History

Shiraz is most likely, more than 4,000 years old. The name “Shiraz” is mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions around 2000 BC founded in southwestern of the city.

Shiraz was a strategic and important city in the Achaemenian era that persepolise is a testimony of that.

It was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79). Also the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz, Sa’adi and now it's the capital of Fars province.

Arg of Karim Khan

Formerly a prison, but now it is an architectural wonder on exhibit. The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military center of the dynasty. Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar period.

Vakil Mosque

The beautiful Masjed-e Vakil was begun by Karim Khan and is one of the major mosques surviving from the late Zand period. It was built between 1751 and 1773, during Zand period; however it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period. Beside the entrance to the bazaar it has two vast porches to the north and south, a magnificent inner courtyard surrounded by beautifully tiled alcoves and porches and a pleasingly proportioned 75m-by-36m vaulted prayer hall supported by 48 carved columns. Inside the prayer hall are an impressive “Mihrab” and 14-steps marble Minar, carved from a monolith carried all the way from Azerbaijan. Much of the tiling, with its predominantly floral motifs and arabesques, was added in the early Qajar era.

Saray-e-Moshir

A caravansary at the south entrance of Bazaar Vakil which is now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts. Highly recommended

The Shrine of Shahe-e-Cheragh

Seyed Mir Ahmad, one of Imam Reza’s 17 brothers, who was hunted down and killed by the caliphate on this site in AD 835. His remains are housed at the glittering Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh. A mausoleum was first erected over the grave during the 12th century but most of what you see, dates from the late-Qajar period and the Islamic Republic; expansion is ongoing

Afif abad Garden

Bagh-e- Afifabad, A garden and houses owned by the Ghavami family. It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum and a Persian garden that is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz. All open to the public and highly recommended.

Culture

Shiraz is known as the city of poets, gardens, nightingales and flowers. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; carpet-weaving, and the making of the rugs called gilim (Shiraz Kilim) and "jajim" in the villages and among the tribes.

Shiraz is proud of being mother land of Hafez Shirazi, Shiraz is a center for Iranian culture and has produced a number of famous poets. Sa’adi, a 12th and 13th-century poet was born in Shiraz. He left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad. When he reappeared in his native Shiraz he was an elderly man. Shiraz, under Atabak Abubakr Sa'd ibn Zangy (1231–1260) was enjoying an era of relative tranquility. Sa’adi was not only welcomed to the city but he was highly respected by the ruler and enumerated among the greats of the province. He seems to have spent the rest of his life in Shiraz. Hafez, another famous poet and mystic was also born in Shiraz. A number of scientists also originate from Shiraz. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, a 13th century astronomer, mathematician, physician, physicist and scientist was from Shiraz.

House of Zinat ol-Molk

Down a small lane beside the garden is the Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk, which was originally the private area of the complex and is named after its last owner, the daughter of the builder Qavam. Today most of the finely decorated rooms are stuffed with exhibits in the Fars History Museum, while others serve as galleries for young Shirazi artists. The gardens are in a walled compound 400m south of the Nasir ol-Molk Mosque.

Eram Garden

Bagh- e- Eram- stunningly beautiful complex contains a vast network of gardens, as well as a colorful palace and a system of small artificial rivers flowing throughout the entire area. Tourists can admire the wonderful flora or follow the little canals' intricate system. Make sure the weather is sunny before coming here. Highly recommended.

Vakil Bazaar

Shiraz’s ancient trading district is comprised of several bazaars dating from different periods. The finest and most famous is the Bazar-e Vakil, a cruciform structure commissioned by Karim Khan as part of his plan to make Shiraz into a great trading center. It has beautiful courtyards, caravanserais, bath houses, old shops where hundreds of vendor are housed which makes it deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques. Highly recommended.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque

It was built during the Qājār era, the mosque has extensively colored glass in its facade, and other traditional elements such as panj kāseh-i (five concaves) in its design

Weather

Shiraz’s climate has distinct seasons and is overall classed as a hot semi-arid climate.

Shiraz is mild in spring and hot in the summer. The autumns in Shiraz are not too cold; however the winters tend to be quite cold

Naranjestan Garden

Bagh-e Naranjestan is Shiraz’s smallest garden and is famous as the setting for the opulently decorated Naranjestan-e Ghavam pavilion, built between 1879 and 1886, as part of a complex owned by one of Shiraz’s wealthiest Qajar-era families. The pavilion’s mirrored entrance hall opens onto rooms covered in a breathtaking combination of intricate tiles, inlaid wooden panels and stained-glass windows. Ceilings in the upstairs rooms are particularly interesting, with the beams painted with European-style motifs, including Alpine churches and busty German ‘frauleins’

(Bagh-e-naranjestan) is both traditional and historical house, it was built in the mid-to-late 19th century by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam "Naranjestan" preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper class families during the 19th century. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking onto gardens lined with date palms and flowers. The house today is a museum open to the public. Highly recommended

Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque

Walking through the southeastern entrance to the Shah-e Cheragh courtyard and turning right after about 50m leads to the ancient Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque. Dating from 894 this is Shiraz's oldest Islamic structure,though most of what you see is from the late Safavid period onwards.

While the dome of the north porch and the hypostyle columns in the ancient prayer hall in the southeast corner are impressive, the highlight is the rare turreted Khodakhaneh. It was built in the mid-14th century (or perhaps earlier) to preserve valuable Qurans; poet Hafez is believed to have worked here
Geography and population

Shiraz is located in the south of Iran and the northwest of Fars Province. It is built in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level. Shiraz is 919 kilometers (571 mi) south of Tehran.

A seasonal river, dry river, flows through the northern part of the city and on into Maharloo Lake. As of 1920, the area had a large forest of oak trees
At the 2011 census, the population of the city was 1,460,665.

Saadi Tomb

Sa’adi a 12th and 13th century poet was born in Shiraz. He left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad. When he reappeared in his native Shiraz he was an elderly man. Shiraz, under Atabak Abubakr Sa'd ibn Zangy (1231–1260) was enjoying an era of relative tranquility. Sa’adi was not only welcomed to the city but he was highly respected by the ruler and enumerated among the greats of the province. He seems to have spent the rest of his life in Shiraz

Mausoleum of Saadi: Here lie the earthly remains of one of Iran’s greatest poets Sa’di. Even from the very early days after the poet’s death, the mausoleum of Sa’di became a place of pilgrimage to lovers of poetry and literature. In 1808 AD Karim Khan Zand renovated the mausoleum. The tomb was rebuilt in the early 50’s. The porch with its tall columns of pinkish marble is a traditional feature of Iranian architecture. Recommended

Hafez Tomb

Mausoleum of Hafez (1324-1391), the greatest master of Persian lyric poetry and the literary giant of the 14th century in the west and central Asia, he was born in Shiraz, lived all his life here, sang its praises in unsurpassed verse and was buried in a garden known after him as the Hafezieh, in the northeast part of the city. The extraordinary popularity and the wide appeal of this great poet among all Persian-speaking people make his tomb a cherished placed, visited by all. This mausoleum too was rebuilt in the early 50’s. A flight of stone steps reaches to the tomb under a tiled cupola resembling a dervish’s hat. The tombstone is beautifully inscribed with two of Hafez’s poems or Ghazals. Visitors to the tomb can still, as they have done for centuries, take the omens, or falls, by picking a page at random from a volume of Hafez, kept for this purpose.

Iranians have a saying that every home must have two things: first the Quran, then Hafez. Hafez is an influential Iranian poet

written by AH.Younesi