The Sa’dabad Palace Complex (Persian: Kakh-e Sa’dābād) is a 300-hectare complex built by the Qajar and Pahlavi monarchs, located in Shemiran, Greater Tehran, Iran. Today, the official residence of the President of Iran is located adjacent to this complex. The complex includes more than 180 hectares of natural forest, streets, qanats, galleries, mansions/ palaces and museums.
The complex was initially built and inhabited by Qajar dynasty off monarchs in the 19th century. After extensive expansions, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty resided there in the 1920s. His son, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, moved there in the 1970s. After the 1979 Revolution, the complex became a public museum.
White Palace is the largest mansion in this complex. In addition to ceremonial and official affairs, this building was used as a summer residence of Mohammad Reza Shah (the second king of Pahlavi dynasty) and the queen Farah.
Mellat Palace Museum (White Palace)
The first king of Pahlavi, Reza Shah ordered to build this palace in 1932 which was completed by 1937. But it was effectively used three years later. Many artists and engineers were involved in building this palace. Layout plan was designed by Mr Khorsandi and engineering drawings were developed by Leon Taavosian, Pesyan and Russian Boris.
This palace is built in the surrounding area of 2164 square meters; it is a two-story building and a basement with a total of 5000 square meters area.
This building has 54 units including ten large ceremonial saloons which were the official reception hall of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The largest room in this building is 220 square meters that were used as the dining room.
Green Palace Museum
Shahvand Palace which is now called Green Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Iran. This palace is located in higher ground in the north-west of SaadAbad. Formerly this building belonged to someone called “AliKhan” who was one of the big landowners and later it was bought by Reza Shah.
During 1923-1929 Reza Shah renovated and redecorated this building by an architect called” Mirza Jafar Memar Bashi”.
The outside view is covered by rare pearl green stones from Zanjan province hence it was called Green Palace. This palace is a two-story building in an area of 1203 square meters.
The most interesting part of this palace is the mirror hall with a made to measure carpet of seventy square meters, woven in the famous Amoughli carpet workshop in Mashhad.
Fine Arts Museum
One of the splendid buildings of Sadabad is the Fine Art Museum which was used as the royal court during 1968 – 1979.
in 1983 it was inaugurated as the “Fine Art Museum” which has attracted many art lovers.
This building is situated in the southern part of Saad Abad and is a three-story building covering an area of 3600 square meters.
There are numerous beautiful paintings with western and eastern styles on display for our dear visitors.
This painting gallery consists of works by recent famous Iranian painters such as Sohrab Sepehri, Hossein Mahjobi, Faramarz Pilaram, Hossein Zende Roodi and miniature paintings by Master Hossein Behzad and Kelara Abkar and also there are paintings by Iranian artists from Safavid era(1501-1722) to Qajarian era (1794-1925).
In the remaining sections of this palace, there are western-style paintings from 17 to 20th century. Some of the painters are Salvador Dali, Peter Graham, Ivanovic Shishkin and Joule Berton.
Master MirEmad Calligraphy Museum
This museum is located in one of the historical buildings of Sadabad. Originally this building was the residence of Pahlavi`s children (Farahnaz and Ali Reza). It is a two-storey building and its architecture belongs to late Qajar (1794-1925) and early Pahlavi era (1925-1979).
Since 1997, it was used as the Calligraphy Museum of Master MirEmad, the most famous Calligrapher of Safavid dynasty (1501-1722).
In this two-storey museum, there are Collections of selected works of famous calligraphers of Iran’s Islamic periods (from the 10th to 20th century AD) such as MirEmad, Mustasimi, Ahmad Neyrizi, Kalhor and etc.
Royal Costume Museum
This building belonged to Shams Pahlavi (Reza Shah`s daughter). It is a mixture of Iranian and European architecture. It was built by the order of Reza Shah during 1936-1940. Shams Pahlavi used this building as her summer residence, and then in 1964, she sold it to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
During 1964-1979 this palace was used as a private museum of Pahlavi dynasty and it housed numerous antiques and royal gifts.
After the revolution from 1995 till 2004 this place was used as the Anthropology Museum. Later in February 2010, it was converted to the museum of “Contemporary History and Royal Gifts of Pahlavi Dynasty”.
Royal clothes of Pahlavi family (the queen, Mohammad Reza Shah, Reza Shah and his family) are on exhibit in this museum.
Master Behzad Museum
This building was built during the Qajar era (1794-1925) and in the course of the first Pahlavi, it was the residence and office of Reza Shah. Later, it was used as the summer residence of Reza Pahlavi (the former prince of Iran) in his childhood, this building was called “The Prince Palace”.
After the Islamic revolution of Iran, in 1994, with the donation of some works of Master Hossain Behzad to the Cultural Heritage Organization by his son, at this great artist`s centennial birthday, this building was inaugurated as Master Behzad Museum.
Precious paintings by Master Behzad, who is one of the founders of contemporary painting and his ideas, opinions & works led to fundamental changes in contemporary Iranian art, are displayed in this museum.
Royal Albums and Historical Documents` Museum
The Museum of Historical Documents is created as a temporary centre in March 2012(Iranian New Year), to evaluate the level of Visitors` interest.
This centre has been formed to show the documents of contemporary history (Pahlavi era) with a focus on Saadabad and its importance as the location of the Royal Court Building.
This exhibition includes some written & visual documents, albums, different seals and golden plaques, different types of envelopes, sheets and etc.
This building which was built during the second Pahlavi was the special office of Mohammad Reza Shah that was used for reception of the Courtiers and clients. Later it was assigned to General Kasraee (Person in charge of Military Protection) and after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, it changes to Water Museum.
This 2670 square meters building is located at the south-east of Green Palace in Saadabad Complex and this museum is an exhibition of ancient and traditional techniques and instruments for water supplement and distribution. Various water-related structures such as water reservoirs and traditional ice houses are introduced here.
Some ancient water dams and royal orders concerning them are presented as well.
Royal Cars Museum
Royal cars, used by Pahlavi dynasty are on display in this exhibition. The cars such as Mercedes Benz 600, Rolls Royce, Cadillac and etc, each with their own specification and application. This museum is placed near Zaferanieh entrance.
Royal Weapons Museum
This museum is located in the north of Saadabad complex. Originally this building was the residence of Mohammad Reza`s brother, Gholam Reza Pahlavi.
This collection contains more than 70 pieces of war weapons and numerous hunting rifles made in some of the famous manufacturers such as Remington, Winchester, Spring Field and Brno. There are also some of the earlier weapons made by the Iranian Royal army in this museum.
There are some gun powder leather bags remaining from the Qajar era. One of the highlights of this museum is an outstanding front-loaded rifle with its gun hammer which belongs to the 16th century which was made in India.
Royal Tableware Museum
Royal Tableware Museum is located at the eastern part of Saadabad. It covers an area of 2600 square meters. This two-story building was built during 1937-1940 by the order of Reza Shah by a famous engineer called Farman Farmaeeyan.
Originally this building was covered by carved stones, in 1972 on the order of Ashraf Pahlavi the building was expanded and renovated and its outside walls were covered by alabaster stones.
In 1994 this place was rearranged to be used as Plates Museum.
This building was built by the order of Reza Shah in 1939 and covers an area of 3000 square meters and is a two and a half story building built for TajolMolok, the second wife of Reza Shah and mother of the king Mohammad Reza Shah.
During 1973-1974 this building was renovated by SaadAbad engineers and was gifted to Shahram (Shah’s nephew) and hence called “Shahram’s Palace”.
In 1984 this building changed to the military museum and now it shows Military History of Iran and contains all sorts of weapons, uniforms, pictures, books and other related items.
Master Farshchian Miniature Museum
This museum is located in the central part of SaadAbad, and it was built during Qajarian era.
This building was the residence of Reza Shah and his fourth wife queen Esmat.
During Mohammad Reza Pahlavi era, his brother and later his chief cook used to live here.
In the year 2002, this building was converted to Master Mahmood Farshchian Museum. It hosts fifty paintings of this outstanding artist in its five halls.
Omidvar Brothers Museum
This museum is located at the north-west of Saadabad complex and was built during the Qajar era.
It consists of four rooms which are decorated with beautiful plaster works. This place was used as the residence of the king’s carriages drivers.
In 2003 it was repaired and renovated.
On the occasion of International Tourism Day, it was named after the first Iranian tourists called Omidvar brothers who travelled around the world. They started their journey with only 90 $ in 1954 and they were travelling for ten years.
Nations Art Museum
During 1967-1971 by the order of the queen Farah Pahlavi the basement of White Palace turned to a special art museum.
After the revolution in 1992, it was named the Nations Art Museum. this place contains a unique collection of artworks from all over the world which have been either bought or gifted and they range from pre-Islam civilization, Islamic era, arts of Africa, India, Far East, Malaya, and also contemporary arts of Iran and the rest of the world.
Royal Kitchen Museum
Royal Kitchen with an area of 800 square meters is located in the central part of Saadabad complex, next to Darband River.
It was constructed during Pahlavi the second as the kitchen of the White Palace.
In 1975, a German company was assigned to equip the kitchen with modern utensils. Dedicated cooks were commissioned to serve the king, queen and the children. Recently this place has been opened to the public. It contains the main hall and 4 rooms.