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The Malek Mansion in Bushehr

The Malek Mansion in Bushehr

The Malek Mansion in Bushehr

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The Malek Mansion is the tallest Qajar building in the southern region of Iran. It was built by the order and funding of Mohammad Mehdi Malek ol-Tojjar e Sevom and by the hands of the French. The Malek ol-Tojjar family were from Kazerun County who moved to Bushehr at the beginning of the Qajar dynasty. Their younger generations were so rooted in Bushehr that the word Kazeruni (from Kazerun) was omitted from their family name and was replaced by Bushehri which means from Bushehr.

In addition to commerce, Malek ol-Tojjar e Sevom was interested in politics. He was commissioned with various tasks by the English and Naser al-Din Shah Qajar. He had successfully signed representative contracts with multiple international companies. His eagerness to build a mansion was also fueled by his travel to France where he visited the palace of a French minister that belonged to the Middle Ages.

Both French and vernacular architecture of Bushehr, or Bangeleh, have been incorporated into Malek Mansion. The expenses for the building of this mansion was one hundred and fifty thousand Tomans at the time. When Malek ol-Tojjar e Sevom went broke, the English purchased the mansion for their own military purposes.

After the Qajar dynasty and return of the English, Reza Shah of Pahlavi kept the mansion as a military base. After him, the building was restored for many times. Unfortunately, the current status of the building is not amiable and it is facing destruction. However, renovating plans have been determined for Malek Mansion and hopefully it will be restored and kept for future generations.

The building is located in a land as big as twenty-five thousand square meters, and the basis of the mansion itself is a four-thousand-square meter rectangular. The mansion has various architectural parts such as Shahneshin (a big sunlit room), iwans, many halls, a place for bathing and cleansing, many rooms and towers. Pine, Red Sandalwood and Bombay Blackwood trees have been used along with the local materials.

Malek Mansion had a gateway that opened to Miansara (a pathway between the entrance and private chambers). This pathway leads to large iwan with its set of columns. This part is linked to the main building through a large wooden door decorated with metal ornaments. Inside the building itself, greeting halls are located in the lower floor and the chambers of the members of the house in the upper floor. Some parts of the walls were also painted.

One of the similarities between Malek Mansion and the French medieval architecture was the garden that does not exist today. This mansion is registered as a national heritage of Iran and is located in Bahmani alley.


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