Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/207

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Takhti-Cadjar, when viewed at a distance, appears to be of prodigious height: but as you approach it the ill,ion is dispelled, and what you took for stories of one and the same building, are found to be terraces raised one above another. The entrance is a simple gateway, surmounted by a pavilion: it leads into a spacious court, the middle of which is occupied by a principal alley, bordered on each side by young cypresses and poplars, and intersected at right angles in its centre by a stone canal, Here runs a stream of limpid water, which forms several well-contrived cascades. The first terrace supports an octagon building, open on all sides in piazzas, and the ceiling of which is supported by. pillars. The floor is crossed by a stream, which cones from" the top of the building, and passes along all the terraces, forming several waterfalls. This little edifice, though of rude materials and its decorations bad, is built on an excellent plan, well adapted to afford. shelter from the heat of summer. Under the building are subterraneous apartments. From this terrace you proceed to another, on which stands a pleasure-house of great extent, likewise well arranged for summer, but not on so good a plan as the preceding. The stream mentioned above passes through this house also, before which there is a square sheet of water. This terrace leads to several others, much more elevated than the first, and the platform of which is occupied by reservoirs only. At length. you reach the principal habitation, composed, like all the Persian houses, of a quadrangular court, around which is a series of halls and apartments of different dimensions, for various purposes. But the most agreeable part of the Takhti-Cadjar, is a pavilion or belvidere at the top. It is built in a simple style, but highly decorated, and commands a most delicious view. The ablest native artists have been employed to adorn this retreat with paintings, mosaic-work, and varnishing; and it is worthy of remark, that here are to be seen the portraits of several European ladies, among those of Persian females. The windows are admirably painted; the doors, of exquisite workmanship, are lined with quotations from the poets engraved upon ivory. On the walls of the other apartments, are to be seen several portraits of the sovereign and of his female favourites.

Takhti-Cadjar is built entirely of brick, and a wall of mud mixed with chopped straw encompasses this royal habitation.

The Negauristan is another royal palace, in the same direction, but only hall' a mile distant from the city. Its proximity, as well as its superior beauty, often induces the Shah to walk thither, to enjoy relaxation from the cares and ceremonies of state. The general character of the garden is like that of Takhti-Cadjar, only the grand avenue is much wider, and is ter-