Shiraz Travel Guide
A historical city in southwest of Iran is the City of Roses synonymous with images of poets, flowers and the cultural capital of Iran. The name of city found in Persepolis inscriptions are the oldest relics that shows it was used as the instruction site during building of Persepolis. Shiraz was capital in many periods of history which the longest one is Zandieh dynasty from 1750 to 1781. It has been one of the most celebrated cities throughout history and there’s still plenty to see.
Quran gate: Azad ol Doleh Delamy in his governing period built these two arches in shape of a gate and placed two Qurans in them so that the caravans crossing through it are blessed and safe. The two Qorans are now preserved in Pars museum in Shiraz and the gate is one of the symbols of the city.
Shah-e Cheragh shrine: Tomb of Shah e Cheragh-Imam Reza’s brother- is one of the important shrines visited by Shiaa muslims. The structure of the actual tomb has two silver doors and inside the shrine is decorated with really fine mirror workings. Shah e Cheragh museum is also located in the south of apron.
Tomb of Hafez: Tomb of the famous Iranian poet (1936 – 2011 B.C) who never left his hometown except for Haj. His poetry influenced Persian lyrics more than anyone else. He has an anthology of poems which many Iranians keep in their homes and recites its poems and uses them as saying and proverbs in everyday life. The building of his mausoleum is located in center of a beautiful garden. You might see people performing the faal-e Hafez, a popular ritual in which you seek insight into your future by opening a volume of Hafez – the future is apparent in his words.
Tomb of Saadi: Tomb of the great Iranian poet who was born and died in 13 century. He has two major works Golestan (Rose Garden) and Bostan (The Orchard). His tomb has been reconstructed many times and the last time was during Karim Khan Zand government.
Tomb Khaju e Kermani:Tomb of another Iranian poet which is near Quran gate. He lived before Hafez and although Hafez literature owes a lot to him but his art is overwhelmed by Hafez greatness.
Zandieh Complex: Karim Khan was the founder of the Zand dynasty that ruled Iran from 1760-1779 BC. In this period, many buildings including mosques, water reservoirs, citadels, bazaars and caravansaries were built, many of which are still standing in Shiraz.
Karim Khan Citadel: The largest building in this complex was residence of Karim Khan and his family. This grand citadel is now a museum and located in central part of the city.
Vakil bazaar: One of the great architectural masterpieces of Zand dynasty is built in a way which is cool in summers and warm in winters. Now it’s a trade center for many goods such as fabrics, carpets, silver jewelry and hand woven materials and also visitable places in Shiraz. At the end of the Vakil Bazaar is the Moshir Serai, which was built in a typical courtyard plan, with rooms on two stories with trees and a pool in the center.
Vakil mosque: Another masterpiece from Zand era is this mosque with a large prayer hall (75 m. long and 36 m. wide) and a 14 stairs integrated marble pulpit.
Vakil bath: One of the most beautiful and complete traditional baths in Iran located in west of Vakil mosque. Now it is a museum of Nomadic carpets.
Shiraz city known as the city of birds and flowers has many beautiful and refreshing gardens. Some are as follows:
Eram garden: A spacious garden with many cypress trees and different kinds of flowers and plants located near the northwest of the center of city. The palace built in center of the garden is a magnificent Qajar style building with mirror decorated hall and a stone edged pool.
Jahan Nama garden: This garden is arranged in classical persian style with four avenues bordered with tees and flowers and a pavilion in the center existed from 13 century.
Afif abad garden: Afif abad or Golshan garden is the other garden in city with a palace built with an inspiration of Persepolis architecture by having stone pillars, this two story building constructed on request of Mirza Ali Mohammad Khan Qavam ol Molk about 200 years ago. There is also a military and weaponry museum in this garden.
Delgosha garden: About 400 meters south of Saadi tomb is this beautiful garden with a summerhouse in center of it that dates back to before Islamic period.
Naranjestan garden and Zinat ol Molk house: A garden and its palace from Qajar dynasty which belonged to Qavam family is a masterpiece because of its mirror and tile workings, paintings and wood decorations. The garden is full of orange trees that suit the name calling. Naranjestan museum is in the basement of this palace. An ally far from this building is Ziant ol Molk house which is now a museum.
Nasir al Molk mosque: also known as Pink mosque, Because of pink color tiles for its interior design, is a kind of traditional mosque in Shiraz. This mosque was built during the Qajar area, by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al molk, and it is designed by Mohammad Hasan e Memaar.
In two seasons like fall and winter, when the sunlight shines through the colorful glasses, and reflex it on Blue Mosaics, make a dazzling view inside this mosque.
Many of main ancient attractions of Iran from the Achaemenid and the Sassanid empires are scattered around Shiraz and you can visit them during excursions. The most important ones are as follows:
Persepolis: This magnificent structure which from about 518 BC in the Acheamenid empire which is a world heritage site is located 50 Km from Shiraz. This complex has 4 main parts:1) Palaces set for formal ceremonies 2) Palaces where was residence of the kings 3)Royal treasury 4) Protective forts
Palaces in this structure are as follows:
The Gate of the Nations
The Apadana Palace of Darius
The Hall of a Hundred Columns
Tachar Palace of Darius
The Hadish Palace of Xerxes
The Palace of ArtaxerxesIII
Imperial treasury, royal stables and the Chariot House.
Naqsh-e Rajab: In north of Persepolis inscriptions exist which dates back to the Sassanid Empire. It is not clear why this place is called Naghshe Rajab but the inscriptions show (from left to right): King Shapur the first and his family, Crowning of King Ardeshir the first and Crowning of King Shapur the first.
Naqsh-e Rostam: One of the sacred places for ancient Iranians that has relics from the Median, the Achaemenid and the Sassanid periods. Mausoleum of Achaemenid emperors (from left to right) Xerxes, Darius the first, Ardeshir the first and Darius the second are located in the top part of the hill. Across from these mausoleums is a cubic structure called Zoroaster temple. The oldest relic in this area is an Ilamic inscription along with other ones like the great inscription of King Shapur the first on wall of the Zoroaster temple and a well.
World’s Heritage site in Passargadea: This complex comprising of Cyrus mausoleum, Kambudieh mausoleum, Solomon crown, reception palace, Gate palace and a caravansary from Islamic period was an important place during the entire Achaemenid Empire.
Cyrus mausoleum: This 11 meter monument built from white stone is a square room placed on a 6 stairs pyramid.
Bishapur ancient city: In about 180Km from Shiraz is an ancient city belonged to the Sassanid Empire which was built at King Shapur the first-the second Sassani king-request (262 AD). There are many different structures in this area such as Anahita temple, Shapur ceremonial hall, ceramic porch, Valerin palace,etc.
Statue of Shapur the first: A giant masterpiece with 7 meters high and 30 tons weight curved in the Sassanid era exist in a cave on a hilltop 6 Km north of Bishapur.