Ranking among the finest traditional Iranian gardens, the fin garden in southwest Kashan, Isfahan province is the oldest extant garden with natural springs in Iran, registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The garden is famous for a historic event that happened there in which the Qajarid reformist premier Amir Kabir was murdered in a plot hatched by Nassereddin Shah’s men in 1852.
Founded during the Safavid period in the 16th century, this historical Persian garden covers 2.3 hectares with a main yard surrounded by ramparts with four circular towers, combining architectural features of the Safavid, Zandiyeh and Qajar periods.
Designed for Shah Abbas I, this lush garden is renowned as being the very epitome of the Persian gardens with all their elements. It contains various old oak trees, tall cypresses, pools, abundant water-supply with numerous spouts and an old historical bathing-house.
The structures of this garden are an entrance portal, the Safavid and Qajarid sections, the elite chambers, the national museum on the western side exhibiting impressive textiles, ceramics and calligraphy, the large and small baths and the library in the eastern sector of the garden.
Passing through the entrance and going along the gushing water canal surrounded by nice greenery, visitors get to the central pavilion called Shotorgalu-ye Savafi -- a two-storey construction overlooking the garden which includes beautiful paintings and an amazing stucco calligraphy inscription. Furthermore, in the southeastern corner, there is a large pavilion called Shotorgalu-ye Qajari adorned with precious paintings and marvelous marble stones.
The garden’s aqua system has been rendered special attention. In keeping with many of the Persian gardens of this era, the Fin Garden employs great water features. These were fed from the Soleimaniyeh Spring on a hillside behind the garden, and the water pressure was such that a large number of circulating pools and fountains could be constructed without the need for mechanical pumps.
In her book on Gardens of Persia, British garden writer Penelope Hobhouse comments that the Fin garden can hold its own “with the great gardens of the world”. American writer Donald Newton Wilber wrote, “Fin merits close attention because it is an admirable example of the monumental royal garden”.
Due to having the pleasant scent of nature, the relaxing sound of water, and wonderful architecture, visiting the Fin Garden lasts long in visitors’ memoirs as one of the most beautiful historical gardens of the Middle East and the world.