The Eram Garden, also known as Bagh-e Eram (Garden of Paradise), is a magnificent example of Persian gardening and architecture. This historic and visually captivating garden is nestled in Shiraz, the cultural heartland of Iran. Its history is as vibrant and colorful as the garden itself, showcasing Persian culture, architecture, and landscaping over several centuries.
The term “Eram” is derived from a Persian and Arabic word meaning “heaven.” It is named so because of its aesthetic beauty and tranquil atmosphere that indeed portrays an image of paradise on earth. Its origins are unclear, with some historians suggesting its creation during the Seljuq Dynasty (11th to 14th centuries), while others date it back to the time of the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC).
The garden, as it stands today, however, is largely a product of the late Qajar Dynasty (1789–1925) and early Pahlavi Dynasty (1925–1979). It underwent major renovations under the ownership of several affluent and influential families, including the Qavam family, who were instrumental in designing and constructing the impressive three-story mansion at the heart of the garden.
In 2011, Eram Garden was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognized for its “outstanding universal value.”
Visiting Eram Garden is a journey through time, offering an in-depth view of the Persian art of garden design, combined with traditional and historic architecture. The tranquil ambiance of the garden, the striking range of plants and flowers, and the towering cypress trees captivate all who step into this paradise. The striking three-story mansion known as Qavam House, adorned with intricate tilework and paintings, adds another layer to the multi-faceted appeal of Eram Garden.
Eram Garden provides a profound experience of Persian culture and history, drawing tourists and locals alike with its serene atmosphere and stunning visual appeal. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a great spot for people interested in botany, architecture, history, and landscaping.
Location and Route
Eram Garden is located in the northern part of Shiraz, Iran. It’s situated inside the University of Shiraz campus, although it remains open to the public.
To reach Shiraz, you can take a domestic flight from Tehran, the capital city of Iran. From the Shiraz airport, taxis are readily available that can take you directly to Eram Garden. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel by road, buses and taxis run regularly between Tehran and Shiraz. Within the city, you can reach Eram Garden by taxi, local bus, or by a short walk if you are nearby.
When to Visit
Eram Garden is open year-round, but it is particularly breathtaking during the spring (late March to May) when most of the flowers are in full bloom, filling the air with a mesmerizing fragrance. However, autumn (September to November) is also a beautiful time to visit when the garden is awash with the colors of falling leaves.
The garden is usually less crowded early in the morning and in the late afternoon, providing a more tranquil experience. Remember to check the local holiday schedules as it can get quite crowded during those times.
What to See
The heart of Eram Garden is its astonishing variety of plants, trees, and flowers, meticulously arranged in geometric patterns. The garden is renowned for its collection of roses, tulips, and Persian Ironwood trees, but its most famous resident is an ancient cypress tree known as “Sarv-e Naz.”
Qavam House, the garden’s centerpiece, is a sight to behold. This historical mansion, displaying a combination of Persian and European architectural styles, is adorned with beautiful paintings, carvings, and tile works. Its seven-colored tile façade and the picturesque upper-floor porch overlooking the garden are particularly noteworthy.
There are also several fountains and pathways to explore, and the garden’s perimeter is lined with tall protective walls, offering a secluded paradise amidst the bustling city.
All in all, the Eram Garden embodies the Persian concept of an earthly paradise and remains a testament to the historical and cultural richness of Iran. Its thoughtful blend of natural and architectural beauty ensures a memorable visit, making it a must-see destination for any traveler exploring the captivating landscapes of Iran.