عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper tends to study the critical statements of those European travelogue writers who have visited Iran from the 16th to the 19th century AD (9TH to 13th AH). This era includes Safavid, Afshari, Zand and Qajar dynasty eras in Iran. The emphasis of this study is the Safavid travel reports which are more important due to lack of Persian critical reports on Iranian culture in that era in comparison to Qajar era. 13 of 22 studied cases are Safavid travelogues, two belong to the pre-Safavid era, and seven of them were written during the Qajar dynasty period. Except one case (Pollack travelogue), the rest of the studied cases belong to pre-Nasser-al-din Shah era, which is usually considered as the age when Iranians closely met the European culture, technology, politics and art in their own society. This research is necessary from two aspects: first, it demonstrates the first handed historical judgements on Iranian architecture, while present-day judgements and inceptions about history of architecture in Iran are based on second handed resources, thus limited to the buildings and Persian traditional texts. Also the pre-Qajar Persian resources about architecture are created in their traditional context, which is not based on critical thought. Secondly, by studying these judgements, a more critical literature could be shaped in the Iranian architectural historiography, which is also more realistic, as in these resources, we can extract lots of everyday life details related to Iranian architecture and Iranian towns in historical context of Iran and gain a deeper knowledge of Iranian architecture and towns in their relation with the Iranian society and culture. Therefore, the main question of this research is "what are the main critical statements of European travelers on Iranian architecture and town planning?” The research method which is applied in this paper by the authors is a comprehensive historical method, depending only on texts. After reviewing the history of criticism in the Islamic cultural history, a brief history of European travelogues on Iran and their overall paradigms in each era is discussed. Then, twenty three travelogues are studied and their statements on Iranian architecture and towns have been extracted, compared and discussed based on the similarity of the statements. Afterwards, these statements are classified in four general categories, based on their repetitions in the studied cases. Also, the reasons which the writers have mentioned for these four general categories are also classified and explained. The paper concludes that the most repeated general critical reports on Iranian architecture and town planning are: "neglecting the maintenance and repairing of buildings in Iran, their temporary life and abundance of ruins in Iran", "disorderliness and dirtiness of passages in Iranian towns", and also "neglecting the overall scape and ugliness of the exterior building surfaces in Iran". Besides these most repeated categories, three less repeated critical statements of the European travelers on Iranian architecture and town planning are "guild and bureaucratic corruption of the architects", "simple home furnishing", and "squander and high expenses in the process of making a building".