Chehel Sotun-Esfahan

Think of a pavilion; A cricket pavilion. Brighton Pavilion perhaps. Or, how about the magnificent Chehel Sotun Pavilion in Esfahan.

Chehel Sotun literally means “40, or many, columns”. In fact there are only 20 columns supporting the front of the structure, but when you take into account the reflection of these columns in the very blue pond in front of the building, 20 becomes 40.

The pavilion was built to receive foreign royalty, ambassadors and dignitaries and you only have to imagine being introduced to the resident Persians on home territory in the great mirrored hall to realise how imposing it must have been.

Any trade or diplomatic discussions would probably have been conducted with the visiting envoy already on the back-foot and in awe of the magnificent décor and architecture rarely seen elsewhere circa 1650AD.

As well as the beautiful building itself, the paintings, murals, artefacts and elaborate decoration, the pavilion stands within the lovely Chehel Sotun gardens. The flower beds are bright with blooms and the grass very green and lush.  Clearly both are well-maintained in these often dry conditions. There are also some very old tree trunks to explore should you divert from the main pathway.

An outstanding attraction in the late summer sunshine, it must be equally beautiful in the frosty conditions of winter.

Worth a visit at any time.


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