Eram Garden (Baq-e Eram), the Garden of Paradise, is one of the most famous and beautiful Persian gardens in all of Iran. It should be noted that the word ‘Eram’ is the Persian version of the Arabic word ‘Iram’ which means heaven in Islam’s holiest of books, the Qur’an. With its beautiful grounds, lush plant life and aesthetic attractions, it’s easy to see why Eram evokes such a description.
Baq e Eram with their beautiful flowers, refreshing air, aromatic myrtles and towering cypress trees, including one tree which is said to date back to 3000 years ago (Sarv-e naz), the Eram Gardens are a major tourist destination, especially during the spring.
History of Eram Garden
Although no one is quite sure when construction of the gardens began, historical evidence suggests that the gardens were built during the Seljuk Dynasty (11th-14th centuries) under the rule of one of its most celebrated monarchs, Ahmad Sanjar. Like many other attractions in Shiraz, the Eram Gardens (Baq e Eram) have been restored and repaired by the Zand kings of the Zand Dynasty (1750-1794), but during the later period of the Zand Dynasty, the garden changed hands to a Qashgai tribal chief, Mohammad Qoli Khan.
Mohammad Qoli Khan ordered the construction of the original mansion that stood on the grounds in the early 18th century, and planted various trees and plants in the garden including pine, orange, cypress and persimmon trees. Later on, during the rule of King Nasser ed-din of the Qajar Dynasty (1785-1925) Mirza Hassan Ali Khan Nasir-al Mulk bought the gardens from the Qashgai tribes and began construction on the present pavilion that now stands in the gardens.
As noteworthy as the gardens themselves, the pavilion was constructed by a local Shirazi architect, one Mohammad Hassan. The beautiful three-story structure was constructed based on the Safavid and Qajar styles of architecture, and includes tiles inscribed with poems from the famed Persian poet Hafez.
Architecture Styles of Eram Garden
The tradition and style of Baq e Eram design represented by Persian gardens or Iranian gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. The gardens of the Alhambra show the influence of Persian garden philosophy and style in a Moorish palace scale, from the era of Al-Andalus in Spain. Humayun’s Tomb and Taj Mahal have some of the largest Persian gardens in the world, from the era of the Mughal Empire in India.
Today, Eram Garden (Baq e Eram) and building are within Shiraz Botanical Garden (established 1983) of Shiraz University. They are open to the public as a historic landscape garden. They are World Heritage Site, and protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.