Shiraz (Iran)

According to, Shiraz is located 935 km south of Tehran in the southwestern part of Iran and is the administrative center of the ancient province of Fars, where the main cities of the Achaemenid Empire were located about 2500 years ago. Shiraz stands at an altitude of 1600 m on the southern outskirts of the Zagros Mountains at the foot of the Alla-u Akbar mountain, surrounded by orchards.

The first mention of Shiraz was found on stone tablets dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. In the 13th century A.D. Shiraz became the main cultural center of Persia, the most famous Persian poets and scientists lived and worked here. In the second half of the 18th century, during the reign of the Zend dynasty, Shiraz became the capital of the state. Shiraz considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and one of the main cultural centers of Iran. Shiraz is also known as the “Persian capital of poetry” and the “city of gardens”. Mausoleums of the most popular Persian poets Saadi (13th century), Kwadzhu Kermani (13-14th centuries) and Hafiz (14th century) are locatedĀ in Shiraz. The tomb of Kwaju Kermani is located near the ancient city gate Koran. The gate was erected at the northeast entrance to Shiraz in the 10th century AD During the reign of the Zend dynasty, a vault was added at the top of the gate, where the holy book of the Koran was kept. In 1937, the Koran was sent to the city museum, however, there is still a legend that everyone who passes through the gate of the Koran receives a blessing. Vakil Bazaar is located in the center of Shiraz. It is believed that the marketplace on the site of the bazaar was founded in the 10th-11th centuries AD. Under Karim Khan in the 18th century, covered galleries, caravanserai, baths and mosques were built here. The Arg-e-Karim-Khan fortresshas been preserved near the bazaar, which was erected in the middle of the 18th century. The fortress was used as the residence of the king. After the fall of the Qajar dynasty, it turned into a prison, and our museum is located here. The fortress has the shape of a square in plan, at the corners of which there are four 14-meter towers. The height of the walls of the fortress reaches 12 m, and the thickness is 3 m.

In the Old City of Shiraz, the most ancient mosque of the city, Attik Jame of the 9th century, and the richly decorated Vakil mosques of 1773 and Nasir-ol-Molk of 1888 are also interesting. Near the mosques there is a place of pilgrimage for Shiites – the Shah Sherag mausoleum of the 14th century, where the brothers of Imam Reza – Amir Ahmad and Mir Muhammad are buried.

From other sacred places of Shiraz one can single out the mausoleum of Such-Haft-Tanan, which means “grave of seven Sufis” and the mausoleum of Shah Shoja, who was the emir of Persia in the 14th century. Be sure to take a walk through the old city gardens with rich mansions. The most famous and most extensive garden of Shiraz is the garden of Bak-e Eram (“Garden of Eden”). It appeared in the 19th century under the rule of the Qajar dynasty. In the garden, the Ghajar Palace was built, where members of the royal family once rested, and a picturesque pond was dug. Also worth visiting are the late 19th century Ghavam Gardens, which now houses the Narejestan-Ghavam Museum presenting the archaeological finds of the region, Afifabad 1863 with the Military Museum, and Delgosha.

Numerous museums of the city are interesting. The Fars Museum presents a collection of ancient arts and crafts, in addition, there is the tomb of Karim Khan from the Zend dynasty, the Iranian Press Agency Museum , the Para Museum and the Haft Tanan Museum contain relics of the Zend dynasty. The environs of Shiraz with many archaeological sitesĀ deserve special attention. 60 km northeast of Shiraz are the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis.. Its name is translated from Greek as “the capital of Persia”. The city was founded by Cyrus the Great in the middle of the 6th century BC, and under Darius I in 520 BC. e. it was chosen as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Under Darius I, Persepolis turned into an impregnable fortress, which in 330 BC. nevertheless, they captured and destroyed the troops of Alexander the Great. The central place in the archaeological complex of Persepolis is occupied by the palace of Darius I – Apadana. The palace stands on a stone platform 4 m high. Two staircases, decorated with reliefs, lead to it. The palace itself is a vast ceremonial hall with 13 columns (originally 72 columns supported the roof of the palace). Behind the Apadan Palace are the main halls – Trypylon and the Hall of a Hundred Columns, which are also decorated with reliefs. Adjacent to the halls are the foundations of an extensive treasury and living quarters. Nearby you can see the residential palace of Darius I – Tahara – and the palace of Artaxerxes III – Hadish.

12 km northwest of Persepolis are the royal tombs of Nakshe-Rustem carved into the rocks, where Darius I, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II are buried. In the vicinity of the tombs, you can see rock inscriptions, the oldest of which date back to the 1st millennium BC. Also in Nakshe-Rustam is a square building “Zarathustra’s Cube”. Some historians believe that it served as a Zoroastrian “tower of fire”, and some believe that the remains of King Cyrus the Great lie under the building. Not far from here are the rock reliefs of Nakshe-Rajab, dating back to the Sassanid era.

70 km northeast of Persepolis is the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire and one of the largest centers of Zoroastrianism – Pasargada. The construction of the city began in 546 BC. under King Cyrus the Great. The archaeological zone covers an area of 1.6 sq. km. Here you can see the alleged tomb of King Cyrus the Great, the ruins of royal palaces and the remains of the Toll-e-Takht fortress.

115 km south of Shiraz are interesting ruins of the ancient city of Bishapur, which he founded in 266 AD. the king of the Sassanids – Shapur I. In the vicinity of the city there is a cave of Shapur with a huge statue of the king.

It is also worth visiting the ruins of the city of Firuzabad of the early 3rd century AD, which was built on the site of the city of Gura destroyed by Alexander the Great. The remains of the palace of Ardashir I and the Zoroastrian temple of fire have been preserved here.

Shiraz (Iran)

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