A beautiful sunny day. It’s December and there was a little snowfall yesterday, so you could easily find the footprints of Lady Snow here and there. The tempreture is around 12 degrees C and I’m feeling perfectly fine today. Now let’s step into one of most magnificent palaces of old times together again. Another in heritence of Safavid period: Chehelsotoon. A place in which the Shah would receive guests from all over the country and also other parts of the world.
Chehel +Sotoon meaning forty+columns, so technically Chehelsotoon, all one word, refers to a place which has 40 columns, but that’s not true. It’s got 18 at the major gate and two more in the back. Thus, we are mathematically manipulated!
Many people, even Isfahani ones, believe the reason behind naming of the palace is due to the reflection of the structure onto the water, doubling the number of columns! 40, finally!
BUT, by taking a deeper and closer look into culture, we notice that the numbers 40 and 1000 are actually numbers of “abundance”. Ever heard of Aladdin & 40 thieves of Baghdad story?! Were there exactly 40 or just simply a lot of thieves? 40 also symbolizes “perfection” as many believe that the age of forty is the age of perfection.
These pillars are made of wood. To be more accurate, made of oriental plane trees. Each, one piece! The woody frames of these pillars used to be decorated with mirrors all over.
Unfortunately during the Qajar dynasty, quite a few number of palaces, pavilions, beautiful mansions and other structures belonging to Safavid’s were destroyed. The savior of this one was a merchant who paid enough money at just about the right time! RIP brother!
4 statues (lions and angels) at each corner of the front pool and many other works of art from those gone-with-the-wind constructions have been gathered in Chehelsotoon.
At that time they didn’t have knowledge of producing mirror, thus it all was brought from Venice, Italy.
When you walk inside, you’d feel speechless. Wall paintings are all over the place, telling you stories of ceremonies and wars. The 4 in the corners belong to Safavid’s and the two in the middle, right in front of eachother are of Qajar times. That’s why the style looks different.
At the back of the palace, paintings of political characters of European countries are there to remain, which are performed by two artists from the Netherlands who served the Shah.
There’s still a lot more to say about this. You’ve got to come and see it for yourself, and if you have ever been to this place before and want to share, we would be really delighted to have your comments and hear out your point of view.
By: Faraz Behpur