Saadabad Palace Complex
Built in north Tehran in a 300,000 hectare plot, Saadabad Palace Complex was initially built by Qajar kings (1785–1925) as a summer residence before becoming the home of the Pahlavi family (1925-1979).
The complex has 180,000 hectares of natural forests and a total of 18 palaces and houses from the Pahlavi and Qajar eras including Shams Palace, Ashraf Palace, Queen Mother Palace, and Shahram Palace, which have now mostly been converted into different museums.
One of the oldest structures of this complex is the Ahmad Shahi Palace, which was built towards the end of the reign of Ahmad Shah Qajar (1898-1930) as his summer residence. This four-room structure has brick decorations in its façade and two terraces.
Shahvand Palace also known as the Green Palace is a two-story structure built over seven years. This palace was once the residence of Reza Shah (1878-1944), the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, who used the first story as his personal quarters and office. Rare green marbles from the Khamseh Mine of Zanjan and marbles from mines in Khorasan were used in the exterior of the palace. This palace features stucco reliefs and mirrorwork with Persian and European motifs. The palace has a Mirror Hall adorned with a 70-meter silk Mashhad carpet. The central motif of this carpet, which was woven over seven years, matches the ceiling decorations of the hall.
White Palace, which was an administrative center and a summer residence for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, is the biggest palace in Saadabad and has a Roman-Persian façade. The palace built in two stories and in a 5,000 square meter plot, takes its name from the white marble from the mines of Torbat Heidarieh and Yazd used in its construction. The palace has 10 ceremonial halls with French decorations. A lattice piano belonging to Nicholas II (1868-1916), the last Emperor of Russia, sits in the foyer of this palace. The first-story foyer also has scenes from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Book of Kings) painted around its lightwells. Three of the chandeliers and the desk in the first-story dining hall of this palace belonged to Marie Antoinette (1755-1793).
Black Palace, which has been built in three stories and in an area of 3,600 square meters, takes its name from the Vali Abad Mine black marble used in its construction. This palace was the location of Ministry of Court, which connected the King and his court with Parliament (Majlis).