Written by Kieran Proctor

Qavam House

Qavam House is a traditional upper class mansion located close to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz Iran. Here’s why ...

Qavam House is a traditional upper class mansion located close to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz Iran.

Here’s why you should visit Qavam House if you’re in Shiraz.

Qavam House

Qavam House is an opulent mansion with lush gardens dating to 1886. The house and garden are located close to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz Iran. It is less than five minutes walk from the Nasir al-Mulk.

In the garden of Qavam House there is a cafe set between the bitter orange trees and date palms. I would recommend visiting after a trip to the pink mosque.

qavam House | History

Qavam House was built between 1879 and 1886. The house and garden preserve the lifestyle enjoyed by wealthy upper class families in Iran during the 19th century. It was built by the Qavam family from Qazvin (pronounced yahz-vin).

The Qavam family were merchants turned aristocrats and lords active in governments during the Zand, Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties. The site itself sits on over 3,500 square meters of land.

The home is centred on a traditional Persian garden full of fruit trees and flowers. The style of Persian garden surrounding the house was a typical feature of homes belonging to wealthier families.

Garden of Qavam House

Interior | Qavam House

I found the interior to be particularly impressive. Because the house features not only Persian mirror work but also painted ceilings inspired by Victorian era Europe. The paintings were for me one of the highlights of the house.

Made of brick and designed to stay cool in the hot summers of Shiraz, the balcony or ‘porch’ was a central feature. The porch itself featured a lot of mirror work and produced a dazzling glow at mid morning when I visited.

With the exception of the rooms central to the structure such as the porch, I found the ceilings felt quite low compared to similarly designed buildings we visited in Iran. And I found the rooms off to the left and right of centre felt small.

I’m not big at 6ft, but I did find the mansion itself to feel smaller than similar structures. A design feature of the house is its ability to change the sense you have of volume and space as you move through the rooms. The house takes advantage of mirror, painting and light to alter your sense of size and space.

Interior of Narenjestan-e Ghavam


You should definitely visit Qavam House if you are in Shiraz Iran. The house offers a unique glimpse into 19th century upper-class life in Iran. And it acts as a fantastic example of Persian architecture of the 19th century.

The house itself apart from being once a family home and now a museum, was once also the site of the Pahlavi University’s Asia Institute. And was home to the institutes director Richard N. Frye.

Stop by and visit the house and garden when visiting the nearby ‘pink mosque‘ or Shah Cheragh. You won’t regret visiting Qavam House.

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Bonus pictures of Narenjestan-e Ghavam