Iran and Safavid Gardens of the Islamic World with Dr. Sabahat Adil

Iran and Safavid Gardens of the Islamic World with Dr. Sabahat Adil


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In this seminar, learners will travel to the Safavid Empire based in what is today Iran and explore the various gardens of the land in the cities and outskirts of the cities of Tabriz, Qazvin, Isfahan, and more. There are several different categories of gardens that the Safavid Empire is known for, including urban gardens, garden cities, suburban gardens, and hunting gardens, and historical evidence for these appears both in cities in Iran today as well as in manuscript paintings and more.

The Safavid Empire boasted one of the most robust and thoughtful sets of gardens throughout the Islamic lands. The urban royal complexes always boasted their own gardens, but these were not the only sites that showcased arranged outdoor landscapes. There were also royal complexes located in semi-urban and suburban areas, and these featured many gardens as well. While the gardens of urban royal complexes shared space with functional buildings, those of the suburban contexts were almost entirely for recreational and enjoyment purposes. They were full of waterways and irrigated, providing water to fruit trees throughout the land. In addition to these varieties, the Safavid Empire also had gardens that were almost exclusively reserved for hunting animals.

Led by an expert on Mediterranean and Islamic history and culture, Dr. Sabahat Adil, this interactive seminar will explore the dynamic history of Safavid gardens and landscapes. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of gardens of the Safavid Empire after taking this seminar and be able to relate it to their own knowledge of gardens in other parts of the world.

This conversation is part of a four-part series on Gardens of the Islamic world by Dr. Sabahat Adil. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order.

Passionate about the past and its connections with the present, Sabahat Adil, PhD has expertise on the history of the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, particularly in terms of cultural history. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago and has taught extensively at a variety of institutions, including the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Newberry Library. Her research and publications focus on the history of North Africa and medieval Iberia. Sabahat has also worked in museum settings, including the Freer and Sackler in Washington, D.C. and the Field Museum in Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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