Shah Abbas I laid out this magnificent avenue between 1596 and 1597. The Avenue runs from a district known as Hezar Jerib (The thousand acres) in the South up to a wide square near the palace of Chehel
Sotoon, crossing the Zayandeh at the Si-o-Seh Pol bridge.
The name means literally "Four Gardens" and this alludes to the four great parks which were laid out on either side of the road. The central path was originally a watercourse and the pathways on either side of it were set as present amongst double rows of chenar trees (platanus orientalis). The asphalted roads on either side of the central reservation were originally flower beds.
Today the avenue is very much the centre of life in the town. The shops abutting it are the finest, and the principal hotels in the city are situated either on it or adjacent to it. The central reservation is screened from the ever-present traffic although you need to watch out for motor-cyclists, and at dusk it
is full of people taking the air and talking.
In the late 19th century the English artist, Sir Robert Ker Porter wrote of the Avenue:
"We passed through the most charming parts of the Chahar Bagh; taking our course along its alleys of unequalled plane trees, stretching their broad canopies over our heads, their shade being rendered yet more delightful by the canals, reservoirs and fountains which cooled the air and reflected the flickering light through their branches. Thickets of roses and jessamine, with clustering parterres of poppies and other flowers embanked the ground, while the deep green shadows from the trees, the perfume, the freshness, the soft gurgling of the waters and the gentle rustle of the breeze, combining with the pale golden rays of the declining sun, altogether formed an evening scene, as tranquilizing as it was beautiful"
Last Updated: 10 April, 1999