North of Tehran, close to Tochal foothills and the green nature of Darband, Sa’dabad Complex, is an awesome eye-catching complex with one hundred eighty hectares of natural wood and springs, gardens, palaces, and summerhouses that dates back to the early Qajar dynasty as Iran’s iconic set of Early Modern history. The Complex was founded and developed by the kings of two prominent eras of early modern and modern times. Sa’dabad Complex is located at the foot of The Alborz Mountains, revealing a utopian corner inclusive of oxymoronic classic and modern lifestyle. Traditional aqueducts and greenhouses are amazingly situated in the neighborhood of modern roads and buildings. A dazzling river is the bonus of the Complex that passes through the very core of it. Although the Complex, with many different palaces, was the dwelling place of the kings in the past, during recent decades, Sa’dabad Complex has been turned into a museum that is elegant in Tehran and, of course, a unique one in Iran.
Palaces are the heart of the Sa’dabad Complex. They look like six jewels reflecting their own historical and cultural background stories. Nation Museum Palace, with its sparkling marble white frontage, also called the White Palace, is the greatest among all. It used to be the major palace of the great kings in the past, with beautiful artistic modeling on the roofs both by expert Russian and Persian plaster artists. Such impressive modeling has created a mixture of European/Persian styles in this part of the Complex. The White Palace has also been a splendid summer resort for international royal guests. The very entrance section of the palace reveals precious stonework, which is an exceptional artistic work of its kind. Other brilliant items of The White Palace include an antique tapestried work dating back to the seventeenth century, Rosenthal utensil sets, Moser Crystals, the precious painting of Lutzen Battle ( la Battaglia Di Lutzen”) by the famous Italian artist Falcone, and many selected pieces of Christian Dior brand.
The Green Palace is another part of the Sa’dabad Complex, which is the most stunning building in Iran. Its artistic construction is of paramount importance as it originally belonged to the Qajar period, which offers a unique Iranian style. The very special green color of the frontage stones is the reason for its fame. The stones are from the Khamseh mine in Zanjan province, fortified by lead and very strong against environmental changes. Artistic mirror works are glittering, and the chosen wood- works in Shiraz style have caused the Green Palace to look like Persepolis.
Other impressive palaces in Sa’dabad Complex, with significant functions and backgrounds, invite the onlookers to a rich cultural past. Royal Outfit Museum, Script and Writing Museum, Miniature Art Museum, Royal Guns Museum, Royal Kitchen Museum, Omidvar Brothers Museum, Nations’ Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Master Farshchian Museum, Water Museum, Royal Album Museum, Royal Utensil Museum, Royal Automobile Museum, and Army Museum, offer a variety of unique practical and artistic stuff that represent specific lifestyles of both traditional, pre-modern, early modern and modern Iran. Showing traditional and early modern techniques and tools related to water processing and production is just an example that the visitors could find in Water Museum.
An unexampled red-brick structure which was exclusively for the Qajar- style carriages and coachmen, stands to the appalled eyes of the visitors. The building has, surprisingly, the names of the first modern Iranian tourists (Omidvaar Brothers) on itself. The outstanding feature of the script museum is its style of architecture, which has given a bonus to the Sa’dabad Complex. The specialty lies in its transitional model of construction.
The exceptional beauty of the formal royal dresses is indeed the spectacular corner of the Royal Outfit museum. The black stones that sparklingly shine in the south angel of the Complex keep the artistic works of the Fine Arts Museum. Last but not least is the basement of the White Palace, which, like a colorful prism, reflects the culture and civilization of the nations around the world, from black Africa to the Far East and back again to the Mayans and Incas.
The sweet and pleasing site of the Sa’dabad complex is the greenery area with its rare shrubs and saplings. The dominant vegetation is the classic view of the age-old poplar trees that remind the onlookers of the nature paintings of the Renaissance. Other pretty plants like silver and golden Japanese allspices, Indian Chestnuts, fragrant Bo Leafs, water Pine trees, and mesmerizing purple plants do hypnotize the viewers.
Generally, there are more than two hundred types of flora in the garden area of the complex majority of which are hundred years old. The Persian fruit trees around the palaces create a heaven-like picture during the fall and spring seasons. In addition to this fabulous perspective, the Complex also has several colorful greenhouses with rare flowers of idolized beauty. Specific Roses, unique Lillis, Multicolored Galilian flowers, flashy Gilly flowers, and Persian Chrysanthemums are among its dazzling set. A surprising scene is next to the greenhouse is a Banana croft with a vibrant yellow view inviting the awestruck observers. Old and newly-made aqueducts are used to irrigate the garden.
The historical significance and the elegant charm of the Sa’dabad Complex are not the only reasons every tourist has to visit that. It is rather its modern atmosphere that attracts onlookers to go there and sit cozily to drink coffee, stroll freely, enjoy the alluring environment, take professional photos, and record the specific, remarkable moments of Iran’s history. The fine, delicate breeze that uniquely belongs to the North of Tehran is the invisible Persian angel that caresses the visitors’ faces and creates an imaginative experience for every one of them to visualize themselves as dream kings and queens.
In a word, the Sa’dabad complex is an all-inclusive entity with culture, architecture, history, a summer resort, antique objects, art, early modernism, and a research site. It is exactly the miniature of the whole country condensed and packed in one area.