Shiraz is a city of sophistication that has been celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2000 years. Known as the House of Learning, the City of Roses, City of Love and City of Gardens, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales and poetry. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79) when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored. This city is situated in the south east of Iran and is the capital city of Fars Province, with a population of about 1 500 000. 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.
Place to visit
Persepolis (Old Persian: Pārsa,Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian,the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid). The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BCE. To the ancient Persians,the city was known as Pārsa,which means "The City of Persians". Persepolis is a transliteration of the Greek Πέρσης πόλις (Persēs polis: "Persian city").
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. The wide vaulted brick avenues are masterpieces of Zand architecture, with the design ensuring the interior remains cool in summer and warm in winter. Today, it is home to almost 200 stores selling carpets, handicrafts, spices and clothes and is one of the most atmospheric bazaars in Iran, especially in the early evening when it is fantastically photogenic. As usual, it’s best explored by wandering without concern for time or direction, soaking up the atmosphere in the maze of lanes leading off the main thoroughfares.
Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque
Walking through the southeastern (back) 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 iwan 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. The Khodakhaneh(House of God) bears an uncanny likeness to the Kaaba at Mecca,and bears a unique Sassanid-style Tholth inscription in raised stone characters on a tiled background.
The Aramgah-e Sa’di and its generous surrounding gardens are appropriate for a man who wrote so extensively about gardens and roses. It’s a tranquil place with the tombstone housed in an open-sided stone colonnade, inscribed with various verses from Saadi and supporting a tiled dome.
The Tomb of Hafez and its associated memorial hall, the Hāfezieh (حافظیه), 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 Godard, 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