THE PARS MUSEM
The octagonal structures, which is currently the Fars Museum, is presently one of the fine and delightful structures of Karím Khán Zand. This was inherent his own time amidst an incredible garden twice as expansive as the present one.
It was most firmly and smoothly built in a one of a kind and alluring plan, when the Zand ruler was administering. Also, was utilized for gatherings, levees and celebration festivities, and after his demise, it turned into his tomb. Be that as it may, shockingly after his passing Àghá Muhammad khan, the head of the qájár family, and organizer of line of the name, despite the fact that he had been raised in Karím Khán`s company, through his malevolent air and unreasonable craving and ill will towards Karím Khán conveyed his body to Tehran and covered it at the passageway to the Gulistan royal residence.
So there was no data about this building being a tomb until the year 1938, when the author was accountable for the repairs of the building and the rebuilding of it works of art and enrichments. While supplanting the stone ground surface of the eastern recess a vacant grave was found, in which there were to be seen just a couple bit of calfskin (bulghar), which had been wrapṕed round the body. Therefore of examination it was reasoned this was the unfilled grave of Kárím Khán. The grave is precisely under the glass indicate case, which contains Karím Khán `s sword. It is very likely that tree recesses were arranged or planned as grave for the childrenand close individuals from his regal family.
The garden of the Museum when initially laid out was known as the Bágh-i-Nazar, and was twice as huge as it is presently, parts of it having been taken, for the eastern and southern roads. Of the four incredible stone tanks having a place with the building three still remain, yet the colossal tankon the northern side, comparing to the long one on the southern side, since it hindered the Zand Avenue, was devastated, and its stone checking was utilized to make four tanks for the Mausoleum of Háfez.
Amidst the tanks there are stone wellsprings which were associated with an extensive store arranged in a high position behind National Library, and the water playing in the wellsprings used to ascend to five meters and the sky is the limit from there. The supply and the well adjacent to despite everything it remain.
Keeping in mind the end goal to show how solid the structures of Karím Khán were, it won't be unseemly to specify this point which the author himself watched. Whon the control stones many meters long of the immense tank were being exchanged with much trouble to the Mausoleum of Háfez, we wanted for the fortifying of the structure to develop comparable water channels for the new tanks under the wellsprings as had been made in the times of Karím Khán. With awesome inconvenience and use of time, and with the assistance of crowbars, long iron spikes and sledge hammers we went down through twelve layers of prepared block and cement under the stone banners of the tank base, and still did not achieve the channel passing on water to the wellsprings. Also, it turned out to be evident that with a specific end goal to reinforce the tanks, notwithstanding the layers of stone, more than twelve layers of consumed block set in a mortar that had swung to concrete had been laid. Also, this is the reason, after around 190 years, and the event of brutal seismic tremors no sort of imperfection has showed up in the establishments of any of Karím Khán `s structures or tanks. The outside of the building has eight faience secured surfaces beneath and eight above. In the middle of each of these is a little block surmounted by spandrels in faience. The parts which had fallen were reestablished and repaired by skilled and master Shiráz experts in the years 1936 and 1937 in the style, hues and outline of the first. Over the for extraordinary windows there are likewise spandrels in sensitive faience, two of which show Soloman on his position of royalty, and two are chasing scenes. There is additionally an awesome band of hued tile running the entire route round the building just underneath the rooftop. The building remains on a wide stone socle made out of substantial single pieces of stone, and it is entered by four stone stairways of three stages each removed of a solitary square of stone.
Inside the building alabaster tank draws in consideration, and there are four niches, and four little rooms possessing the four corners between the anteroom. There is a marble avoiding round the recesses and rooms, and the rooftop is enriched and painted with wonderful and appealing plans in the style and time of Kárim Khán. The compositions were reestablished in the years 1936 and 1937, when the building was set up for the motivations behind a Museum. The wide breaks in the upper piece of the building are loaded with canvases having a place with the time of the building, and the greatest number of as could be obtained were bought and set in position. This building has been relegated incidentally as an exhibition hall. After the new Museum on the west of the garden has been constructed, the old things displayed will be exchanged there, and just articles having a place with Karím Khán will be kept here. We now continue, to portray a portion of the things kept in the historical center.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PARS MUSEUM
Although so far no special building has been erected as the Pars Museum, and the present building is small, and cannot contain all the articles that should be exhibited still there are many ancient and precious things in the display cases, belonging to the pre- Islamic ages down to the nineteenth century, a description of which would require a separate book, but the writer briefly alludes to them here.
At the entrance to the Museum a large tank carved out of one piece of stone, containing more than a cubic meter of water, and standing on a base surrounded by flowers and grass, attracts attention.
The carvings adorning the sides of this tank consist of verse in the beautiful Suls character, and raised floral designs exquisitely carved. The tank belonged to the ancient Masjed-i-Jámè, and was brought to the Museum from there.
On the either side of the Museum a few statues and craving from Persepolis and examples of the bases and capitals of the columns there have been placed. Since the reader will see better and larger pieces in Persepolis, and will also read about them in the Guide to Persepolis, we refrain from further comment.
In the Museum itself, there are four alcoves, in the walls of each of which four display cases have been inserted. Another display case also stands in the center of each alcove.
1_ In the Southern Alcove, facing the long tank between the Museum and the Library in the glass cases on the right four extremely ancient Qur`áns written in Cufic have been placed in some inlaid mosaic boxes, which are themselves of great antiquity and historical interest. One of the Qur`áns which is older than them all, and was brought from the Shrine of the Sháh Cheragh, is in the handwriting of 'Ali, Muhammad `s son-in-law; another one is of the ninth Christian century; a third belongs to the twelfth, and the fourth to the sixteenth corresponding to the Safavid period. The glazed vessels in the two glass cases on the left are from the seljứk period, that is the twelfth century, which were discovered at Rai near Tehran, and others are of the eighteenth century. Weapons and chain mail of the Safavid and Zand periods that is of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries have been collected in the glass case in the center of this alcove.
2_The Eastern Alcove. In the two glass cases on the right some very fine article in metal of the Kassite age, that is the first pre-Christian millennium, discovered in Luristán, have been placed, and of the two show cases on the left, one displays simple articles of glazed ware of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and the other metal vessels very finely carved of the safavid period corresponding to the 16th and 17th centuries.
The case standing in the center of this alcove contains Karím Khán own sword. In the upper part of the steel blade four copulate have been chased, and filled with a gold inset. A water-pipe (qalián), made of gold, silver and steel, decorated with enamel, and a number of boxes and pencases and fine inlaid work (khátamkárí), the product of the Shiráz craftsmen and skilled workmen of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries also attract attention. The tomb of Karím Khán Zand, as already stated, was beneath this show case.
On the walls of this part of the Museum, as well as in the other alcoves, fine examples of calligraphy, coloured pictures and etchings of famous Shiráz painters specially those of Lutf ` Ali Khán, the well. Known Shiráz artist of a variety of the 19th century have been hung, and pictures of a variety scenes in oils, which were originally designed for the purpose, have been placed in the upper recesses.
3_The Northern Alcove. In the two show cases on the right and the center one pottery from the excavations at Sáveh belonging to the eleventh and twelfth centuries have been placed, and glazed.
Vessels of the Safavid period which were die, covered in Sáveh. In the other two show cases metal articles of the 16th century attract attention. In a corner of this alcove a certain beautifully painted with soft light colours belonging to the Safavid period, and a painted picture showing the Prophet Moses asking the daughter of Shu'aib is marriage can be seen. Shu'aib `s two daughters, the younger of whom Moses sought to marry, appear above his head. It is common knowledge that Moses served Shu'aib faithfully as a shepherd for eight years that he might gain in marriage one of his daughters. One picture shows a battle between the Safavi Shah Ismail and the `Uthmán Turks, and another picture opposite it shows the prophet Abraham about to offer his son as a scacriface. One angle has seized Abraham`s uplifted, knife and another has brought forward a sheep to be scacrificed instead of the boy.
4_The Western Alcove. In the two showcases on the right there is pottery from the excavations at the city of Estakhr, belonging to the ninth and tenth centuries, and there is glazed pottery found at Sáveh. In the third case there are copper vessels belonging to the eleventh and twelfth centuries from the excavation at Rai, and below them a bronze mortar and brass door knocker, and also a stone mortar of the Safavid period. And in the fourth show case in the upper section there are glazed vessels of the tenth century discovered in Mázandárán, and in the lower division vessels similar to those found in Rai and Sáveh.
Two curtains of the Safavid period in soft colouring and beautiful design, and in the upper recesses four pictures in oils, each of which shows a different event can be seen. One is of Joseph and Zulaikha the Egyptian, and another is of Shaikh San`an and a Christian girl.
In the central showcase vessels and coins of the 17th and 18th centuries found during excavation in `Iráq and Káshán are preserved.
The display case in the middle of the Museum placed over the marble tank contains thirty sections of the Qur`án written by the hand of Yahyá AlJamáli sứfí, the famous calligraphist in the time of Shah Sheikh Abu`l Hassan ĺnjứ, which were written in the years 1344 and 1345 by direction of the Queen Táshí Khátứn, mother of that Shah.
In two side showcase there are two large Qur`áns from the Qur`án Gate, which some believe to be in the handwriting of Sultán Sháhrukh, the grandson of Tímurlane of the 15th century. In the upper and lower parts there are other sections of the Qur`án written in Cufic, and there are fine gold embellishments at the opening of the Surahs, and in the borders surrounding them. Ab`ul fath Ebráhím Sultán presented this book to the shrine of the Shah Cherágh in the year 1433.
The painted picture over the entrance way shows a battle in progress between Náder Shah Afshár and the Indian King Muhammad Shah, and another great pictures shows Karím Khán smoking the water-pipe in the company of his vazirs, princes and chieftains.
In the small room opposite the entrance there are a few fine inscriptions, and the prayer niche (mehráb) in tiles of an ancient mosque. As it was not fitting to retain this in its original position, it was transferred to the Museum, and is preserved in this room. Exquisite design have been painted on the marble skirting of this room, which were restored in 1936 by the father of the writer, one of the well-known scholars of Shiráz.
In the room at the north-west corner a prayer niche in an intricate mosaic pattern with arabesques in glazed tiles belonging to ruined mosque has been placed.
At the conclusion of this description, we deem it our duty to recall two leading personalities in our educational world, to whose endeavours the establishment and repair of the Museum and collection of its contents are due. One is the former Minister of Education, Dr Ali`Asghar Hekmat Shirázi, a scholar of renown, who took steps to secure the transfer of this large garden from the Military to the Educational authorities, and also provided the funds for the surrounding wall and iron railing, and the restoration of the exterior glazed tile work. And the other is the late General `Ali Riází, former Director of Education in Fars, who faithfully carried out the work with great taste and keen interest, and with the expenditure of much effort obtained pictures and article for exhibition. God rest him! The writer of this book was also in charge of the work of repair, and is proud to have carried it to completion.
One of the great of pride to the city of Shiráz is this that she has reared in her bosom two such noble sons as Sa`adí and Háfez, the fame of whose words has spread round the world, and whose choice saying sweeten many a discourse and discussion. And now the dust of their tomb is the love-charm for the mystic, and their mausoleum a place of pilgrimage of the traveler. No day passes but disciples of the schools of Sa`adí and Háfez bring to mind and mouth some line from these two masters of word and wisdom to confirm and add weight to their own remarks.
Scholars of Iran are mostly of the opinion that the four pillars of Persian Literature are Firdausi, belong to Shiráz. For this reason the writer counts himself honoured to have first seen the light in the birthplace of Sa`adí and Háfez, and deems it necessary in the course of describing the tombs of these two famous Shiráz poets, to give a brief description of their life, and a translation of few of their verses.