Shiraz, the fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province, is also known as Pars (one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia). With a moderate climate, and located in the southwest of Iran on the seasonal river of “Rudkhane-ye Khoshk”/ Dry River, it has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers. Due to its many gardens and fruit trees (like Eram Garden) it is considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens.
Industry & Handicrafts
The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; as well as carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim/ gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz also other industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products and metalworks are current. Except for its major oil refinery, Shiraz is a major center for Iran’s electronic industries, too; as, 53% of Iran’s electronic investment has been centered in this city. Shiraz is home to Iran’s first solar power plant and recently the city’s first wind turbine has been installed above Baba Kuhi Mountain near the city, as well.
Being located in south of Iran and northwest of Kerman Province, it is placed in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains, 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level.
A seasonal river, Dry River, flows through the northern part of the city and pours into Maharloo Lake; to which, a great deal of its nice pleasant weather owes.
Shiraz with distinct seasons, is considered as a hot semi-arid climate, with hot Summers and a July average temperature of 38.8 °C (101.8 °F); also Winters of this spot are cool, with average low temperatures below freezing in December and January. It has around 300 mm (12 in) of rain falls per year and almost entirely in the winter months, though sometimes this may happen in other months of the year.
World Heritage Sites of Shiraz
• Pasargadae/ the limestone tomb of Cyrus the Great and capital of the Achaemenid Empire under his ruling (559–530 BCE), who himself ordered its construction. It is about 90 kilometers (56 mi) northeast of the modern city of Shiraz.
• Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), situated 60 kilometers (37 mi) northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province. A typical of the Achaemenid architecture style; the earliest remainders of which, date back to 515 BC.
• Firouz Abad County, located in south of Shiraz, it was surrounded by a mud wall and ditch. This ancient city (Gor), dating back to the Achaemenid period, was destroyed by Alexander the Great. Centuries later, Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire, revived the city before being ransacked by the invaders of Arab Muslim (seventh century). It was again revived by the Buyids, but was eventually abandoned in the Qajar period and replaced by a nearby town, which is now Firouz Abad.
Tourist Attractions of Shiraz
Thanks to Shiraz cultural heritage sites, bearing a global importance, the city is one of the key tourism spots of Iran; the exploration of which, is one of the musts never be ignored. Follow this article by some of these attractions:
• The most renowned tombs: tombs of Hafiz, Saadi, and Khaju-ye Kermani (whose tomb is inside a mountain above the city’s old Qur’an Gate); Other lesser known ones are that of Shah Shoja’ (the Mozafarid Emir of Persia, and patron of Hafiz), and the Haft Tanan Mausoleum, where seven Sufi mystics are buried. The Tomb of Baba Kuhi sits atop a mountain overlooking the city, and the tomb of Karim Khan Zand is placed at the present pars museum of Shiraz.
• Shiraz significant mosques: the most renowned of the mosques are Atigh Jame’, Vakil and Nasir al-Mulk Mosques, with the Vakil Mosque situated west of the famous Vakil Bazaar and covering an area of 8,660 square meters (93,200 square feet), that was built in 1187 (AH) during the Zand Dynasty.
• Historical Houses: the most famous of them are Zinat-ol Moluk and Gahavam and the both are in the old quarters of the city.
• Qur’an Gate: the entrance to Shiraz, located near the gorge of Allah-o-Akbar, that is surrounded by the Baba Kuhi and Chehel Maqam mountains.
The gateway once in an upper room contained two hand-written Qur’ans by Sultan Ibrahim Bin Shahrukh Gurekani, which just recently was moved to the pars museum.
• Arg of Karim Khan: a citadel, located in Shiraz downtown, which worked as a prison after the Qajar dynasty for some time. Now, it is an important tourism spot.
• Palace of Ardashir: also known as Atash-kadeh/ fire temple, it a castle located on the slopes of the mountain; on which, Dezh Dokhtar is situated. Built in AD 224 by King Ardashir I of the Sassanid Empire, this palace is located two kilometers (1.2 miles) north of the ancient city of Gor/ old city of Firouz Abad.
• Sarvestan Palace: a Sassanid-era building in the Iranian city of Sarvestan, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) southeast of Shiraz, that was Built in the 5th century AD. Either it has been a gubernatorial residence or a Zoroastrian fire temple.
• Qal’eh Dokhtar: a castle made by Ardashir I, in 209 AD. It is located on a mountain slope near the Firouz Abad-Khavar Road.
• Eram Garden/ Bagh-e Eram: a striking location for visitors with a variety of plants as well as a historic mansion. Although the exact date of the garden’s construction is not clear, historical evidence suggests that it was done by the orders of the Sanjar (celebrated Seljuk Monarch).
Other historical Persian gardens are Afif Abad and the Museum of Weapons, Delgosha and Jahan Nama Gardens.
• Margoon Waterfall: in Persian meaning “snake-like”, is located in the Fars province of Iran near the city of Sepidan;
• Shapur Cave: is located in the Zagros Mountains (Iran south), about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the ancient city of Bishapur. This cave is near Kazerun in Chogan Valley, which was the site of polo in the Sasanid period.
• Pooladkaf: a ski resort in the south of Iran that was opened in 2002. Though its altitude is not that much high, it receives adequate snow (usually 2 meters or 6.6 feet of snow in February) just to form this nice resort. The skiing season starts in December and lasts to the end of March.