Bagh-e Fin information
Designed for Shah Abbas I, this lush garden is renowned as being the very epitome of the Persian garden; it was recently added to the World Heritage Sites list. In the surrounding areas, water is scarce; inside the garden it flows with superabundance, channelled from a natural spring through a series of turquoise-coloured pools and fountains and continuing on down the main road in jubs (canals, pronounced ‘joobs’). The cedar trees inside the garden are up to 500 years old, and the profusion of orange trees imparts a wonderful fragrance when the trees are in blossom.
At the centre of the garden is the shah’s delightful shotor gelou , a two-storey pool house. At the rear is a recreational pavilion built in the Qajar period.
On one side of the garden is the hammam complex , famous as the place where Iranian nationalist hero Amir Kabir was murdered. Mirza Taqi Khan, known as Amir Kabir, served as prime minister under Nasir od-Din Shah from 1848 to 1851. He was a moderniser who instituted significant change, especially in the fields of education and administration. But his popularity was not appreciated in the royal court and the shah’s mother eventually persuaded her son that he had to go. Amir Kabir was imprisoned in Fin Garden and eventually murdered in the bathhouse, though some say he slashed his own wrists. Inside, naff mannequins re-enact the drama.
On the opposite side of the garden is the modest Kashani National Museum . Its exhibits include textiles, ceramics and calligraphy, but none are particularly impressive.
The gardens are in the village of Fin, 9km southwest of central Kashan at the end of Amir Kabir St. You can get here by shuttle taxi (US$1.60) from Kamal al-Molk Sq or by taxi dar baste (closed door; US$4.50), or you can hop on the green bus that travels from the corner of Ayatollah Kashani and Baba Afzani Sts in the centre of Kashan. The only problem with catching the bus is that officially, passengers should have a bus card and tickets aren’t sold on board. The cards are purchased at the bus terminal for US$1.60. That said, our experience suggests that the drivers aren’t too concerned if you hitch a lift with them without a ticket.