammand Khan Qajar. He also removed the bone of Karim Khan Zand to the Golestan Palace in Tehran which was returned to its original burial place in the Pars Museum during the Pahlavi era.
The museum of Pars is the fine collection of the pre Islamic and post Islamic as well as contemporary objects such as metal and pottery objects, brass and bronze objects, handwritten books, paintings, old coins, and etc . Among the precious objects one can see the hand written Quran, the sword of Karim Khan Zand, the picture of Hafez- the famous Persian poet and his beloved ShakhNabat and water-color paintings of Suratgar-e-Shirazy, the famous Zand period artist.
Moreover, there are three precious relics in the garden. One of them is the plinth stone of the Khorshid Palace with the picture of two lions curved on it, dating back to the Qajar era. The other one is the cylindrical stone related to the history of Ramgard dating back to the 1194. And the last historical stone is the plinth stone of the Khorshid Palace depicting the figures of Ferdowsi Shahname (Epoee) dating back to the Qajar era.
Other Shiraz Tourism Attractions in the Pars Museum
The Pars museum is in the vicinity of some of the most important Shiraz tourism attractions such as the Karim Khan Citadel dating back to the 17th century. It is one of the most precious reminiscence of Zand dynasty which never is missed in any Shiraz tours. The other attractions include the Vakil Complex comprising the Vakil Mosque, the Vakil Bathhouses, and the Grand Vakil Bazaar. Another elegant monument near the Pars museum is the Nasir -ol-Molk Mosque or the Pink Mosque which was constructed during the Qajar Dynasty. The mosque is famous for its dazzling stained glasses and exquisite painted tiles. Atiq Jame Mosque is another precious pieces of architecture near the Pars Museum which is worth visiting while travelling to Shiraz.
Shiraz restaurants near the Pars Museum
There are nearby places to the Pars Museum which are a refreshing spot for those who wants to experience the Traditional Shiraz food or famous Faloude Shirazi (cold dessert). They include Saraye Mehr Restaurant, Saraye Ayene Restaurant, House of Poems Café, Vakil Traditional Restaurant, Hafez Café, Aqo Ash Restaurant, and Café Roya. There is also a nearby ice cream shop called Baba Bastani which is famous for delicious Faloude and tasty ice cream.
Hotels in Shiraz near the Pars Museum
If you are looking for Hotels in Shiraz in the vicinity of the Pars Museum and other major Shiraz Tourism attractions, Arg Hotel is a luxury hotel with beautiful decoration and modern facilities. However if you want to spend the night in a traditional house with traditional Shiraz food Parham Traditional House and Raz traditional House are just fine. Moreover, if you travel on Budget or you are a solo traveler looking for your peers, tha Golshan Traditional Hostel is the perfect place.
When to visit the Pars Museum
The visiting time of the Pars Museum is form 8:30 AM–13:30PM, 14:30–17:00PM.