Marble Palace (Tehran)

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Marble Palace
General information
Architectural styleEclectic architecture, combining Eastern and Western building features
Town or city Tehran
Country Iran
Construction started1934
Completed1937;82 years ago (1937)
ClientReza Shah
Technical details
Size35,462 square meters (land area)
Design and construction
ArchitectFathallah Firdaws
EngineerJoseph Leon

The Marble Palace (Persian : کاخ مرمر, Kākh-e Marmar) is one of the historic buildings and royal residences in Tehran, Iran. It is located in the city centre, [1] but the location was a quiet quarter of Tehran when the palace was erected. [2]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Tehran City in Iran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.



The Marble Palace was built between 1934 and 1937. [3] It was constructed on the orders of Reza Shah by French engineer Joseph Leon and Iranian architect Fat'hollah Firdaws. [4] It was originally built to host official functions and receptions. [2]

Reza Shah Shah of the Imperial State of Iran

Reza Shah Pahlavi, commonly known as Reza Shah, was the Shah of Iran from 15 December 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on 16 September 1941.

It was used by Reza Shah and then his son Mohammad Reza Shah as their residence. [5] Reza Shah and his fourth spouse Esmat Dowlatshahi lived at the palace with their five children until Reza Shah's exile in 1941. [6] Reza Shah signed his letter of abdication at the palace in September 1941. [7]

Esmat Dowlatshahi

Esmat Dowlatshahi was an Iranian royal and the fourth and last wife of Reza Shah.

The palace hosted significant royal events during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah. It was one of his two significant palaces in addition to Golestan Palace. [8] The palace was identified with the Shah's persona in the 1950s. [4] The palace hosted all three marriage ceremonies of the Shah. The Iranian wedding ceremony of the Shah and his first spouse, Princess Fawzia, was held at the palace in 1939. [9] It was their residence until their divorce in 1945. [10]

Golestan Palace palace

The Golestan Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran's capital city, Tehran.

In October 1950, the betrothal ceremony and in February 1951, the wedding ceremony of the Shah and his second spouse, Soraya Esfendiary, were held at the palace. [11] [12] Both betrothal and marriage of the Shah to his third wife, Farah Diba, also occurred at the palace. [13] [14] Shahnaz Pahlavi, daughter of the Shah and Princess Fawzia, also wed Ardeshir Zahedi at the palace in October 1957. [15] In addition, the palace hosted the Shah's 48th birthday party. [16]

Shahnaz Pahlavi Princess of Iran

Shahnaz Pahlavi is the first child of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and his first wife, Princess Fawzia of Egypt.

Ardeshir Zahedi Iranian diplomat

Ardeshir Zahedi, GCVO is a former Iranian diplomat who served as the country's foreign minister (1966-1971) and its ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s.

Besides these events the Shah also survived an assassination attempt at the palace on 10 April 1965, perpetrated by an Iranian soldier. [17] [18] Following this event the palace was no longer in use [1] and was made a museum in 1970. [19]

Style and technical features

The image of Marble Palace on 100 rials banknote Banknote of second Pahlavi - 100 rials (rear).jpg
The image of Marble Palace on 100 rials banknote

The design of the two story palace was first developed by Ostad Jafar Khan. [19] [20] However, final sketch was produced by Ostad Haidar Khan. [20] The overall architectural style of the palace is eclectic, combining Eastern, including Qajar architectural features, and Western architectural styles. [5] [21]

The palace is surrounded by a garden. [22] The external surface of the palace is of white marble. [1] [2] The stone entrance of the palace where two statues of Achaemenid soldiers holding arrows were erected particularly reflects eclectic architectural style. [21] These statues were carved by Iranian artist Jafar Khan. [21] The palace has other gates which were made by local craftsmen from different provinces. [23] The palace is covered by a huge dome that is a replica of the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque in Isfahan. [4] [24] The dome is covered by arabesque tiles with scroll-like patterns. [22]

The internal area of the palace is highly formal with heavily carved doors and extremely high ceilings. [22] The palace has a very large reception room where mirrors are used like in many mosques and holy shrines in the country. [25] The room is known as "Hall of Mirrors". [8] The interior of the palace was furnished by rich fabrics and rugs. [2] Decorations were made by Iranian architect Hossein Lorzadeh. [19] [20] The tiles used at the palace were produced by Ostad Yazdi and paintings by Ostad Behzad. [19]

The land area of the palace is 35,462 square metres (3.5 ha; 8.8 acres), 2,870 square metres (0.3 ha; 0.7 acres) of which is used for residence. [5] [19]

Current usage

After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the palace was used as a museum until 1981. [26] Then it was given to the expediency discernment council. [26] Local people reported that the palace had been used by the senior politicians in the Islamic Republic of Iran. [27] The historical items used at the palace, including furniture, are being exhibited at the decorative arts museum in Tehran. [28]

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Coordinates: 35°41′21″N51°24′06″E / 35.689072°N 51.401789°E / 35.689072; 51.401789