Currently, parts of the Saadabad Palace compound are museums, in which visitors can roam through and look at the rich history of Iran, and some parts of the compound are used by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization which is responsible for most of the artifacts, locations, and cultural aspects of Iran. Also, the palace named "Kakhe malakeye madar" nowadays belongs to the presidency organization, and hosts the president`s foreign guests.
The complex was first inhabited by Qajar monarchs and royal family in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah lived there in the 1920s. And his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi moved there in the 1970s. After the Iranian Revolution, the complex became a museum. However, the current presidential palace is located adjacent to the Sa`dabad compound.
In total, Sa`dabad Palace contains 18 castles or houses, they are:
1. Ahmad shah Castle (Currently used by the Women and Family Participation Affairs Organization)
2. Shahvand Castle (Currently Green Museum)
3. White Castle or White House (Currently the National Museum Castle)
4. Special Castle (Museum of Natural History of the past, currently used by the president)
5. Black Castle (كاخ اسود) (Currently the Museum of Current Arts)
6. Shams Castle (Currently the Museum of Human Studies)
7. Ashraf Castle (Named after Mohammad Reza Pahlavi`s twin sister, Currently the Museum of Historical Plates)
8. Gholam Reza Castle
9. Mother`s Queen Castle (Currently the Republic Building)
10. Ahmad Reza Castle
11. Abdol Reza Castle (Sa`adabad Control Center)
12. Bahman Pahlavi Castle (Named after Gholam Reza`s son, Currently the Training Center)
13. Shahram Castle (Named after Ashraf Pahlavi`s son, Currently the Military Museum)
14. Farideh Diba
15. Valiahd Reza Pahlavi Castle (1st castle, Currently the Museum of Behzad)
16. Valiahd Reza Pahlavi Castle (2nd castle, Currently the Museum of Dafineh)
17. Farahnaz and Ali Reza Castle (Children of Reza Pahlavi, Currently the Museum of Calligraphy and book of Mir Emad)
18. Leila Castle
White Palace Palace: (Palace of the Nation) What is now called the White Palace was built between 1931 and 1937 and served as the Pahlavi summer residence. The two bronze boots outside are all that remain of a giant statue of Reza Shah – he got the chop after the revolution. Most of what you see in the 5000-sq-metre, 54-room palace dates from Mohammad Reza Shah`s reign (1942–79) and little has changed since the revolution. The modern building is filled with a hodge-podge of extravagant furnishings, paintings, a tiger pelt and immense made-to-measure carpets. It was the height of luxury in its day, with discreet air-conditioning units that fold away into the walls. In the upstairs Ceremony Hall is a 143-sq-metre carpet that is said to be one of the largest ever woven in Iran. The nearby Dining Hall contains a similar carpet, and it is here that the shah, convinced the palace was bugged, dragged a table into the middle of the room and insisted both he and the American general he was entertaining climb on top before they spoke. Don`t miss the trippy stainless-steel staircases at the back of the ground floor, which spiral down to the Nation`s Art Museum in the basement.
Green Palace Palace: (Shahvand Palace) At the uphill end of the complex, the more classical-looking Green Palace was built at the end of the Qajar era and extensively remodelled by the Pahlavis. Reza Shah lived here for only a year and apparently found the bed, if not the mirror stalactites on the ceiling, a little too soft – he slept on the floor instead. It was later used as a private reception hall (upstairs) and residence (downstairs) for special guests. The design is over-the-top opulent, with wall-to-wall mirrors in the appropriately named Mirror Hall and the bedroom. Be sure to take in the view from the back.
Other Museums & Galleries Art Gallery, Museum: The most interesting of the remaining museums include: the Royal Automobile Museum , with its Rolls Royce, Cadillac and a `unique` armoured Mercedes Benz 600; the expansive Museum of Fine Arts in a building near the front gate that served as the royal court between 1968 and 1979 and now exhibits furniture and paintings by modern and older Iranian artists, plus Western painters including Salvador Dali; the Royal Dishware Museum as much for the faux-French architecture as the ornate plates; and the Military Museum set inside and around another palace that belonged to the shah`s nephew Shahram – just look for the helicopter.
There are two appealing cafes on the grounds. To get to the front gate, walk or take a taxi (US$2 dar baste ) 1.5km northwest from Tajrish Sq, beginning on Ja`fari St and turning left and right (ask anyone for `Musee Sa`d Abad`). Or go to Darband and enter from there.