Narenjestan mansion and garden

Naranjestan-e Qavam is one of those fabulous, lavishly decorated Qajar-era houses.

The Naranjestan-e Qavam, or Orange Grove of Qavam, is a wealthy merchant’s house built at the end of the 19th Century for one Mohammed Ali Khan Qavam ol-Molk. The Qavam family came originally from Qazvin, but settled in Shiraz during the Zand dynasty. Qavam House, as the building became known, was constructed much later, between 1879 and 1886, which is already Qajar dynasty – although I have also seen an earlier construction date, 1836-1846.

the Royal emblem of the Lion and the Sun

Qavam House was the public reception area of the family home, which was connected by underground passage – closed to the public – to the private quarters Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk.

outside decoration, an armed soldier

The pavilion across from the entrance is the main building, with a spectacular mirrored portico and stuccoed ceiling, obviously the place to receive visitors. In the front façade one recognises the Lion and Sun motif, the Qajar Royal emblem. The house is set in its beautiful garden, which at the time was full of date palms and flowering plants – and perhaps also oranges, what’s in a name?

the mirrored portico from above

the mirrored portico, with wooden doors

same portico, showing the ceiling

another view of the ceiling

inside rooms are also decorated with huge mirrors

and with equally dazzling ceilings

Wooden inlaid doors lead to various richly decorated rooms, some with stained-glass windows and others with delicately painted ceilings, with European motifs: there are Alpine scenes complete with leder-hose and winter scenes with sledges on frozen ponds, as well as distinctly European looking women.

first floor roof, individually painted beams

Alpine scene on one of the beams

Other buildings, located around the large garden courtyard, also support wooden ceilings and tiled mosaics, as well as floors that have a carpet motif: altogether a wonderful complex.

wooden ceiling decoration, very European looking

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