Provincial Capital of Fars, Altitude 1,600 meters, 500 km S of Esfahan (935 km from Tehran) , 300 km N-E of Bushehr , 600 km E of Abadan.
The city of roses and nightingales, the city of poets and philosophers, the city of warriors and kings, orchards and orangeries, adonises and fragrant blossoms and above all the city of monuments where great empires of Achaemenians have come to power. This beautifully cut gemstone amongst Iranian cities, the fascinating poems and enchanting elegies, the city of Shiraz is situated on the green plains at the foot of the Allah-o-Akbar mountain.Karimkhan Zand made Shiraz his capital. The garden lanes of orangeries in this melodious city, filled the souls of poets such as Saadi and Hafez with higher sentiments and those two honored poets of Islamic culture and literature will always shine in the history of this city.
Shiraz,the City of Cogitation and Art :
Shiraz should called the city of cogitation and art, because throughout history ,many thinkers, poets and Gnostics have been born and raised in this city. Each one of them has an exalted position.
Poets such as Saadi and Hafez are so well know that they need no presentation. In different parts of the world, many people are familiar whit them. Many poets and literary men are inspired by their immortal and astonishing masterpieces and it is not surprising that the great poet and thinker, Goethe admired Hafez in his works. Hafez is not the only one. Many thinkers whose reflection have become the basis of cogitation in different parts of world, were raised in this city. Among them we can refer to celebrated people such as: Ibn Moghleh, Ibn Moghafa , Molla Ghotb, Molla Sadra and Mirzay Shirazi and also artists abd architects such as: Master Amanat Khan and Master Issa,who constructed the glorious monument of Taj-Mahal in India and wrote the inscriptions on it.Molla Sadra, the Iranian theologian, thinker and Gnostic of the tenth and eleventh century A.H. considered the greatest Islamic philosopher in the history of Islamic philosophy from this city.
Molla Sadra is the one who provided a rational basis for Hikmat-e Ishragh (illuminative philosophy) and mysticism. In his philosophy, one can see the encounter of mysticism with philosophy.
A walk through Shiraz will bring one face to face with monuments built in honor of these great men.
History of Shiraz
It was founded during the Achaemenian Dynasty, and under the Sassanians it became one on the main cities of the province of Fars.
Shiraz was spared destruction during the Mongol invasion, and reached the height of its glory under the Mongols (1220 - 1380) and the Timurids (1380 - 1502). It soon came to be known as one of the leading centers of calligraphy, painting, architecture and literature.
Although Esfahan became the Royal capital under Shah Abbas I (1502 - 1722)the Safavid ruler, Shiraz remained a provincial capital, and attracted a number of European traders who exported its famous wine. During this period, Emam Gholi Khan the governor of Fars built a large number of palaces and other ornate buildings. Shiraz started its decline with the Afghan raids in the early18th century, several earthquakes in the region, and an internal up-rising. When Nader Shah was assassinated in 1747, most of Shiraz’s historical buildings were destroyed. However, under the enlightened Karim Khan the first ruler of the Zand Dynasty (1747 - 1779), Shiraz flourished once again becoming a most worthy Iranian capital. Many of the most beautiful buildings in Shiraz were either built or restored in this period.
In 1789 Agha Muhammed Khan (founder of the Qajar Dynasty) moved the nation’s capital from Shiraz to Tehran. Although lowered to the rank of provincial capital, Shiraz maintained a level of prosperity, and it was governed by the royals throughout the Qajar period (1795 - 1925).
The Tomb of Hafiz
, Built in 1953 in a garden, the mausoleum is a small open pavilion; inside which is a marble tombstone with several of the poets" verses. One of the nicest tea-houses (chaikhaneh) in Shiraz can be found in the grounds, set around a rectangular pool. You can sit around on cushions sip a cup of tea, or rose water while reflecting on his poetry. Hafez spent most of his life in his native town and died there in 1389. He is considered the undisputed master of the ghazal, and his poems reflect a richness and a subtlety unequalled even by the other great talent, Saadi.
Sit near my tomb, and bring wine and music - Feeling thy presence, I shall come out of my sepulchre - Rise, softly moving creature, and let me contemplate thy beauty
The Tomb of Saadi
The tomb is a colorful monument of blue tiles and red marble surmounted by a turquoise dome.
The Vakil Citadel and Bazaar
Dated back to Karim Khan Zand era (1750-1779). Here is a labyrinth of passageways, where a variety of local handicrafts as well as manufactured goods is at display. The bath, citadel and mosque are also remainders of the great glory of those times.
Naqsh-e-Rostam: About Naghsh-e Rostam in Fars province
About four kilometers from Haji Abad mountain on the northeast of Persepolis, there are some historical works belonging to Elamite, Achaemenid and Sassanid kings which are called Naghsh-e Rostam because of their grandeur and height.
On the top of the mountain there are four tombs which are believed to be those of, Xerxes, Darius I Artaxerexes and Darius II, the Achaemenid kings.
In the first relief which has been carved in the lower side of the mountain, Narssi, the son of Shapur I receives the royal ring from the symbol of Anahita. In this carving the clothing style, the crown, hairstyle, ornaments and the strips which were fastened to the ankles have been demonstrated.
The second relief, which has been carved below the tomb of Darius the Great and includes two scenes, which have been separated by a relatively narrow line. Both scenes share similarities and the scene above demonstrates Bahram II (276 - 293 A.D) engaged in a battle with his foes.
The third relief constitutes the biggest and the most luxurious carving of the Sassanid era in Naghsh-e Rostam and includes the victory of Shapur I (242 - 271 A.D.) over the Roman emperor Valerian. In this relief Shapur I is riding his horse in full glory and grandeur and the Roman emperor Valerian has bowed before him.
Behind Shapur is seen the large inscription in Pahlavi plus the picture of the prominent and mighty Zoroastrian priest of his time. This inscription speaks of Shapur`s biography, background and endeavors for the reinforcement of the principles of the Zoroastrian faith.
The fourth relief demonstrates the victory of Hormuz II, the Sassanid king (302 - 310 A.D.) who has crushed his enemy. The fifth relief shows the scene of the victory of Bahram II (276 - 293 A.D.) where the enemy of the king grips a broken lancer in his hand and his horse is down on the ground. The sixth relief demonstrates Bahram II,the Sassanid king in the company of his court people and viziers.The seventh relief which is one of the early reliefs of Naghsh - e -Rostam, displays Artaxerxes (226 - 242 A.D.) who is receiving the royal ring from Ahura Mazda.
On the left has been carved Artaxerxes and to the right is Ahura Mazda, both riding horses. Under the hoof of Artaxerxes` horse has been carved a man who is said to be the last king of the Arsacids, and some others believe this man is a rival to Artaxerxes` throne.
Passargad or “ The Camps of Persepolis” is located 134 Km. From Shiraz. Cyrus the Great(599-530 BC), built his royal residence at Passargad. Nothing remains of Passargad, except the tomb of Cyrus
: On top of the rocky mountain of Rahmat in the plain of Marvdasht, the ruins of Takht-e-Jamshid palace are pre-eminent. Construction of these palaces started at the time of Darius I (521 BC) and was not completed in less than a period of 150 years. Takht-e-Jamshid is registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The entrance of the complex is formed by a two-ramp stairway composed of 110 rather wide and short steps. On top of the stairways is the main entrance or `The Great Gate`, marked by two statues of a bull with a human head and a pair of wings. There are two exits, one to the south and the other to the east. The south exit or gate connects to the Apadana Palace. Takht-e-Jamshid is 125 thousand sq.m. in area, and is composed of the main sections:
- Official reception halls and palaces
- Smaller and more private palaces
- Royal treasury
Takht-e-Jamshid was set ablaze by Alexander the Greek (330 BC) after which only ruins have remained. From these ruins, the Apadana Palace, at the main entrance, with 36 columns and three balconies (12 columns in each) in the north, south and eastern sections of the palace have been remained. The northern and eastern terraces are connected to the gardens opposite. The height of the platform in theApadana Palace is 16 m. and the height of its columns is 18 m.
Eram GardenBAGH-E ERAM, a famous and beautiful garden atShiraz. Its site close to the embankment of the Rudkhana-ye Kushk was formerly on the northwestern fringe of the city but is now well inside the greatly expanded urban area.
The present garden and mansion are not very old but, like the other famous gardens of Shiraz, may well have replaced an earlier foundation. D. N. Wilber surmised that its antecedent may have been the Bag-e Shah mentioned in accounts o seed (Fasa`i, II, p. 164). Forsat Shirazi, a contemporary of Fasa`i, praised the Bag-e Eram for its beautiful flowers, refreshing air, tall cypresses (a stately, beautiful cypress tree there known as sarv-e naz has long been a major tourist attraction), fragrant myrtles, flowing wa of the constructional work and praises of the then owner Nasir-al-Molk.
After the coup detat of 1332 5./1953 and the exile of the Qashqa`i brothers, who in the meantime had regained ownership of the Bag-e Eram, the government confiscated the garden and later on gave it to Pahlavi University (now the University of Shiraz).
Duringthis period the former mud walls were replaced with iron railings, old trees were cut down to make room for lawns, and a broad street named Eram Boulevard was laid out on the northwest side. Early during the revolution of 1357 5./1978-79. The Qashqa`is repossessed the garden; shortly afterward its owner Khosrow Khan dedicated it to the people of Shiraz. The garden has now been made into a botanical garden and the mansion has been assigned to the Faculty of Law of the university. Bibliography: Mohammad-Nasir Forsat Shirazi, Atar-e `Ajam, Bombay, 1313/1895, repr. 1353/1934. D. N. Wilber,PersianGardens and Garden Pavilions, Tokyo, 1962; tr. Mahindokht Saba, Bagha-yeIran kuska-ye an, Tehran, 1348 5./1969. R. Pechere, -Etude de jardins historiques, in UNESCO, Iran, March, 1973. Mohammad-Taqi Mostafawi, Eqlim-e Pars, Tehran, 1343 5./1964; tr. R. N. Sharp, The Land of Pars, Chippenham, England, 1978, p. 315.
Eram garden is located in the center of Shiraz on the side of Eram Street. A leader of the Qashqai tribe known as Mohammad Ali Khan Ilkhani during the early 18th century made this garden. About 75 years later, Nasirolmolk bought the garden and Haj Mohammad Hassan, the prominent architect built its three storey building. This monument is a masterpiece from the Qajar dynasty in so far as architecture, painting, carvinf, tiling and stuccowork are concerned.
The lower sections of the building`s exterior are formed of 2 - meter - high plain and carved stones and on the eight columns there is the exihibt of two Qajar soldiers ans six inscriptions. The inscriptions have been inscribed by Mirza Ali Naghi Khoshnevis in Nastaligh style of writing. In the portal of the building there are three large and two small sessions.
The spring, which flows in the waterfronts, right in the middle of the building pours into ponds and grants Eram garden a great appeal. The cypress tree in this garden is quite famous.
Jame Mosque (Shiraz) in Fars province
This is one of the oldest buildings of the early Islamic period in Fars.
Its architectural technique and high ivan are reminiscent of the Sassanid constructions which have supplied a model for imitation.
This ancient mosque belongs to the fourth century A.H. (10th centuryA.D.) and its mihrab must have been built around A.H. 363 (A.D. 973).
This mosque possesses a very spacious crescent-shaped ivan, open the southern side and walled at the back. Adjoining the back wall, there stands the mihrab, which is a later addition. In another part of the mosque, there is a minaret, which may have belonged to the original structure of this monument.