Karim Khan was the founder of the Zand dynasty that ruled Iran from 1750 to 1779. As one of the advocates of the development of Iran he chose Shiraz as his capital during the Zand period that the city witnessed the peak of its prosperity. In this period many buildings including mosques, water reservoirs, citadels, bazaars and caravansaries were built, many of which are still standing and useful in Shiraz.

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Arge Karim Khani or the citadel of Karim Khan is one of these major buildings in Shiraz attracting thousands of visitors and tourists every year. It is in fact the largest and the most outstanding complex of Zand era. The citadel has been the political center of Karim Khan and his successors.

Arg as is locally called or citadel is an Iranian large residential area crenelated with tall walls and round shaped towers. Citadels were normally the resident of kings, local governors, military commanders or other dignitaries needing to live in a secure and guarded place. Arg e Karim Khani being the fascinating residence and the political headquarters of Karim Khan continued to preserve its importance throughout the Zand era and even afterwards.

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As a triumph of architecture it is located at the central area of the city. It used to have many annexed buildings but at present only the citadel has been left for security and defense purposes.