Chehel Sotoun Palace (Kakh-e Chehel Sotoun) is the most famous palace in Isfahan. It is a pavilion built by Shah Abbas II for his entertainment and receptions. It is in the middle of a lush garden with tall trees and colorful flowers. The tree-lined entrance features a beautiful fountain pool punctuated by four lion heads at every corner. The lion heads once spouted water into the pool. The passageway leads to a mesmerizing porch with 20 ribbed wooden pillars on stone bases. The pillars rise to a stunning wood ceiling with Islamic interlaced patterns.
Chehel Sotoun means ‘forty columns’, which is the number of the columns and their reflections on the surface of pool’s water outside the palace. The mirrored main entrance to the Great Hall is just mesmerizing. The walls and ceiling of the hall boast an array of frescoes, miniature paintings, and tile-work depicting battles of the Safavid era, court life, and reception of guest kings.
Therefore, the well-manicured garden of Chehel Sotoun Palace is an excellent example of the Persian garden. It is also a great place for a joyful stroll in the early morning or in the evening. In short, Chehel Sotoun Palace