Bagh-i Sahibabad (MEGT)
Tabriz, Iran
The plan of the city of Tabriz drawn by the Ottoman painter Matrakçi during his first Persian campaign (1533–1536) is the first graphical document showing the Bagh-i Sahibabad. It shows the urban core with bazaars and mosques to the south of the river Mahan, while to the north of the river (at the left of the image) were gardens. Among these was the royal garden in which stood the turquoise, octagonal Hasht Bihisht palace built by Uzun Hasan Aq Quyunlu (r. 1468–1478). The garden was accessed through a maydān flanked to the east by the Sahibabad mosque and hospital. The poles for playing polo can be seen in the miniature by Matrakçi. In 1501, Uzun Hasan’s son, Yaqub, was defeated by Ismail, the founder of the Safavid dynasty. According to the anonymous 1674 Tārīkh-i ‘Ālam Ārā-yi Safavī, Ismail was enthroned in Tabriz and played polo (chawgān) in the maydān in front of the garden. The palace was destroyed in 1045 AH/1636 by Ottomans. In the Qajar period (1785–1924), the maydān was turned into a vegetable bazaar.
Sources: Illustrated Travel Account/Engraving, 1533 | Court Chronicle, 1674

-Mahvash Alemi


Beyān-ı menāzil-i sefer-i ʻIrākeyn-i Sulṭān Süleymān Hān (Open in Zotero)

Tārīkh-i ‘Ālam Ārā-yi Safavī (Open in Zotero)

Originally published at: Alemi, Mahvash. “Bagh-i Sahibabad.” Middle East Garden Traditions. Dumbarton Oaks, November 18, 2014. Archived at:

Tabriz, Iran
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Dates of attested life: 1501-19th century
Date of entry of information: September 2007
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Variant Names
Bagh-i Sahibabad
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