UNESCO adds Persian garden to World Heritage List

June 29, 2011

TEHRAN -- The Persian garden was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on Monday.

The decision to register the property on the list was made during the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee, which opened in Paris on June 19. The meeting comes to an end today.
The committee composed of members from 21 countries discussed the profiles of nine Iranian gardens to add the property to the list.
Information about the gardens of Pasargad and Eram in Fars Province, Pahlebanpur and Dowlatabad in Yazd Province, Fin and Chehel Sotun in Isfahan Province, Akbarieh in South Khorasan Province, Abbasabad in Mazandaran Province, Shahzadeh Mahan (also known as Shazdeh) in Kerman Province were previously submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Center.
These gardens exemplify the diversity of Persian garden designs that evolved and adapted to different climate conditions while retaining principles that have their roots in the times of Cyrus the Great, king of Persian from c. 558–529 BC.
The Persian garden was conceived to symbolize Eden and the four Zoroastrian elements of sky, earth, water and plants. Water plays an important role in the ornamentation of the gardens.
Dating back to different periods, the gardens consist of buildings, pavilions and walls, as well as sophisticated irrigation systems. They have influenced the art of garden design as far as India and Spain.
Iranian sites on the World Heritage List
1. Chogha Zanbil, Khuzestan Province, 1979
2. Persepolis, Fars Province, 1979
3. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan Province, 1979
4. Takht-e Soleiman, West Azerbaijan Province, 2003
5. Pasargadae, Fars Province, 2004
6. The city of Bam and its Cultural Landscape, Kerman Province, 2004
7. Soltanieh Dome, Zanjan Province, 2005
8. Bisotun, Kermanshah Province, 2006
9. Historical churches of St. Thaddeus and St. Stephanus, West Azerbaijan Province, and Dzordzor (Zorzor), East Azerbaijan Province, 2008
10. Shushtar’s ancient water system, Khuzestan Province, 2009
11. Mausoleum of Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardebili, Ardebil Province, 2010
12. Tabriz Bazaar, East Azerbaijan Province, 2010
13. Persian Garden (nine gardens from the provinces of Fars, Yazd, Isfahan, South Khorasan, Mazandaran and Kerman), 2011
Photo: A group of Iranian tourists visits the Chehel Sotun Garden in the city of Isfahan in an undated photo. (Jaam-e Jam/Arshideh Shahangi)