Bagh-i Farahabad

Safavid Gardens
Before 1704 1722
Mahvash Alemi


According to Muhammad ibn Muhammad Riza al-Isfahani, Shah Sultan Husayn (1694–1722) created a new district southwest of Isfahan called Farahabad. The king’s garden was created at the end of a promenade that started at the Hizar Jarib Garden, along which the great men of his reign created buildings and gardens. This garden-city, referred to as new city (shahr-i naw), was connected to Isfahan via the Marnan Bridge. A drawing attributed to Hofsted van Essen shows the breaking of the ground for making the king of Persia’s new garden near Julfa, with the river and the Atashgah hill in the background. In 1704, Cornelis de Bruin drew the two enclosures of this garden in a view (pl. 74) in his travel account. He identifies it as the new garden of the king, where I saw the works starting, wherein he shows no trees and two squares (ponds?). A painting attributed to Van Mour depicts the panorama of Isfahan some years later; in the foreground are Bagh-i Hizar Jarib and Bagh-i Farahabad, fully planted. The Bagh-i Farahabad can be identified for its particularly large ponds, which are also mentioned by ‘Asef, who gives their measures. These ponds are also documented in a Persian plan conserved in BnF. The plan, graphically scaled in paces (qadam), shows the Farahabad Garden as composed of two enclosures with a wall (dīvār-i mīyāna-yi bāgh) bearing two pigeon-towers at each end. The outer wall is pierced by six gates. One of these opens in the “first square” (maydān-i avval), proving this was considered the principal entrance. From there, an alley runs to a pavilion supported on four columns (mahtabi) that stood inside a great pond defined as lake (daryācha). At the other side of the lake, the alley starts with a canal (jadval-i āb) in its middle, which flows through a basin (hawz̤), enters the second enclosure, and passes into another basin decorating a terrace, distinguished as “the seat of gathering of the Ilchi” (makān-i majlis-i īlchī). The canal then flows into a round basin and to a pond defined as small lake (daryācha kuchik), from which it reaches the gate at the other end.

Although the garden was destroyed during the attack of Afghan forces in 1722, Beaudouin was able to survey the remains in 1932, showing that there were other buildings in the vicinity of the southeastern corner of the garden. A road lined with trees following the line of one of the canals from the river arrived at Hizar Jarib Garden, where the canal entered the walls and irrigated the garden.



  • Travel Account, 1704–1710