Introduction to Tabatabaei House
Kashan is a traditional and ancient city that is famous for its remarkable rose waters to tourists. The city is full of valuable historical monuments. One of its most prominent tourist attractions is its historic mansions, where are considered the exquisite works in Iran due to their unique architecture. Tabatabaei Historical House is one of the magnificent historical houses in Kashan, known as the bride of Persian houses and as one of the original Persian-Islamic houses. A building where art and architecture have created an incredible combination will get you more acquainted with the ancestors’ lifestyle and the architecture when visiting the house.
History of Tabatabaei House
Tabatabaei House is one of the most leading buildings of the Qajar period. Such a distinctive building was constructed in 1835 by Seyed Jafar Tabatabaei, a famous and wealthy businessman of that period in Kashan. He chose the brilliant architect of Kashan, Master Ali Maryam, a prominent artist of the Qajar period, the builder of Amin Al-Dowleh House, and some other residences in Kashan, as the architect due to his art and profession to complete a majestic mansion in 10 years. Mirza Abolhassan Ghaffari Kashani, nicknamed Sani Al-Mulk, a great artist and painter of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar court, supervised the plastering and painting work, which added to the value and prestige of the Tabatabaei Mansion. The house has been renovated several times over the years.
Architecture of Tabatabaei House
Tabatabaei house is in Sultan Amir Ahmad neighborhood of Kashan. Since Kashan is one of the desert areas, the building was architectured in the garden pit method, slightly below ground level, as a result of which an increase in earthquake resistance and insulation of the house against sound has emerged, considered as a feature of such planning type. In ancient times, habitations in hot and dry areas had a pit in the middle of the central courtyard where water flowed; this is a technique of architecture, leading to the aqueduct’s easy access. The houses built in such a method contain a floor in the ground. Furthermore, due to religious and Islamic beliefs, the house is designed in an introverted and veiled scheme; hence the house interior is not visible from the outside. The house embraces three main parts, the inner, the outer, and the crew section. At the beginning of the house entrance, there are 20 steps, after which we reach a large and bright courtyard, known as the outer courtyard, and there are different parts around it.
Inner Section of This House
This part was the residence of the Tabatabaei family, simpler than the rest of the house, is between two courtyards, including a five-door room in the center, a porch, and a garden.
The most glorious part of the house is Shahneshin. The seven-door room is a place for entertaining guests, contains a lot of glamour and grandeur with unique details and decorations. The royal room is also known as the Mirror Halls due to its many mirrors. Paintings, plastering, Muqarnas, and latticed windows are the embellishments of this section, and earrings are on both sides of the royal room.
Tabatabaei house possesses 40 rooms. The rooms of the winter section include a short two layers roof and a fireplace inside. The summer rooms are designed away from the sunshine.
There are two spacious cellars in Tabatabaei house, located below ground level. The temperature is relatively cooler and milder due to the moisture that comes from the pond water. So in summer, the temperature of this ambiance is 20 degrees cooler than in other parts of the house. In addition to the outer and inner space of the house, there is also a section for crew living, includes a kitchen, courtyard, several rooms, and a cellar. Moreover, the house water was supplied by Dolatabadi and Nasrabadi aqueducts. The whole Tabatabaei house is full of eye-catching plastering and mirror work. The use of coloured glass has given the building an extraordinary visual harmony that you can feel the taste and art of the architect with all your being in every part of the house. The colours used in the interior details are influenced by the hot and dry climate of the region. As the residence owner was a carpet businessman, the architect was inspired by Persian carpets and Islamic flowers patterns while designing the plasterings; ultimately, the embellishments were executed gloriously. Preserving the originality of Persian and Islamic architecture and design following the specific culture and climate of the region is one of the features that make Kashan Tabatabaei Historical House a unique historical mansion in Iran.