Fars Province is divided into three regions: Mountainous north and northwest region with cold winters and suitable herbal coverage; Central parts including Shiraz, Fasa, Firouzabad and Kazeroun which enjoy mild weather in winter and warm and dry weather in summer; And the south and southeastern regions where the mountains dwindle to hills. Rainfall in this region is less in winter than in spring and fall. The weather here is cold in winter and very warm in summer.
Fars Province falls at the Zagros Mountain Range. The central-western plains are used for farming but the southern and eastern plains are barren deserts. Most of the lakes in Iran are located in Fars Province. Among salty lakes, one can refer to Maharloo, Bakhtegan, and Tashk. Among sweet water lakes, one can mention Parishan Lake (the biggest in Iran), Arzhan lagoon, Barmshoor, Kaftar, and Haft Barm lakes. Shadkam, Falian, Tangshoo, Qare Aghaj, Sheshpar, and Pirab are some of the rivers in Fars Province. The major waterfalls in the Province are Margoon, Dastak, Abraj, and Rahmatabad waterfalls. Moreover, many hot springs gush from the mountains.
Fars Province has several animal protected zones among which Arzhan, Hermod, Mian Jangal, and Bamoo National Park are remarkable. History Both in the ancient era before the Arab invasion and in the Islamic era, Fars (aka Persia) has been one of the most important centres for civilization in which you can visit remains of all the history of Iran.
|An Achaemenian Rhyton|
In Achaemenid bas reliefs Fars is spelled as Pârsa. The Greeks called it Persis and then it was changed to Fars by Arabs. Three thousand years ago a group of Indo-Iranians, known as Aryans, migrated to the Iranian plateau from the north and after several fightings overcame the native people and settled down. Most of these Aryans were shepherds and nomadic tribesmen. Their major tribes consisted of Parsis, Medians, Sogdians, Balkhi, Kharazmian, Haratis, and Parthians who spoke with different dialects. The Parsis (Persians) settled in several important regions including Anshan and Pasargad near present Shiraz. Pasargad was the first capital of the Aryans which was later shifted to Hamadan.
|Ganj Nameh the Achaemenian Inscriptions|
The Medians who had built a big empire west of Iran were defeated by Cyrus the Great. The Persians preserved their independence even during the Parthian period. Ardashir was the first who founded the Sassanid Dynasty in the year 223 AD and made Ctesiphon his capital, but he rehabilitated Firouzabad in Fars. During the Sassanian Period, Kazeroun and Bishabur were important centers in Fars. Many historical monuments have survived in Fars including the ruins of Pasargad, Bishabur, Persepolis, Shahr-e Goor, and Ardashir's Palace. After the invasion of Arabs Shiraz became the capital city of Fars Province and was ruled by Al-e Buye and Zand dynasties. Administrative Divisions The Province is divided into 29 counties Abadeh, Arsanjan, Bavanat, Darab, Eqlid, Estahban, Farashband, Fasa, Firouzabad, Gerash, Jahrom, Kavar, Kazeroun, Kharameh, Khorrambid, Larestan, Mamasani, Marvdasht, Mehr Neyriz, Pasargad. Rustam, Sarvestan, Sepdian and Zarrindasht. Tourist Attractions Abadeh The complex of Izadkhast consists of Izadkhast Castle, a Caravanserai, and a Safavid-period bridge. The castle structure is of particular interest due to the different architectural styles incorporated into the construction of the building including the Sassanid (224 AD to 651 AD) to Qajar (1785 to 1925) periods. Indeed, the architecture of the castle is unique to Izadkhast and only comparisons in building materials can be made to other sites in the region. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 9, 2007, in the Cultural category. Shoorjestan Caravansary in Abadeh which is ol x62m in size is a double story building with a spiral staircase. The portal is almost intact, but the inscription on it vanishes. Potable water comes from an underground aqueduct (Qanat) in front of the inn.
|Shiraz - Delgosha Garden|
Arsanjan houses the Saeediye Seminary with four Iwans at the corners made of bricks and a stone pond in the middle.
Surian Mosque, a brick bridge, and shrines are to be found in this town as well as Kan Gohar Cave which is one of the prettiest caves in Iran. When Abbas Barzegar opened the door of his little 60 meters house in April 2001 for two German tourists, who were lost in a rainy day in a far little poor village, he didn't know anything about the tourism industry and he had no idea that the lucky star is knocking on his door but now Abbas and his family in Bavanat are world widely known and famous in preparing organic foods and performing nomadic tours in Iran. Dreamy stay at their village accommodation in their little private village will be a good choice in Bavanat.
-Eqlid: Eqlid is embellished with tombs of saints, a Zoroastrian pond and inscription, Shadkam River and lakes, springs and mountains.
-Estahban: Mahfarkhan arched building, rocky Iwans and tombs are the monuments of Estahban. The town is beautified by several groves, springs, and jungle parks.
-Jahrom: Jahrom is equipped with Simkan Fire Temple, a Zand-built Bazaar, a Zoroastrian castle, several arched buildings, stonecutters' cave, two mosques, several tombs, and inns.
-Khorrambid: Khorrambid houses the rectangular Khankhoreh Caravansary made of stone, brick, and plaster of lime.
-Darab: The remains of ancient Darabgerd, one of the five old towns in ancient Pars, lie 6 km south of Darab. It is a circular building with four gates and said to have3 been build by Cyrus.
Zaraksh Fire Temple (Masjed Sangi) is located 7 km southeast of Darab dug in the heart of the mountain. Some say it belongs to Aryans who worshipped Mehr (sun); then it was changed into a fire temple by Sassanians. Later on, an altar was added and was changed to a mosque. Darabgerd monument on the mountain foot is an important Sassanid building known as Naqsh-e Rustam or Shapur too. The monument shows the victory of the Sassanid king against the Roman army and covers an area of 63 m2. A horseman in the middle inspects the Roman slaves with bare heads and a coach carrying war booty. Darab Congregation Mosque, equipped with four minarets and decorated by bricks, was built in 14th century over the remains of an older mosque.
-Fasa: In addition to some castles and monuments in Fasa, Amp Fire Temple is located 20 km north of Fasa. Fasa is beautified by Chehel Cheshmeh Spring and a recreational park.
|Ardashir-e Babekan's Palace|
-Firouzabad: Ardashir-e Babekan's Palace or fire temple lies in Firouzabad. After defeating overthrowing the Parthian Dynasty Ardashir built a very glorious palace near a big pond using stones and plaster. The main building is divided into a lofty veranda covering four big halls. Three domed halls behind this hall are connected to each other and a veranda bedecked by friezes has been copied from Achaemenid architecture. Goor near Firouzabad is a circular town built by Ardashir. It is equipped with four gates and a square tower, the oldest minaret in Iran, and is 40 m high. Ruins of giant buildings lie beside the tower, the oldest observatory in Iran.
Qaleh-ye Dokhtar is another monument from the Sassanid Era and seems to have been a stronghold or watchtower to watch the lower elevations. The Stronghold is made of unpolished stones, plaster, and ash with a water reservoir dug in the mountain. A bas relief near the fortress shows Ardashir receiving his royal insignia from Ahuramazda (Hourmazd). A child and three tall Parsi lords are standing in front of the king. Firouzabad is famous for its gorges, springs, jungles, and rivers.
-Kazeroun: Bishabur Palace was built by Shapur I in his birthplace. Kazeroun is the oldest town in the area containing Anahita's Temple, Shapur's Hall, and Varerlian's Palace. Bishabur Palace and Anahita Temple together are one of the most visit historical sites of Iran. The common area is filled with old homes, a bath an inn, and a Bazaar.
-Lar: Lar contains the ancient Qeysarie bazaar, copied from the bazaars in Isfahan and Shiraz, an oak garden and building. North of Abbasi Bridge was the seat of the governor with a height of 7 m and a 5.12 m veranda. The lower floor is composed of a chamber and side rooms receiving light from an octagonal hole, with a pond in the middle. A bath has been built at the northern wing of the garden. Other relics in Lar consist of two forts, the tomb of Nader's mother, water reservoirs, a bridge, minarets, and fire temples. Horm Protected Zone and Horm Lake are the town's natural attractions.
-Mamasani: Mamasani is also known as Nourabad. Naqsh-e Bahram is 9 km away from Nourabad. The bas relief is 85.3 long, 60.2 m wide, and shows Bahram II surrounded by Sassanian dignitaries. Nourabad Tower is the only relic from Parthians in Fars. The square tower looks like Zoroaster's Cube in Pasargad. It has been built by elaborate calculations. A 10.1 m staircase of 59 cm width is set at the top from inside. Probably sacred fire was being preserved in this town. Koorangoon bas, 5000 y.o., remained from the Ilamite era, probable the oldest bas in Iran. It shows an Elamite King sit on a snake throne, with fishes swimming around him and the prayers.
Located at Sarvan Mountain over a hill, although badly ruined, it still retains the ruins of male and female Ilamite gods facing each other. Qaleh Sefid (white tower) is also an Ilamite monument and was the fortress of an Esameeli chieftain during the 11th century. The remains of an Achaemenid palace beside Saravan are supported by pillars 90 cm thick with images similar to those in Persepolis. The plinths looking like a lotus tree.
-Marvdasht: This city has a collection of the most well-known Achaemenid and Sassanid sites including the glorious Persepolis, the eyecatching Naqsh-e Rustam.
This historical complex is 6 km away from Persepolis and houses Elamite, Achaemenian and Sassanian relics from 1200 BC until 625 AD. It preserves the tombs of four Achaemenid kings and many Sassanian bas reliefs, Zoroastrian and Elamite bas reliefs. The oldest section is related to Elamite era and displays two gods and goddesses. Zoroaster's Cube is a stone building and tower probably built by the Achaemenids. Zoroaster's Cube is still a mystery but some say the name is a false one and it was in fact an outpost where hautboys and kettledrums were and were probably built by the Sassanians. There are two inscriptions from Shapur and Kartir, the high priest, on the three walls of the Naqsh-e Rustam.
The four tombs dug in the heart of the Mithra Mountain belong to Darius the Great, Xerex, Ardashir I, and Darius II, all looking similar in shape. Ardashir I was the first Sassanid king who carved his coronation ceremony on the rocks in which he received his crown from Ahuramazda. After that, his descendants carved similar scenes on the rock historical city of Estakhr and Naqsh-e-Rajab altogether make it a must-see in a visit to Iran. The old bridge east of the town outside the parapet seems to have been built by the Sassanians. Marvdasht Bridge was built during the Safavid era in the sixteenth century. Pol-e Band-e Amir (EN: Amir's Bridge Dam) was built in the year 976. It is 20 m wide, 103 long, and 9 m high and was constructed to preserve the Kor River water.
This site lies 3 km north of Persepolis with bas reliefs and engravings from the Sassanid kings on rocks, such as the coronation of Ardashir I, Shapur 1. Shapur II and his court and Kertir, the mubid.
This town is located 5 km north of Persepolis and was known as Takht-e Tavous (Peacock's Throne) in ancient times. Stone gateways, columns, and walls from Achaemenians as well as Sassanid, Parthian, and Islamic monuments and relics have been discovered in Estakhr which was the former capital of Fars Province. The town has witnessed many royal coronation ceremonies and festivals and had a population of 100 thousand persons, but since the citizens repeatedly revolted against Arab occupation the Arabs relentless massacred them.
This town preserves the Jame Mosque built during the Islamic period and Sarvi Caravansary which was a stopping point on the road which linked Kerman to Yazd and Bandar Abbas. Other natural attractions consist of Palangan Mountain and Valley, Tarem Waterfall, Bakhtegan, and Tashk lakes. The two lakes are rapidly drying up. Pasargad (WH) Pasargad city is mostly known for the tomb of Cyrus the great, a world heritage complex, but it is not the only site to visit in Pasargad. Pasargad is the habitat of the Iranian brown bear. There also you can visit Tang-e Bolaghi, Kolbeh Aghamir, and its human rights garden, Pasargad Bridge, and Mozaffari caravansary. Pasargad was registered a as world heritage monument by UNESCO in 2004.
Bolaghi Pass Tang-e Bolaghi or Bolaghi Pass is located near Pasargad with a length of 19 km. It is the oldest passage in Fars. Polvar River used to flow through this pass. The pass is covered by ancient trees, some of them several thousand years old. The pass was formerly connected to other strongholds in the Achaemenid Empire in ancient times. Archeologists have unearthed 140 antique objects such as pottery, kilns, remains of buildings, tombs, earthenware, and stone objects related to 7000 years ago.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great was formerly a royal garden and was built by Cyrus himself. Thanks to meticulous calculations the simple monument has survived after 25 centuries nearly intact. The building covers an area of 156 m2 with a height of 11 m. The white alabaster slabs are carefully laid over each other without any mortar, bounded by metal and lead clamps only. The seven-story mausoleum is divided into a platform-like staircase serving as the foundation of the mausoleum and the tomb chamber with a sloped roof. After the death of Cyrus, his body was put in a golden coffin and was laid in his tomb along with his personal effects and weapons. The tomb has been respected during the history and Achaemenid kings were crowned in the sacred mausoleum. Since there was no document to prove that it was Cyrus's tomb during the Islamic Period it was called the tomb of Solomon's mother.
Stony winged man This is the most intact and prettiest statue among Pasargad monuments with special philosophical meaning. It shows a man with a short beard, a long clock and a double-edged tiara and horned crown surrounded by four wings. The winged man wears a pretty crown set on the horns of a ram and protected by two snakes set opposite each other. Each snake is holding a disc-like the sun. Achaemenid architects have borrowed from other nations to fabricate the winged man. The crown Istgyptian, the dress is of a llamite man and the wings are of Assyrian, each representing the nations which were united with each other and subjected to Achaemenid rule by Cyrus the Great.
1200 m northwest of Pasargad there is an ancient building containing two white stone platforms and a rectangular staircase. Known as the Sacred Precinct, the two platforms have been built with white alabaster stones and are equipped with a staircase. The base of the southern platform is 43.2 m in diameter and its height is 16.2 m.
Palace Covers an area of 726 m2 area east of Pasargad Complex with a large square hall supported by eight stone columns, 16 m high. The ornamented columns show the greatness of the palace.
230 m northwest of the Hall of Audience and Pasargad Orchard one can see the remains of a simple palace known as Private Palace or P palace. It is rectangular and houses a hall with 30 columns and an Eyvan supported by 40 stone columns at east and another Eyvan with 24 columns at west. Royal Orchard water sprinkling system This is the oldest orchard in Iran known as Cyrus's paradise and an example of the first garden in Iran. The orchard was full of various types of trees, flowers, and birds and was decorated delicately by Cyrus himself with an irrigation and water sprinkling system. Two small buildings were built at the two sides of the orchard for resting.
|Gate of All Nations|
Persepolis in Marvdasht Plain was constructed during the reign of Darius the Great, Xerex, and Ardashir the First within a period of 50 years, Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire in which festivals especially Nowruz was held. On the first day of the Persian new year (March 21) large groups of representatives of satraps and governorates visited the King in Persepolis and brought dedications. Alexander of Macedonia attacked Iran in 330 BC, burnt Persepolis and probably many books and artifacts of the fallen empire Nevertheless the ruins of the capital stand gloriously in Marvdasht Plain. Persepolis, registered as a world heritage by UNESCO, was formerly known as Parseh or a Farsi town. The Greek changed it to Persepolis (Persian town), but the complex is called Takht-e Jamshid in the Persian language meaning the palace of mythological King Jamshid, The first scientific excavation in Persepolis was carried out by Ernest Herzfeld in 1931 and the result was submitted to the Institute of Orient, Chicago University. Brick tablets in the area say the oldest foundation for Persepolis was laid in the year 518 BC and Iranian architects, artists, masons, and many workers were hired and paid regular wages while they were building the palace. The architects were from Assyria, Egypt, Urartu, Babylon, Lidia, India, Sogdia, Greece, and India. At a first glance, the slabs seem to be of a single block but they are separate pieces mounted on each other and clamped with each other by molten lead. The entrance to the Persepolis terrace is accomplished through two symmetrical stairways northwest of the complex. Xerex's Gate aka Gate of Nations is 10m high with a single main doorway and two exits. The doorways have survived. On the western and eastern doorways one can see the bas reliefs of winged men and two stone bulls with a human head. Six inscriptions in cuneiform adorn the top of the doorway to the effect that every beautiful thing emanates from Ahuramazda. Apadana is the biggest and most glorious palace in Persepolis. The building started around 515 BC and was completed in 30 years. The central hall is square with 36 columns in 6 rows reaching the ceiling at a height of 20m. The royal hall was wide enough to entertain 10 thousand guests.
Tachara is Darius's private winter palace. Tachara has a tablet in which Darius says, “l, Darius, built the Tachara." The palace now serves as a museum of Old Persian and Pahlavi scripts. It is built over a platform 3m above the Apadana floor. It is a rectangular 30*40m building consisting of a central hall with 12 columns and side rooms which are connected to other rooms. On the walls, one can see bas servants carrying lambs and other sorts of food from the kitchen, dressed in Parsi or Median garb. Hadish Palace Known as Xerex's private palace is the highest structure over Persepolis terrace. The palace is connected to the Queen's place with two staircases. The rocks are yellowed because the water has evaporated from them. The Palace covers an area of 2550 m2 and stands over 36 columns. Queen's Palace was built by Xerex at a lower level compared to other buildings. Herzfeld unearthed it in 1931 and is now used as the museum and headquarters office of Persepolis Complex. Three-door Palace, most probably built by Darius, consists of a consultation hall and the gate of kings. This palace is connected to other palaces by three doorways and several corridors. Bas reliefs on the staircase show Parsian dignitaries and guests walking to the king's hall. 100-columned Palace is the second biggest palace, east of Apadana. Its central hall is supported by 100 stone columns in 10 rows covering an area of 4300 m2. There is a big yard at the northern portico and a building east of the palace incorporating halls, warehouses and corridors, A 90 m long and 10 m wide street, known as soldier's street, starts from Xerex's doorway and turns towards east and north.
The Royal Treasury consists of a hall standing with 99 columns, another hall of the same size, several other halls, chamber and two backyards, fortified and separated from other buildings. The Treasury was built by Darius then Xerex made some additions. Most of the vessels, statues and Xerex's eight-stone tablets have been found in the Treasury. The Audience hall shows Xerex dressed in official costume sitting on this throne with a royal staff in one hand and lotus flower in his left. The crown prince stands at his back followed by eunuchs and arm bearers. There are many important stone engravings from Darius, Xerex and Ardashir I in Persepolis
Sarvestan has a Sassanian palace, covering 25 hectares of land. The palace was built by Bahram-e Gour. Made of stone and plaster and a square Iwvan, the central apartment is 13 m long and 18 high and is capped by a dome. Maharloo with briny water is an important briny lake. Two rivers and several springs pour into the lake which is the habitat of flamingoes. 90% of the lake has recently dried away.
Sepidan, with its green mountainous nature, houses the Margoon waterfall (the most famous waterfall in Iran), 79 m high, 100 m long, 48 km from Ardekan. This is one of the best-known waterfalls in Iran's tourism.
Shiraz, known as the cultural capital city of Iranian civilization, is the capital city of Fars Province. It is known for the sweet dialect of its people who are widely known as cool, easy, and friendly. Shiraz has had an inevitable influence on Persian literature and culture which is still remarkable almost everywhere in the city almost every time and in everyone's words and behavior. Shiraz has four distinct seasons. The summer is hot in July and the winters are chilly, but the spring of Shiraz is famous all over the country and people from everywhere try to visit Shiraz at April.
It became a provincial capital in 693 after the Arabs conquered Estakhr, the nearby Sassanian capital. As Estakhr fell into decline, Shiraz grew important.The Buye Dynasty (945–1055) made it their capital and built mosques, palaces and extended the city wall. It was also ruled by Seljuk and Khwarazms before the Mongol invasion. The city survived destruction from invading Mongols when its local ruler offered tributes to Chenghis Khan. Shiraz again survived destruction by Tamerlane when Shah Shoja agreed to surrender. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of art thanks to patronizing governors and the presence of many outstanding scholars and artists.
The city was named Dar ul-"Elm (the House of Knowledge). Among the Iranian poets and mystics in Shiraz Sa'adi and Hafez were universally known. The mystic Roozbahan Baqali and the philosopher Mola Sadra were also notable figures who lived in Shiraz. In 1504, Shiraz was conquered by Shah Ismaeel I, the founder of the Safavid Dynasty, and it became a province of the Empire (1501-1722). Imam Qoli Khan, the governor of Fars under Shah Abbas I, constructed many palaces and ornate buildings similar to those in Isfahan. After the fall of the Safavid Dynasty Shiraz fell into decline, worsened by the raids of the Afghans and the rebellion of its governor against Nader Shah. Nader's troops besieged the town for a long time and eventually sacked it. When Nader was murdered in 1747 most of the historical buildings of the city were damaged or ruined and its population was reduced to 50,000. But Shiraz soon prospered under Karim Khan Zand who made it his capital in 1762. Employing some 12000 workers he built a royal district with a fortress, administrative buildings, a mosque, and one of the finest covered bazaars in Iran. He dug a moat around the city, constructed an irrigation and drainage system, and rebuilt the city walls. But Karim Khan's heirs failed to protect his gains. When Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar Dynasty, came to power he took his revenge from Shiraz by destroying the town's fortifications and by moving the country's capital to Tehran. Although sunk to a provincial capital Shiraz prospered because of falling in the commercial route to the Persian Gulf. Many of the famous gardens, buildings and houses built by Qajars have contributed to the city's beauty. In modern Shiraz, you can still see the historical Shiraz, its buildings, structure and culture everywhere.
The main foundation for Quran Gate, the entrance to the city, was laid by Azadoldolleh Deylami which two manuscript Qurans in Sols script were preserved at a chamber above the gate. It was the habit of the people in Shiraz to pass through the Quran gate on the first day of each lunar month to enjoy the Quran's protection. The new gate was constructed later on near the older ones at the entrance to Shiraz.
-The tomb of Khajoo-ye Kermani
Khajoo Kermani is a famous poet and mystic of the 14th century. His tomb is located west of the Quran Gate at a higher elevation at the skirt of a mountain.
This is a very precious roofed complex east of Shiraz Municipality Square and adjacent to a Mosque. The Bazaar was built by Karim Khan the year 1773. Some experts believe Karim had tried to imitate the Qeysarieh Bazaar of Istan to embellish his capital.
This bazaar lies south of Vakil's Bazaar and is a Qajar monument. The bazaar, stretching from north to south, is equipped with a series of malls and inns.
The Mausoleum of Shahcheragh is the most glorious religious building in Shiraz. The mosque is roofed by an azure dome and coated by very lovely tiles. hahcheragh Mosque is famous for its delicate tiles, mirror work, shrine, and silver gates. It was built by old and modern architects in the city.
Sa'adi’s mausoleum was built in the poet's monastery in which he spent his last years and was buried it. In the 13th century a tombstone was laid over Sa'adi's remains, but in 1590 upon the instruction of Yaghoub ibne Zolghadr, the governor of Fars. The poet's monastery was destroyed. In 1773 upon the instruction of Karim Khan a structure was raised over the poet's tomb which stayed until 1948. Two years later Mohsen Forughi, the famous architect of the Iran National Heritage Organization designed a new building to replace the older one in which he imitated Isfahan's Chehel Sotoun and a mixture of traditional and modern styles.
This area has been called "Seven men mausoleum” because seven graves of mystics lie in front of the veranda of a villa which has been built at the foot of Chehel Magham Mountain by Karim Khan.
Nassirolmolk Mosque, universally known for the eye-catching photographs of the colorful ray of lights from the windows in the morning, is equipped with a brickyard in the north. The entrance gate is capped by a big ceiling with false arches and covered by colorful tiles. A double wooden door is set at the gate. Two Shabestans are set at the eastern and western wings; the western Shabestan covered by ornamental bricks and supported by stone columns is prettier than the eastern Shabestan. Seven wooden doors decorated by pretty colorful windowpanes at the western Shabestan open into the courtyard. The decoration of this mosque resembles that of Vakil's Mosque in Shiraz. The ceiling and walls of the western Shabestan are covered by very pretty tiles and the floor is covered by azure tiles. The roof and the ceiling of the Morvarid Taqnama (false arch) at the north are covered by very pretty tiles and verses from the Quran.
Karim Khan's Citadel
Arg-e Karim Khan or Citadel was built during the Zand Period in the year 1766. Karim Khan hired the best architects and chose the best building material for this palace. When he chose Shiraz as his capital he used the Citadel as his private house. The citadel was used as a jail during the Pahlavi Period and was damaged. The repair of the citadel began a few years ago to convert it to a museum. A tiled painting on the portal of the gate displays the battle between Rustam and the White Demon. The Interior of the Citadel is decorated by the portrait of servants and soldiers of the Zand Period by pretty tiles. The building is a mixture of house and barracks. There is a portico and six rooms at the three wings of the complex. The king's private bath is located at the eastern wing. Previously the parapet at the four sides along with a moat was employed to defend against enemy attack.
-Atiq Congregation Mosque
Atiq Congregation Mosque is the oldest mosque in Shiraz, built at the eastern flank of Shahcheragh Mausoleum in the 16th century by Omarv Leith Safari after he defeated the caliph's army. Khodakhaneh (God's House) is a square structure in the middle of the mosque with four towers set on the four wings and a portico in front of each tower. A chamber has been constructed in the middle of this structure to preserve Qurans. big Shabestan was built south of the mosque with a portal decorated with lovely tiles during the 10 century AD.
This is a very pretty and solid mosque built by humble Karim Khan (who called himself Vakill ul-Roaya or the people's representative). The mosque is equipped with two porticoes and two Shabestans. The southern Shabestan covering an area of 5 thousand m2 is supported by 48 spiral stone columns. A staircase with 14 steps leading to a pulpit made of a single rock in the Shabestan has added to the Shabestan's beauty. The mosque is void of minarets. The interior of the mosque has been coated with very beautiful tiles in the shapes of trees, flowers, and nightingales.
-Vakil's Bath and Reservoir
The bath is adjacent to Vakil's Mosque. Most of the slabs on the walls of the bath are marble and there is a pretty triangular pond in each cloakroom. The ceiling and the walls of the bath are decorated by lovely lime friezes with flower designs and verses from Shahnameh. Vakil's Water Reservoir was constructed west of Vakil's Mosque in the year 1766. Madrasah Khan Madrasah Khan (EN: Khan's Seminary and school) was built during the Safavid Period. A large hall above the vestibule served as a classroom for famous scholars like Mulla Sadra. The portal above the gate is decorated by fine inlaid tiles.
-Demon's Cradle: Built on the western peak of Tang-e Allah O Akbar outside Shiraz it is a domed building constructed by Deylami kings to serve as an observation tower.
-Orchards and inns in Shiraz
Shiraz is enriched with many pretty orchards and inns some of which are mentioned below:
Delgosha Orange Orchard near Sa'adi's Mausoleum was built during the Timurid Period and the pretty building inside the orchard was built during the Qajar Period.
Afifabad Orchard, which was a recreational resort of kings and princes, is one of the prettiest orchards in Shiraz. Eram Orchard which was built during the Qajar era is another lovely orchard in the town. A three-storey building in the middle of the orchard is a masterpiece of architecture, painting, stonework, tilework, and stucco plaster decorations. Takht Orchard north of Shiraz at the Babakohi foothills was built in 1087 and was decorated during the Qajar Period. The Ilkhanid Orchard with an ancient building in it is very refreshing. Ahmadi Caravansary beside Vakil's Bazaar consists of women's and men's quarters with many cells. The double story building has verandas supported by stone columns. Roghani Caravansar is adjacent to Vakil's Bazaar. The inn is equipped with a building in the middle and cells for travelers and decorated by engraved stones and tiles.
-Bamou National Park
Bamou National Park north of Shiraz covers an area of 48,078 hectares and enjoys a Mediterranean and arid climate. In this park 112 species of beasts, 69 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, 19 species of vertebrates, and different herbs are exhibited.
Dasht-e Arjan (EN: Arjan Plain) is one of the last habitats of the now-extinct Persian Lion. This plain is located 60 km away from Shiraz at the foot of the southern Zagros Mountain Range. The water flows from neighboring springs and is a very lovely and refreshing place to visit.
Delak Barm pond and spring is a natural picnic area east of Shiraz. The water of the spring gushes from a cavity in the mountain and forms a pond. Three shelves were carved on the mountain opposite the pond during the Sassanid Period.
Shiraz has been twinned with Chongqing city in China, Nicosia (Cyprus), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Weimar (Germany), and Malacca in Malaysia.
-People and Culture
The people of Shiraz, known as easy, cool, and friendly people, speak Modern Persian with a sweet Shirazi dialect. Shiraz is celebrated in Iran as the cradle of literature and poetry as Hafez and Saadi, two great Persian poets who have left deep influence in Persian literature have been born and lived in Shiraz. Their influence was so great that Divan e Hafez (his book of poems) is put on every Iranian library shelf beside the Quran.
The metropolis is known as the hub of poetry, garden, nightingale, and the rose. Garden has much significance in Iranian culture and from ancient times. Nowadays most of the orchards in Shiraz are located northwest of the city among which Eram, Afif Abad, Delgosha and Jahan Nama orchards enjoy historical significance and attract many tourists. From 1968 until 1977 Shiraz held art festivals in which the most important cultural events in the world were celebrated. The object was to encourage Iranian handicrafts and culture. Meanwhile, It was a good venue for the congregation of Iranian and global traditional and modern artists. The folklore music of Shiraz is romance, happy and cool, mostly composed for the wedding ceremonies and some kind of it is known as Vasunak which is played by ordinary people in the wedding ceremonies.
The best gifts from Fars Province are traditional distilled herbs and juices, rosewater from Meymand and lemon juice from Shiraz and Jahrom, as well as almonds, sweet bread, and other sweetmeats. Hand made souvenirs including metal objects, miniatures, rugs, Gelims, straw mats, wood engravings, pottery, cotton shoes, leather, polished stone and glass, and silverware are also worth to buy.
Travelers arriving in Shiraz can several museums such as the following.
Located in the middle of Nazar Orchard. It is an octagonal building decorated with delicate tiles, paintings, and doors. The museum displays prehistoric pottery, brass, hunting tools, and jewelry. The pottery of the Second Millennium BC extracted from Fasa is notable for inspection. The dark vessels portraying fishes, an eagle, a pair of deer, and a lion are very interesting to see. Of brassware, one can see portraits of man and animals, idols, and other items fabricated by Lori artists. Items from the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods are also on display in Pars Museum.
-Afif Abad Military Museum
Housed in Nassirolmolk Building the museum consist of a main hall, women's and men's quarters and a basement, decorated by tiles in Sassanid style. Relics from Qajar Period such as chinaware, scripts, lacquer boxes, traditional costumes, mirrored boxes, etc. can be seen in this museum.
-Narenjestan e Qavam
Narenjestan e Qavam (EN: Qavam Orange Grove) is a beautifully decorated traditional and historical house with a calm lovely atmosphere, which was built between 1879 and 1886 by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam family were merchants originally from Qazvin. But they soon became active in the government during the Zand dynasty, followed by the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties as well. Naranjestan preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper-class families during the 19th century. The portal of the orange groove is decorated by delicate tiles, engraved stones, and an ornate ceiling of the entrance vestibule bedecked by tiles and bricks. The paintings on the low ceilings of the house are inspired by Victorian-era Europe. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking a small garden that was designed with fountains, date palms, oranges which make it filled with lovely odor, flowering plants, and a significant water sprinkling system. During the second Pahlavi era, the House became the headquarters of Pahlavi University's "Asia Institute'', directed by Arthur Upham Pope and Richard Nelson Frye. Frye and his family also lived in the house for a while. The house today is a museum and is open to the public.
-Museum of Natural History
Specimen of animals, herbs, stones, and fossils and their evolution is exhibited in this museum.
-Abu Nasr's Palace
The palace is the remains of a series of buildings with a stone parapet, brick walls, and an adobe building east of Shiraz. Pottery and stone vessels from the Achaemenid period and coins and other valuables from the Parthian and Sassanid periods are displayed in this palace which has been converted to a museum.
This is the oldest building in Persepolis which has been converted to a museum. Part of the building such as a portico, two painted halls, and another hall is used as a museum. In the veranda at the north and entrance to the museum, we can see two huge rock foundations 8 m high and 20 wide, the biggest slabs in Persepolis. The ceiling of the veranda is supported by eight wooden pillars capped by doubled headed bull capitals. Most of the items in the museums have been unearthed during the excavations. One section of the museum displays objects made of mud brick, rock, and metal, ornate tablets in cuneiform script, animal heads and bodies, spearheads, bows, swords, plates, trays, cups, flower vases, etc. The second section displays items found in Estakhr after Islam such as earthenware with Kufi scripts, pitchers and glassware. In another quarter prehistoric vessels and stone tools related to the Fourth Millennium BC are being displayed.
The route from Tehran to Shiraz takes 934km. There are two main roads: Tehran, Isfahan, Abadeh then Shiraz, and Tehran, Isfahan, Yasuj then Shiraz. The latter is more green, beautiful and mountainous, but the former, mostly a highway, is faster, better facilitated, and safer. Shiraz Airport, 8+ flights to Tehran daily, is the main international airport in the Province. The cities of Lar and Lamerd also have airports linking them with Shiraz and Tehran and nearby Persian Gulf littoral states like UAE and Bahrain. Shiraz is also connected with the rest of Iran by the railway network. The trains arrive and depart from Shiraz Railway Station.
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