Shiraz is the sixth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pârsâ). At the 2011 census, the population of the city was 1,460,665 and its built-up area with “Shahr-e Jadid-e Sadra” (Sadra New Town) was home to 1,500,644 inhabitants. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the “Roodkhaneye Khoshk” (The Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand year. It is regarded as one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz, whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city, for example Eram Garden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim, called Gilim and Jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate. Shirāz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran’s electronic industries: 53% of Iran’s electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran’s first solar power plant. Recently the city’s first wind turbine has been installed above Babakoohi Mountain near the city.
NASIR OL MOLK MOSQUE
This mosque is a traditional mosque in Shiraz. It is located at the district of Gowad-e-Araban, near Shah Cheragh. The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Ka
se (“five concaved”) design. It is named in popular culture as the Pink Mosque, due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design.
The mosque was built during the Qajar era, and is still in use under protection by Foundation Endowment of Nasir ol Molk. It was built from 1876 to 1888, by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali (Nasir ol Molk), a Qajar ruler. The designers were Mohammad Hasan-e-Memar, an Iranian architect, and Mohammad Reza Kashi-Saz-e-Shirazi.
ARG OF KARIM KHAN
It is a citadel located in the downtown Shiraz. It was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, and served as his living quarters. In shape, it resembles a medieval fortress.
At times, the citadel was used as a prison. Today, it is a museum operated by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.
Castle is also known as Arge Karim Khan, Arge Karim Khani, Karim khans’ castle or citadel of Karim Khan.
Arg-e-Karim Khan was built in 1180 AH (1766-7). Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the citadel of Karim Khan, which was quickly constructed. During the Zand dynasty it was used by the king as living quarters. During the Qajar period it was used as the governor’s seat.
Prince Abdolhosein Mirza Farmanfarma, governor of Fars Province, ordered the miniatures in the citadel to be renovated.
After the fall of the Qajar Dynasty it was converted into a prison and the paintings were plastered over. In 1971 it was given to Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization. The renovation of the citadel started in 1977.
Karim Khan Castle is located at Shohada Square. It has a land area of 4,000 m2 and is in the center of a 12,800 m2 compound. The Citadel of Karim Khan consists of four high walls connected by four 14 m round brick towers at a 90-degree angle. Each 12 m wall is carnalized and is 3 meters thick at the base and 2.8 meters at the top. The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of and the military center of the dynasty.
James Edward Alexander in 1827 described the citadel as being surrounded by a “deep wet ditch”.
Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at the entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar Era.
This garden is a historic Persian garden in Shiraz. The garden and the building within it are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars province. Both the building and the garden were built during the middle of thirteenth century by the Ilkhanate or a paramount chief of the Qashqai tribes of Pars. The original layout of the garden however, with its quadripartite Persian Paradise garden structure was most likely laid in eleventh century by the Seljuks, and was then referred to as the “Baq e Shah” (“the king’s garden” in Persian) and was much less complicated or ornamental Cornelius de Bruyn, a traveler from the Netherlands, wrote a description of the gardens in the eighteenth century.
Over its 150 years the structure has been modified, restored or stylistically changed by various participants. The building faces south along the long axis. It was designed by a local architect, Haji Mohammad Hasan. The structure housed 32 rooms on two stories, decorated by tiles with poems from the poet Hafez written on them. The structure underwent renovation during the Zand and Qajar dynasties. Nowadays, Eram Garden and building are within Shiraz Botanical Garden (established 1983) of Shiraz University. They are open to the public as a historic landscape garden. They are World Heritage Site, and protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.
The Tomb of Hafez and its associated memorial hall, the Hafezieh are two memorial structures erected in the northern edge of Shiraz, Iran, in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez. The open pavilion structures are situated in the Musalla Gardens on the north bank of a seasonal river and house the marble tomb of Hafez. The present buildings, built in 1935 and designed by the French architect and archaeologist André Godar, are at the site of previous structures, the best-known of which was built in 1773. The tomb, its gardens, and the surrounding memorials to other great figures are a focus of tourism in Shiraz.
It was one of the major Persian poets and literary men of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has been quoted in western sources as well. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition.
It is a historic gate in the north of Shiraz, Iran. It is located at the northeastern entrance of the city, on the way to Marvdasht and Isfahan, between Baba Kouhi and Chehel Maqam Mountains near Allah-O-Akbar Gorge.
The Gate was first built during the reign of ‘Azad ol Dowleh. By the time of the Zand dynasty, it had sustained a lot of damage, so it was restored and a small room on top was added, in which were kept hand-written Qur’ans by Sultan Ibrahim Bin Shahrukh Gurekani. The two Qurans are known as Hifdah-Man (51 KG). Travelers passing underneath the gates were believed to receive the blessing of the Holy Book as they began their trip or journey from Shiraz.
During the Qajar dynasty, the gate was damaged by multiple earthquakes; it was later restored by Mohammad Zaki Khan Nouri. In 1937, the two Qur’ans were taken from the gate and were taken to the Pars Museum in Shiraz, where they remain today. In 1949, the arch of the gate was restored by Hosein Igar, a merchant also known as E’temad Al-Tejar.
Today the gates are part of a city park where people go to for a relaxing picnic time during their leisure hours.
Is an old public bath in Shiraz. It was a part of the royal district constructed during Karim Khan Zand’s reign, which includes Arg of Karim Khan, Vakil Bazaar, Vakil Mosque and many administrative buildings. The monument is inscribed with the number 917 on the list of national works of Iran.
Is the main bazaar of Shiraz, Iran, located in the historical center of the city.
It is thought that the market originally was established by the Buwayhids in the 11th century AD, and was completed mainly by the Atabaks of Fars, and was renamed after Karim Khan Zand only in the 18th century.
The bazaar has beautiful courtyards, caravansaries, bath houses, and old shops which are deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques.
Like other Middle Eastern bazaars, there are a few mosques and Imamzadehs constructed beside or behind the bazaar.
Is a mosque in Shiraz, southern Iran, situated to the west of the Vakil Bazaar next to its entrance. This mosque was built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period. Vakil means regent, which was the title used by Karim Khan, the founder of Zand Dynasty.
Shiraz was the seat of Karim Khan’s government and he endowed many buildings, including this mosque. Vakil Mosque covers an area of 8,660 square meters. It has only two iwans instead of the usual four, on the northern and southern sides of a large open court. The iwans and court are decorated with typical Shirazi haft rangi tiles, a characteristic feature of the art and industry of Shiraz during the latter half of the 18th century. Its night prayer hall (Shabestan), with an area of approximately 2,700 square meters, contains 48 monolithic pillars carved in spirals, each with a capital of acanthus leaves. The minbar in this hall is cut from a solid piece of green marble with a flight of 14 steps and is considered to be one of the master pieces of the Zand period. The exuberant floral decorative tiles largely date from the Qajar period.
Literally meaning “the Persian city,” also known as the Throne of Jamshid was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC).
Persepolis is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.
The site includes a 125,000 square meter terrace, partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain, with its east side leaning on Rahmet Mountain. The other three sides are formed by retaining walls, which vary in height with the slope of the ground. Rising from 5–13 meters (16–43 feet) on the west side was a double stair. From there, it gently slopes to the top. To create the level terrace, depressions were filled with soil and heavy rocks, which were joined together with metal clips.
Was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great who had issued its construction (559–530 BC); it was also the location of his tomb.
It was a city in ancient Persia, located near the city of Shiraz, and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO Cyrus the Great began building the capital in 546 BC or later; it was unfinished when he died in battle, in 530 or 529 BC. The remains of the tomb of Cyrus’ son and successor Cambyses II have been found in Pasargadae, near the fortress of Toll-e Takht, and identified in 2006.
Pasargadae remained the capital of the Achaemenid Empire until Cambyses II moved it to Susa; later, Darius founded another in Persepolis. The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometers and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus, the fortress of Toll-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill, and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens. Pasargadae Persian Gardens provide the earliest known example of the Persian chahar bagh, or fourfold garden design.
Cyrus the Great began building the capital in 546 BC or later; it was unfinished when he died in battle, in 530 or 529 BC. The remains of the tomb of Cyrus’ son and successor Cambyses II have been found in Pasargadae, near the fortress of Toll-e Takht, and identified in 2006. .
is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. It lies a few hundred meters from Naqsh-e Rajab, with a further group of Sassanid reliefs.
The oldest relief at Naqsh-e Rostam dates back to c. 1000 BC. Though it is severely damaged, it depicts a faint image of a man with unusual head-gear, and is thought to be Elamite in origin. The depiction is part of a larger mural, most of which was removed at the command of Bahram II. The man with the unusual cap gives the site its name, Naqsh-e-Rostam, because the relief was locally believed to be a depiction of the mythical hero Rostam.