Ali Qapu palace

Built at the very end of the 16th century as a residence for Shah Abbas I, the majestic six-storey Ali Qapu Palace also served as a monumental gateway (Ali Qapu means the ‘Gate of Ali’) to the royal palaces that lay in the parklands beyond. Named for Abbas’ hero, the Imam Ali, it was built to make an impression and at six storeys and 48m tall it did. French traveller Sir John Chardin described it as ‘the largest palace ever built in any capital’.