The Borujerdihā Mansion
A true gem of Iranian vernacular architecture and perhaps the most spectacular sight in Kashan, the Brujerdiha house was built during the second half of the 19th century by a famous merchant of Kashan, Hajj Seyed Jafar Natanzi. This man is better known as Brujerdi, because he exported goods from Brujerd to Kashan. He was a son-in-law of Tabatabai, another merchant and the owner of the Tabatabai House. Before giving away his daughter in marriage to Brujerdi, Tabatabai showed him around his Own house and made the fiance understand that he would become his son-in-law only if he built an equally beautiful house for Tabatabai's daughter. It took eighteen years to build the house, which was finally completed in 1893. It is said that 150 masons, plaster carvers, mirror cutters, and other artisans took part in the construction. The building's frescoes were painted by Sani al-Molk and Kamal al-Molk, the most prominent Iranian artists of the Qajar period.
The house is entered through a narrow doorway 1, opening onto an anteroom. From this anteroom 2, one passes through several consecutive rooms and a corridor 3, leading finally to an elongated courtyard 4, Originally, the Brujerdiha Mansion consisted of andaruni (outer) and biruni (inner) sections. Today the andaruni area is private property, but the biruni area houses the of fice of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and is open to the public. TIle biruni part is particularly notable for an imposing eivan 5, topped with the most ornamented badgirs (wind-towers) 6, in Kashan. The eivan leads to a reception hall 7, which has a number of rooms and spaces distributed on two floors and surrounding the main hall.
The architecture of the building is greatly influenced by European models, and even a traditional stucco panel on the pediment features mostly European motifs. A large basement room 8, is located under the portico and is accessed from the courtyard through a doorway under the main eivan, At the opposite, northeastern end of the courtyard is another ensemble 9, which appears quite unassuming in comparison to the superb eivan and hall on the southwestern side. Guest chambers 10, are arranged along the long ends of the courtyard.