the mirrors-in-mirrors in Khan-e Tabatabei

One of the bigger of the Kashan merchant houses, Khan-e Tabatabei is decorated with elaborate stained glass windows, as well as the other usual decorations

The 19th Century Kashan carpet merchant Sayed Jafar Tabatabei has this house, all 4730 m2 of it, built in 1834. The house consists of a family section, a servants section and a section to receive and entertain guests, amongst them business connections. The 40 rooms are set around four different courtyards, across two floors, all elaborately decorated with stucco and stained glass. Especially the stained glass provides a wonderful spectrum, with playful patterns on the floors, in the late afternoon light.

the main courtyard and fountain of Khan-e Tabatabei

row of doors on the courtyard, all containing stained glass

The house is crossed by two qanats, underground water channels, and the four cellars are designed to keep large quantities of food cool, helped by the badgirs, the wind-towers that caught each and every little breeze and transported them downwards into the house, as an early-day air conditioner.

Nearby are the houses Khan-e Boroujerdi, built for Tabatabei’s daughter, and Khan-e Abbasian, as well as the bathhouse Hamman-e Sultan Mir Ahmad.

exquisitely plaster-decorated balconies

more plaster decoration

sunlight colouring the floor through stained glass windows

two rows of stained glass doors and windows in one of the reception rooms, in the Khan-e Tabatabei

top row of stained glass windows

projection of stained glass windows on the floor

sunlight on the floor

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