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The Golestan Palace is still the Valhalla of Persian architecture. This unique structure is one of the oldest buildings in Tehran. Wherever you look, the attention to detail is incredible: each crevice and arch is adorned with unique patterns and paintings. It’s no wonder that this palace has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.
In ancient times, Iran was part of Persia. One of the empire’s most powerful rulers was the Qajar dynasty, founded by Agha Mohammad Khan. In 1794, Khan became the ruler of large swaths of Persia, including Tehran – which in those days was an insignificant village. Nevertheless, he decided to make it the new capital of his empire. Under Qajar rule, Tehran blossomed into a cosmopolitan city. The Golestan Palace remains as the most important symbol of this golden age. The impressive complex consists of a string of masterful paintings and sculptures.
The complex is also known as the Palace of Flowers. Visitors will immediately understand why: colourful flower decorations dominate the palace interior. The palace consists of various buildings, gardens and ponds that are open to the public and have been transformed into a museum. One of the most beautiful buildings is the Emarat-e-Badgir, which features 4 distinct ‘wind towers’ that served as a type of air conditioning. Visitors can roam around for hours and imagine what life must have been like at the Persian court.
The Takht-e Marmar or the ‘marble throne’ is truly spectacular. Fath Ali Shah, the second emperor of the Qajar dynasty, commissioned the carving of this ornate seat. The royal sculptors worked for 4 years on this sculpture, using 65 pieces of marble that were brought in from a mine hundreds of kilometres south of the city. The throne rests on a platform of human figures and is supported by pillars of mythical creatures. Even 200 years later, the intricate delicate carvings have lost none of their beauty.