General

The structure can be easily found at a corner of Shahrdary Square close to Shiraz bazaar. The appearance of the building resembles a solid fortress entirely made from bricks with military as well as residential functions. The construction of Karimkhan Citadel goes back to the second half of 18th century when Karimkhan-e-Zand was ruling in Iran from Shiraz, his capital city.
This citadel was built in 1180 AH (1766-7). Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the citadel of Karim Khan that was quickly constructed. During the Zand dynasty it was used by the king as living quarters and During the Qajar period it was used as the governor’s seat.
The citadel of Karim Khan consists of four high walls connected by four 14 m round brick towers at a 90-degree angle. Each 12m wall is crenalized and is 3 meters thick at the base and 2.8 meters at the top.
The high walls feature ornamental brickwork and are punctuated by four attractive 14m-high circular towers. The southeastern tower has a remarkable lean, having subsided onto the underground cistern that served as the Arg’s bathhouse.
Insidesee more the Arg is a large, open courtyard filled with citrus trees and a pool. A dusty museum of the Zand period, with wax figures in traditional dress, occupies rooms off the northwest of Iran.
Above the entrance gate, you will notice a sizable tile-worked scene of Rostam’s battle against a demon. Rostam is the protagonist character of Shahnameh, the epic poem book of Ferdowsy, the most well-known Iranian poet of 10th and 11th centuries. After entering the vestibule a corridor leads you into the large courtyard with an interesting orange garden.
The garden inside the large courtyard of Arg-e-Karimkhani takes approximately up to 80% of the area. The rest, courtyard floor, is all covered by marble stone from the time of construction. A pathway from the center of the garden leads to the middle of each side of the courtyard opposite a portico leading to some of the rooms of the building.
As you enter the courtyard from the vestibule, at the opposite side of the courtyard, under the large wind catcher, there’s a portico that could be seen right away. Inside the beautifully decorated rooms of this section, attractive wax statues revive the setting inside the court of Karim Khan where he met with officials and ruled over the territories under his domination.
The fresco embellishment of the walls and ceilings are fabulous examples of how beautifully Zand art vitalized official and non-official buildings of that period. A combination of gold leafs with relatively dark red colors were used to give elegant taste to the interior walls of the royal buildings.
Adjacent to this mail room, sometimes a couple of other rooms are opened to the public to see the local costumes of Iranian women of various ethnic groups. The colorful gowns seen here are still worn by local people when you travel to different parts of Iran.
On the very south eastern part corner of the courtyard, there’s a door that leads to the Arg-e-Karimkhani’s bathhouse, bathroom. This bathhouse has got all the architectural sections of any similar structures. The simple yet likable plasterwork decorations on the walls of this bathroom imply the love in flowers and nature, what Shirazi artists have always been inspired by.
Marble floors and seats, insulated pools for hot and cold water, clay-made pipes for heating beneath the floors and transferring water, and so forth are all observable and the echo returning your voice inside the big hall of this bath reminds you of the lively setting of old bathhouses where royal family met and had themselves washed and massaged by the servants.

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Arg of Karim Khan

 

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