Volume 4, Issue 1 (2014)                   Naqshejahan 2014, 4(1): 47-55 | Back to browse issues page

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Persian Garden's symbolism during Islamic Period and its relation to religious believes. Naqshejahan. 2014; 4 (1) :47-55
URL: http://bsnt.modares.ac.ir/article-2-820-en.html
Abstract:   (10684 Views)
Respect and reverence for water and trees is institutionalized in ancient civilizations of Iran. Iranian people respect trees and water, both separately and in composite forms as gardens, which have been a well-known cultural value both before and after Islam. The oldest Persian garden that have been discovered dates back to the Achaemenid Empire and the quadripartite gardens (charbagh) of Pasargadae. By studying about existent historic gardens, Persian Gardens are divided into different types. The way people use special physical and functional features could also be used as a scale of this division. Values, norms and traditions are amongst the most specific characters of a given culture. These characteristics at any society transmitted from one generation to the other and people get used to them. Therefore, people do not simply accept to change their own cultural attributes and substitute them with those of others. But when two or more societies are close to one another as neighbors; or if not close geographically, in the case of having close economic, social or political ties for a long time, they gradually tend to accept a number of each others' cultural attributes. Here, in this article, Persian culture has been selected before and after Islam and its influences have been studied through the Persian Garden symbolism.The, ancient Iranians had a lot of respect and admiration for natural waters and trees, alone or together, as one of their greatest cultural values in pre or post Islamic periods. In ancient civilization of Iran, plants have had special position. Life-giving, young giving, productivity and Immortality are some supernatural powers that had been in some trees and made, they have been sacred for Ancient Iranian people. In addition, some plants were important because they were Herbaceous Gods and some others were sacred because their usage in religious ceremony. Some trees such as Platanus, Cedar, Grapevine and Pomegranate were symbolic and sometimes they were been holy and life given. However, attending to supernatural power of plants, was been because of people have regarded to plants. This regarding to plants has caused some symbols such as “Life Tree” created. After Islam, ‘Heaven’ became an important concept that made a big change to the Persian garden. Many heavenly features highlighted by the Quran – such as greenery, freshness and immortality, walls, doors and the emphasis on centricity – were all used to make the Persian garden design successfully combine artificiality with naturalness. The oldest Persian garden so far found dates back to the Achaemenid Empire (550-300 B.C.) and the Pasargadae quadrants, both indicating the antiquity of garden-designing in Iran. The innovations of this were copied widely and with more complexity, in all subsequent Persian and Islamic gardens being clearly evident during the Sassanid Dynasty (224-651 AD) and later in Islamic period.By studying about existent historic gardens, Persian Gardens are divided into different types. The way people use special physical and functional features could also be used as a scale of this division. In the fifteenth century, the Safavids converted to Shi’ism and established Shi’a (The second largest denomination of Islam, after Sunni Islam) as the official religion of their empire. The Islamic concept of the Ideal City, formed according to the Garden of Eden, was taken into consideration in the Safavid period. Gardens as parables of Heaven were often used as composing elements in urban design. This idea resulted in the formation of a powerful method of city planning that drew its conclusions from Shi’a ideology about the human place in the physical world and the Islamic concept of the Ideal City. Urban designers used the ideas of Heaven in small and large-scale gardens and used heavenly features as composition elements to create the city. Thus, the city was formed as an image of Heaven. It was a suitable place for people as surrogates of God in the world. Persian garden always have had relation to the religious believes. In this paper the subject has researched in Persian gardens symbols. Therefore, focusing on the symbols, their types and also their presence in Persian garden is under our study. According to the relationship between holiness of garden and gardening with religious believes, this subject has been studied during two separated sections, before and after Islam. However, the emphasis is on the Islamic Period. It seems Iranian gardener artist during different historical periods, tried increasing the relationship between human, nature and function. They used symbols to reinforce the implication of place thus; incoming of Islam can be the reference point by this vision. Islam incoming in Iran and other parts of the world included some message as equality of humans, thought liberty etc. These messages have accepted by stratum and impress societies of that period. Moslem artists created great revelution in art, architecture and gardening by this new ideology. This subject could be studied from two visions of how and purpose of symbols usage. This subject will review in some sections of this paper. Traditional artists have been tried by using symbolic language; speak about physical and metaphysical concepts. In addition, gardener artists have used that language in design process. Therefore, they have used some natural and artificial elements and numberic symbols in physical and spatial structure design that was related with their religious believes.Thus this topic with emphasise on Islamic Persian Garden have studied in this article. The symbols, which have used in Islamic Persian Garden, could be studied in two general sections of generic and specific symbols. As main elements, Generic symbols have been created the identity and fabric of Persian garden before and after Islam. However, specific symbols have definded by religious belives of people who made them and therefore have used in different types during various times. The results help, to introduce and to preserve the physical and structural symbols of garden design in Islamic Period in Iran. In this paper, analytical descriptive research method has been used and the data were collected by library research and Field Studies.
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Article Type: Analytical Article | Subject: -
Received: 2014/04/16 | Accepted: 2014/03/21 | Published: 2014/09/16

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