Mirror Palace in Iran's Yazd
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Mirror Palace (Qasr-e Ayeneh) or Museum of Mirrors and Lighting (Ayeneh Va Roshanaei Museum) with a total area of 81,740 m2 and an underpinning of 837 m2, is located in a beautiful garden in Iran's central city of Yazd.
This building has been the private inn of a rich man, made by Saraf Zadeh, in 1941 (1320) The Mirror Palace was mainly meant for hosting private ceremonies and catering to guests of royal family. After revolution it was confiscated by the order of Mohamad Sadooghi, and it changed to museum in 1998.
The big outside courtyard, centered with a shallow pool, does wonders for the reflection effects. With rooms and corridors brilliantly decorated with fine stucco, plaster and mirror work, the eyes have minimal time to rest.
The architectural style is traditional-European, including rooms facing the pool, bedrooms, predominantly part, spring house, rooms connected to it and services room. It also includes an atrium-like hall. The rooms facing the pool, the ‘king’s seat’, the ‘guest reception’ and the famous ‘basin room’ are all a part of the hybrid-architecture.
Wall to ceiling of the Mirror & Lighting Museum is adorned in beautifully crafts plasterwork, wall paintings and, of course, mirror work. Among them, the Basin Room is the most popular and most magnificently decorated. The beautiful decoration of spring house consists of mirror work of ceiling, wall paintings, and latticed doors, all of which are made entirely by Iranian architects.
The spring house paintings were done on canvas and then installed on the walls. The doors and windows are wooden and latticed with colorful glass. Maybe the Howzkhaneh or Pool House has the most decorations in the structure.
Some fine examples of mirrors and lamps are on display, and a photo booth, featuring opposing mirrors, provides for the ultimate selfie. Despite its name, the museum's highlight is neither mirror nor lamp but a superb piece of plaster work in the shape of a curtain. It took the 46-year-old master craftsman four years to complete.
This museum is the only museum in the subject of light in Iran; it includes a variety of shades, candlesticks, fat-burning, burning candles, oil burners and electric items. The objects in this museum are made of potter, glass, brass, copper and bronze.
Alongside the lightings, 124 mirrors of different shapes, sizes and uses from different Iranian palaces can also be found at the museum – mostly having belonged to the royalty of various empires. The oldest artifacts of this sort date all the back to the ancient Sassanid Period!
Dating back to about 2000 BC, however, another small collection of items can also be found here. The hand written scriptures, calligraphic collections, weapons, coins, books, stamps, locks, a bridle (of the second millennium BC.), samples of Lurestan's bronze, etc have been left behind by the late Seyed Hossain Heydari (a Yazdi collector).
Other treasures in the museum include a collection of matches from around the world, old lamps appropriate to a city dedicated to light, and some ancient artefacts recovered from smugglers.
Occasionally, in the spring house of the museum some paintings or photography of contemporary artists are exhibited.
The Mirror and Lighting Museum of Yazd was registered on September 2, 1999 in the National Iranian Book List. Visiting this museum is one of the most important things to do in Yazd.
All of these stunning decorative elements have come hand in hand in creating a truly precious Persian Palace, indeed fit for royalty. Strolling through the different areas may sometimes leave tourists wondering about the mysterious and luxurious lives that were lived here!
Source: Untold Persia