Morvarid Palace (Pearl Palace of Karaj)
Pearl Palace or Morvarid Palace, which is also known as Shams Palace, is located in Mehrshahr of Karaj, Alborz province. It was constructed from 1966 to 1968 under the administration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, by William Wesley Peters and cooperation of William Case and Nezam Ameri as a residence for Shams Pahlavi, sister of Reza Shah. Shams Pahlavi suffered from Asthma, and by the recommendation of the doctors, decided to live in Mehrshahr. The expense of building this palace summed up to one million dollars at the time. Shams Palace is registered as a national heritage of Iran.
The land of the palace covers one hundred and eleven hectares and its Kushk or pavilion was a two thousand and five hundred square meters rectangular. The structure of the building is made from cement and from above it looks like an eagle ray that is holding a pearl. A set of spiral roofs, skylights and beads of pearls has covered all over the roof of the building.
The small lake of the palace is located in the Miansara that has spread like the large fins of the eagle ray in the north, outside of the palace and surrounds the structure from three sides. The lake has been built deep enough for boating.
The small structure of the pavilion contains different parts such as a large dome, a small dome, a golden bar, offices, greeting rooms, an inclined staircase, glittering corridors, church-like ornaments, a home cinema theatre with capacity of ninety nine persons, a billiard room, a pool, a fountain, bird cages, vaulted rooms, shell room, dining room and bedrooms. Aside to many skylights, there are wall lights and lusters that provide the necessary light that are being reflected by glasses that have been used in many numbers in different parts of this building. Shams Palace is a perfect example of the architecture of Iran in the twentieth century and a historic monument of Karaj. Unfortunately, water has been infiltrating the foundation of the main structure for years and the domes have been destructed. However, it is under restoration today and can be visited only on special occasions.