The Karim Khan Castle is a citadel located in the downtown Shiraz, southern Iran. It was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, and served as his living quarters. In shape it resembles a medieval fortress. At times, the citadel was used as a prison. Today, it is a museum operated by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.
Arg-e-Karim Khan was built in 1180 AH (1766-7). Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the castle of Karim Khan, which was quickly constructed. During the Zand dynasty it was used by the king as living quarters. During the Qajar period it was used as the governor’s seat.
Prince Abdolhosein Mirza Farmanfarma, governor of Fars Province, ordered the miniatures in the castle to be renovated.
After the fall of the Qajar Dynasty it was converted into a prison and the paintings were plastered over. In 1971 it was given to Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization. The renovation of the castle started in 1977. iran tour
Main Rooms of Karimkhan Citadel
As you enter the courtyard from the vestibule, at the opposite side of the courtyard, under the large wind catcher, there’s a portico that could be seen right away. Inside the beautifully decorated rooms of this section, attractive wax statues revive the setting inside the court of Karim Khan where he met with officials and ruled over the territories under his domination.
The fresco embellishment of the walls and ceilings are fabulous examples of how beautifully Zand art vitalized official and non-official buildings of that period. A combination of gold leafs with relatively dark red colors were used to give elegant taste to the interior walls of the royal buildings.
Adjacent to this mail room, sometimes a couple of other rooms are opened to the public to see the local costumes of Iranian women of various ethnic groups. The colorful gowns seen here are still worn by local people when you travel to different parts of Iran.
Bathhouse of Arg-e-Karimkhani
On the very south eastern part corner of the courtyard, there’s a door that leads to the Arg-e-Karimkhani’s bathhouse, Hammam. This handsome bathhouse has got all the architectural sections of any similar structures, which make it worth a visit. The simple yet likable plasterwork decorations on the walls of this hammam, imply the love in flowers and nature, what Shirazi artists have always been inspired by. iran tour
Marble floors and seats, insulated pools for hot and cold water, clay-made pipes for heating beneath the floors and transferring water, and so forth are all observable and the echo returning your voice inside the big hall of this hammam reminds you of the lively setting of old bathhouses where royal family met and had themselves washed and massaged by the servants.