Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature,wine (despite Iran being an Islamic republic), and 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 ofkilim, 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.
Recently the city’s first wind turbine has been installed above Babakoohi mountain near the city
Shiraz is most likely more than 4,000 years old.
The name Shiraz is mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions from around 2000 BC found in southwestern corner of the city.
According to some Iranian mythological traditions,
it was originally erected byTahmuras Diveband, and afterward fell to ruin.
In the Achaemenian era, Shiraz was on the way from Susa to Persepolis and Pasargadae.
In Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma it has been said thatArtabanus V, the Parthian Emperor of Iran, expanded his control over Shiraz.
Ghasre Abu-Nasr (meaning “the palace of AbuNasr”) which is originally from Parthian era is situated in this area.
During the Sassanid era, Shiraz was in between the way which was connecting Bishapur and Gur to Istakhr. Shiraz was an important regional center under the Sassanians.
“Blessed be Shiraz in its unparalleled state/May God Almighty guard against its demise.”
So wrote Hafez, the revered 14th century poet and native of Shiraz, a verse that has become for many the unofficial slogan of Iran’s esteemed cultural capital.
Shiraz is a city steeped in history and poetry, and should be found at the top of any tourist’s itinerary.
Here we run through 10 of the essential things to see and do when visiting this historic centre of arts, letters, and politics
The wonderfully photogenic Vakil Bazaar is Shiraz’s main market place and home to hundreds of shops and stalls.
Satisfyingly labyrinthine, the bazaar is the place for buying rugs, spices, jewellery, and household goods. Stumbling across teahouses, courtyards, caravanserais, and the traditional bathhouse, you may need more than one afternoon to explore the entirety of the Vakil Bazaar.
The vaulted arched ceilings are a fine example of 18th century Zand architecture, and make for a pleasantly cool atmosphere through which to meander.
Hafez is arguably the most loved and respected poet in the vast canon of Persian literature.
Considered the master of theghazal (a short, amorous, rhyming poem), Iranians from all walks of life can quote his verses on demand.
His tomb resides in a well-kept garden in northeast Shiraz; more than a tourist attraction, it functions as a site of pilgrimage for his admirers the world over.
Have your fortune told, visit the onsiteteahouse, and contemplate the playful nuances of his lyrical ingenuity as you wander around the extensive grounds.
The resting place of beloved 14th-century Shirazi poet Hafez, this mausoleum is a pilgrimage destination for Iranians.
More than just a poet, Hafez still has a role in Iranians’ daily life when they need solace, advice for the future and during Yalda night, the longest of the year, when families gather around a table and read his poems
The final stop on your day-trip outside the city should be Pasargadae, an Achaemenid political centre that predates Persepolis.
Another 50 kilometres north of its more famous successor, it’s not the most convenient of destinations, but the striking solemnity of Cyrus the Great’s ancient tomb, now surrounded by inhospitably harsh terrain, justifies the effort.
The founder of the Achaemenid Empire,
his isolated tomb is built upon a broad-stepped base,
and was allegedly visited by Alexander the Great himself, after he conquered Persepolis.
The Shah-e Cheragh (‘King of Light’) mausoleum is the picturesque resting place of two of the martyred brothers of Ali Reza, the 8th Shia Imam.
Although killed in the 9th century,
the present-day burial site has been considerably developed since the Qajar era.
The central courtyard has a fountain at its centre, and the shrine features characteristically Iranian, intricate blue tile work and a dazzling mirrored interior, making it one of the prettiest mosques in Shiraz.
Persepolis, or Takht-e Jamshid in Persian, was the magnificent ceremonial capital of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, over 2500 years ago.
Ransacked by Alexander the Great, the site represents the pinnacle of ancient Iran’s political and architectural achievements.
The UNESCO world heritage site is located about 70 kilometres northeast of Shiraz,
and tours will take you from the city centre on a day trip.
The impressive ruins require a good few hours to explore, although take plenty of water, for the midday sun can be pretty unforgiving.
A trip to Shiraz is not complete without a day tour to Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Achaemenid Empire.
Founded by Darius The Great around 518 BC, the city was the ceremonial seat of the empire where leaders, kings and official came from all over the world to pay their respect to the head of what was one of the greatest empires of their time.
Persepolis was huge and majestic, and still today we can grasp its grandeur already from its entrance, known as the Gate of All Nations, where mythological figures welcomed the visitors and protected the city from all evils