For long and before historical houses of Kashan were repaired and became well known, this city was known for its Fin garden, and even today this beautiful and historical garden that is reminiscent of different historical periods of Iran is the only place in this town that is internationally registered. Kashan’s Fin garden is one of the most fascinating and beautiful examples of the Persian garden, and since it is located on one of the hundred-year-old historical concourses of Iran, it attracted quite a lot of attention, especially during the Safavid, Zand, and Qajar dynasties. Later on, we will discuss its history, architecture, special features, and also Irantrawell’s suggestions.
Kashan’s Fin garden history
There are different theories as to the time of construction of the Fin garden, but the fact of the matter is that the history of this garden is of two parts. Pre and post Safavid dynasty which ruled Iran about 500 years ago. Before the Safavid dynasty an earthquake destroys the garden and its structures, and the great king Abbas decides to resurrect the garden and make it to what he thought it deserved to be. And so a little farther from where the old garden was, whose remains can still be seen today, he decided to build a garden with unique features and architecture. He decided to build a dam on the upper side of the new garden and repair the distance between the two gardens so that it can be used for holding rituals or games such as polo. Based on a theory, Sheik Bahae is the one to whom the architecture of this garden is attributed, and based on another theory Ghiaseddin Jamshid Kashani designed the cornerstone of this garden in such a way that after being overlooked in different periods and eras of Iran, it still performs well. More specifically, we can point to the water management system of this garden which on its own is truly a architectural masterpiece.
This garden endured a couple more earthquakes during the Zand dynasty, and by the order of Karim Khan Zand was repaired and new parts were added to it.
During the Qajar dynasty, especially during the rule of second and third kings of this dynasty namely Fath-Ali Shah and Mohammad Shah, this garden attracted more attention and came under repair and again new parts were added to it. Numerous painting are in the garden which belong to this era, and some beautiful structures were built in this period. Although after these two kings and as the central government weakened, this garden got far from its heyday and near the end of this period became the arena for outlaws and many of its parts were destroyed, but after it was nationally registered in 1314 (Solar), and during the Pahlavi dynasty repairs were resumed and attention was directed towards it once again, and eventually in 1380 (Solar) was officially registered in UNESCO.
The architecture of Kashan’s Fin garden
When you step into the old Fin garden, at first glance the trees, cedar trees the age of some surpasses 500 years, and the stream of water attract your attention. You can see the age of each tree on a little plaque which has been placed on them. The watering system is yet another fascinating thing in this garden which makes water flow into this garden, as blood runs through our veins and all over our bodies, and give new life and spirit to the architectural space of the garden. The second thing that can be said about this garden is its structures and edifices, which at first were designed in perfect symmetry, just like all the other structures belonging to the Safavid dynasty, but in the later periods as they went through alterations and the fact that new parts were added, they mostly lost their symmetry.
The life of this garden depends on the Soleymanie spring, and if you take water away from this structure, it does not have much else to offer, and it was the art and grace of its architects and designers who were able to use the gift of water in the best way possible and that they were able to have the most interaction with this stuff of life through their architectural masterpieces. Boiling dock, fountains, docks, and siphons, these all are indicative of the efficient use of the water’s kinetic energy, its stillness and its flush which are in harmony with the environment and architectural elements of this garden.
Safavid Dynasty Kooshk
This structure which is also known as the Abbasid soofe, was built around the year 986 (Solar) by the order of Shah Abbas and the endeavor on the part of Agha Khezr Nahavandi, Kashan’s governor at the time, in the center of the garden and in front of the main gate. This edifice used to have 4 stories, the two top stories being shaped like gazebos, but in the earthquake that occurred in the year 1156 (Solar) it underwent serious damages, and through the process of repairing only two stories were rebuilt.
At the entrance of the building you can see some light colored paintings which along with the paintings inside the building are the work of Reza Mosavvar Kashi. The works by this artist fascinated Shah Abbas so much so that after seeing some samples of his work in the garden, he took him to Isfahan to paint the paintings of Alighapoo and Chehel Sotoun, and it was there that he became known as Reza Abbasi.
The hole in the middle of the building’s dock, which is about two meters deep, has a ceramic pipe which looks like the neck of a camel or the letter s. The shape of this pipe makes water come out with more momentum and make the dock look like a spring. Because of this very mechanism, this edifice is also called the camel neck.
Special features of the Kashan’s Fin garden
In order to take a look at the special features of this garden, we must first point to some facts:
Unique water engineering in this complex:
Boiling dock: There are 160 holes in the dock each of which acts a flower on a carpet. The function of these was so that if the first hole was acting as a fountain the adjacent hole would act in the suction of water inward. So there were 80 fountains and 80 suction holes and because of this the output and input of water was leveled so water wouldn’t overflow.
The dock of twelve fountains: The fountains in this dock are indicative of its Iranian structure and its grand architecture from olden times when without any external force the water would take vertical form of flow. No external energy was enforced to make the water flow in these fountains and only by the help of the law of surface difference and earth’s natural curvature this would be possible. Under all the streams and around all the docks, there are ceramic pipes one meter deep in the ground which are on one end connected to the main docks and from the other end they are blocked at the end of the streams. The water is introduced from one end and because the other end is blocked it shoots out of the fountains. Because of the earth’s curvature and in order to divide the pressure the diameter of the pipe has been chosen to be in different sizes in different parts of it. The beginning portion of the pipe has a wider diameter compared to the end of it and so by dividing the pressure, the water shoots out of the fountains uniformly.
Soleymanie spring: One of the perplexing features of this spring is that the volume of its water is not dependent on the annual rain or showery and dry seasons, and the volume of its water even when there is drought stays the same about 360 liters per seconds. Another fascinating feature of this spring is that the temperature of its water stays the same all throughout the year at about 25 degrees Celsius. The interesting thing is that in winter when the environment of the spring is cold it appears to warm because of its higher temperature, and in the summer and with the hot environment is appears to be cool.
Special historical events
- The death of Amir Kabir and Shah Safi.
- Coronation of Shah Abbas II.
- The celebration of the establishment of the Safavid dynasty by the Shah Ismail Safavid himself.
The first thing you need to know is that from the beginning the road from Kashan to Fin garden is known as the Amir Kabir street and it is filled with restaurants and food stands, and it is better for you to schedule you trip there in a way that you visit the garden in the afternoon and allot about 2 hours of your time for this visit. If you are interested in historical subjects, on your way to the garden do not forget about the Sialk hills, and before getting there spend one hour visiting this historic hill which is one of the oldest habitation places of human beings in Iran. After visiting the garden you can pay a visit to the ice cream place which is near the spring which has created an enjoyable atmosphere for visitors, and also on your way back visit the Imamzade Shazde Ibrahim shrine we assure you that you’ll enjoy it there.
Access way and visiting information
- Address: Isfahan province, central region of the city of Kashan, the little Fin Kasbah in the Fin village, Amir Kabir street
- Visiting time: All days except for religious holidays.
- Visiting hours: 9 to 16:30
- Visiting cost: 20000 Toman