Introduction to Sanandaj Museum
Sanandaj is a historical city with a pleasant climate, where is the capital of Kurdistan province. The charming city, in addition to delightful weather, embraces many historical and recreational spots. Museums are known as the historical identity of each city, so to get acquainted with the several thousand years of civilization in Persia, you can visit the Sanandaj Museum in the historical and magnificent Salaar Saeid Mansion.
History of Sanandaj Museum
Sanandaj Museum refers to Naser al-Din Shah Qajar’s rule was first built in 1867 by the order of the Kurdistan’s Judge, named Mullah Lotfollah Shaykh al-Islam. He lived in the mentioned place for a while; After his death, his descendants divided the building into two separate spaces and sold it. The Habibi family was the new owner of the inner part, and a person named Abdul Hamid Khan Sanandaji, nicknamed Salaar Saeid, was the owner of the external section. Salaar Saeid handed over his mansion to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, and in 1972, the ministry decided to renovate the building during a project. After four years, Salaar Saeid Mansion became the Sanandaj Museum, gradually filled with tools and objects discovered during the excavations of historical sites in Kurdistan, and became where it is today in Sanandaj. The museum contains valuable works from different historical periods of Persia and welcomes those interested in Persian history and culture.
Architecture of Sanandaj Museum
Sanandaj Museum, with the characteristics of a Qajar building, consists of an inner, an external mansion, and a courtyard. The structure outside the ceremonial hall is so attractive containing stained glass windows that have given a unique look to the space. The pool house and storage are other external parts of the house. The basement is designed in the form of a stunning pool house with a domed roof. The materials used in the construction of the mansion are brick, wood, and stone. Other delicate embellishments in the building are the wooden and glass decorations of the main hall’s large sash windows.
The works discovered in Sanandaj Museum are classified into four sections: prehistoric, historical, Islamic period, and contemporary display. The first floor, which is the royal hall of the mansion, is dedicated to prehistoric works up to the end of the Sassanid period and is decorated with exquisite plasterwork and Haftdari sash(a primary spatial element of Iranian vernacular architecture), and magnificent artistic mirror works.
There are valuable objects in the mentioned section (Royal hall or Shahneshin in Persian) that have been discovered in different parts of Kurdistan province, especially Baneh city. Several containers also belong to the city of Kangavar. Among the significant objects in the section are earthenware burners (a kind of lamp with an earthenware or metal container, in which tallow or castor oil was poured instead of oil and a cotton wick was placed inside to light it) discovered from Baneh.
The principal part of the Sanandaj Museum or the historical era section shows most objects dedicated to the Zivieh Archaeological Hill excavations, the most important ancient site of Kurdistan province. You can also see gold, bronze, stone, pottery, and even glass objects there. Burial jars used for the funeral from the Neolithic to the Parthian period are among the marvelous works in the historical part of the museum. These extensive jars are pea-coloured and are maintained outdoors in the museum.
Other works in this section are from the Parthian and Sassanid periods, including various glassware, pottery, and coins. Also, objects made of ivory and bones and artifacts obtained from the Karaftu caves of Sanandaj are among the artifacts kept in this section. The second floor of the museum is also architecturally remarkable and contains large rooms and a charming porch. This section is dedicated to the works of different Islamic periods from the beginning of Islam to the Qajar period. The objects are divided into two parts: pottery and metal.
In the pottery section, you will see fascinating objects from the artists of the Islamic period. These objects include jugs, bowls, containers, plates, statues, and rhytons (one of the symbols of power in ancient Iran is the “rhyton” or golden cups, which were made in the shape of various animals), all of which are professional artifacts. The metal objects section showcases all kinds of bowls and containers, trays, pots, and tallow lamps. The Islamic section displays other objects such as various seals and coins, different copper and silver utensils.
In the museum’s basement, where is the anthropology section, there is a stunning pool house. This section is unique in terms of architecture and has a domed roof with flashing bedspreads and mirrors. In the anthropology section, there are all the tools and instruments that have been common and practical in the citizens’ lifestyle, therefore, you can get acquainted with the cultural and social contexts of inhabitants living in different eras. This section shows foreign artifacts, the most important ones are glassware and bronze sculptures. The objects in this section are changed according to the museum programs. In addition to the indoor halls and their objects, many engravings, including tombstones and inscriptions, are kept outdoors.