The Golestan palace is the historical residence of the Qajar royal dynasty, located in Tehran. It is the oldest monument in the city, part of a complex of buildings once enclosed by the walls of the historic citadel (Arg).
The Arg complex bears witness to the art and architecture of the Qajar period, which also includes the introduction of European motifs and styles in Persian art. The palace, besides being the residence of the sovereigns, was also the place of residence of the dynasty and center of artistic production in the nineteenth century. The palace bears witness to an important cultural and artistic period in the history of Iran during the nineteenth century, when the Persian society underwent a process of modernization and European influences: the values and the artistic and architectural externality of ancient Persia were integrated in a new form of art and architecture that had a long and remarkable transition period where Western influences are gradually acquired by Iranian artists.
The Arg ("citadel" in Persian) was built under the reign of Tahmasp I (1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), and was later renewed in the reign of Karim Khan Zand (1724-1776). The Qajar Agha Mohammad Khan chose Tehran as the new capital in 1783 and the Arg became the royal citadel during the qajara era. The palace was rebuilt (in the form that can be seen today) in 1865 by Haji Abol-Hassan Mémar Navaï.
During the Pahlavi period (1925-1979), the palace of the Golestan was used for official ceremonies, such as the crowning of the Shah Mohamad Reza, since the Pahlavi dynasty had built its residences north of the city, in Sa'dabad and Niavaran. During the reign of the Shah Reza Pahlavi, a large part of the buildings of the citadel is razed to the ground, to allow the construction of large administrative buildings.
The Golestan complex is now open to the public and managed by the ICHHTO (Iran Cultural Heritage Organization).