0738 GMT October 17, 2021
The Qazvin Traditional Gardens, with over a thousand years’ history, are en route to global registration.
The city of Qazvin in northern Iran was surrounded by these gardens (baghestan) in the past, but the gardens are now limited to the southern, eastern, and western parts of the city.
The capital city of Qazvin Province, 150 kilometers northwest of Tehran, dates back to the Sassanid Era (224-651 BCE).
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Mojtaba Abbasi, who is in charge of the anthropology section in Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department, said these gardens date back to the Sassanid Era.
In ancient times, the gardens had an area of more than 5,000 hectares, surrounding Qazvin, said Abbasi.
Today, the area of the gardens has declined to over half – about 2,800 hectares – including orchards, most of whose products are grapes, pistachios and almonds, he added.
According to Abbasi, Qazvin Traditional Gardens are much more than a natural work. The gardens are a manifestation of many customs and traditions as well as behavioral characteristics of the local people and, accordingly, were nationally registered as a cultural work in 2014.
He elaborated on the irrigation system of these gardens, saying the system used to supply the gardens with water is a traditional Iranian method that remains after many years. This irrigation system is very accurate. It was also included in the dossier of the national registration of Qazvin Traditional Gardens.
According to this system, the exact time of irrigation of each part of the garden is well known during the year, said the head of the anthropology department.
This method was the same 400 years ago, and continues to be the same today, Abbasi said, adding that the documents of this method, which belongs to the 12th century, are available.
Qazvin Province is considered a water shortage area and yet, after many years, the gardens are irrigated by the method of surface irrigation, also known as flood or furrow irrigation, in turn, once a year, by the waters of the surrounding rivers, said Abbasi.
He explained that in the flood irrigation method, gardeners flow water down small trenches running through their trees. In this method, water is poured on the soil surface so that the entire surface of the land is covered with a layer of water.
The gardens remain in the possession of the people, the official said.
He added that the inclusion of the gardens on Iran’s National Heritage List was effective in preserving and protecting the heritage.
The official from Qazvin Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department also said a dossier for the global registration of ancient gardens began last Iranian year (which started on March 20, 2020).
According to Abbasi, the dossier includes natural and tangible sections as well as intangible sections, namely, the cultural parts as well as the customs and traditions related to the gardens.
He highlighted the significance of the global registration of the traditional gardens, saying it is important both for preserving the gardens as well as the customs and traditions of the people of the region and for introducing these heritages to the world.