Among the historic cities of Iran, Shiraz plays a significant role. This beautiful city is known as the city of poetry, literature and flowers. Furthermore, it is famous of being the hub of medical science and the cultural capital of Iran. It is one the most visited cities which calls as the paradise of travelers. Today, we are going to get to know this fascinating destination.
Shiraz is the capital of Fars province, located to south of Iran. Based on the excavations, the history of this splendid city at least dates back to 7000 years ago. More importantly, Fars province is the home of Persian empires, the Achaemenid empire and the Sassanid empire. In fact, the name Fars is originated from the Pars, Persia. Also, the name of this outstanding city is mentioned in the Achaemenids tablets, Tiraziš. But, the flourishing time of Shiraz refers to the Islamic period when it was chosen as the capital of the Fars province and even the capital of the country, during Buyid era and Zand era and Since then Shiraz has been the trading center of the south of Iran. Here are some tips to do in Shiraz and Fars province, and also What to see in this amazing destination.
Shiraz is the cultural hub of Iran and plays a great role in the tourism of Iran. Undoubtedly, the first and the most important tourist attraction of Shiraz, even Iran, is Persepolis. This historic site of Iran was the ceremonial capital of Achaemenid dynasty and was founded by Darius the 1st the great during the 6th century BC. This amazing attractions of Iran represents the pinnacle of ancient Iran and the glory of Persia which was conquered by Alexander the great and unfortunately was fired by them. This world heritage site is located about 60 km to the north of Shiraz, in Marvdasht city.
Another fascinating tourist attraction of Iran that is located near Shiraz, and also Persepolis, is Naqsh-e Rostam or Necropolis. The name, Naqsh-e Rostam literally means the figure of Rostam whom is an Iranian myth. The importance of Necropolis is that there you will visit different periods of the history of Iran, as there is an Elamite relief, Achaemenids’ tombs, Sassanid’s bas-reliefs and the Zoroastrian Cube. So, you will have a short trip through the history of Iran. In addition, Naqsh-e Rajab is another historic place which includes four Sassanid reliefs that is located between Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam.
Along exploring Persepolis and Necropolis, you can visit Pasargadae that is located about 160 to the north of Shiraz, 1:30 hours. The first dynastic capital of Achaemenids is welcoming you with some splendid tourist attractions. The first and the most important one is the tomb of Cyrus the great who founded the Achaemenid dynasty. He also known as a man of liberty and peace. Furthermore, there you’ll find the first phase of the Persian architecture and more importantly the prototype of Persian gardens. The thing which adds the beauties of this historic site of Iran is that both Cyrus the great’s tomb and the Persian garden are registered in the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
Obviously, the home of Sassanid dynasty contains many of their effects. About 33 Sassanid reliefs and four Sassanid cities are located in Fars province. Sincerely, the Sassanid ensemble in Fars province are world heritages, registered by UNESCO. In the city of Firuzabad, about 150 km to the south of Shiraz, there are remains of the ancient city of Ardeshir Khoreh, literally means the glorious city of Ardeshir whom founded the Sassanid dynasty. This ancient city holds some outstanding historic monuments of Iran, such as; the palace of Ardeshir, Daughter Castle and two Sassanid bas-reliefs.
The Sassanid palace of Sarvestan is another option to visit during your tour to Iran and Shiraz. This well reserved palace perfectly represents the Sassanid’s architecture which lies 70 km to the east of Shiraz. In addition, on your way, have a short visit to the Salt Lake, or the pink lake. This marvelous natural attraction of Iran attracts many visitors annually that is just located 20 km to the east of Shiraz. In fact, it is a seasonal Salt Lake with a dominant pink hue due to the red tides.
Honestly, the beauties of this outstanding tourist destination of Iran is expanded all around Fars province. In your journey through the attractions of Iran and Shiraz it is absolutely recommended to visit the ancient city of Bishapur. This fabulous historic site of Iran is located to the west of Fars province, 150 far from Shiraz. There you will watch the remains of an ancient city which was built during the 3rd Century AD by Shapur the 1st after defeating three Roman emperors. Moreover, just next to this historic place lies the Chogan strait, or Chogan gorge, where six splendid Sassanid bas-reliefs are presenting the history of Sassanid dynasty. But, your trip has not finished yet. A bit further the famous Shapur Cave is welcoming you in which the statue of Shapur is standing.
The tombs of two Persian poets are other tourist attractions in Shiraz, the tomb of Hafez and the tomb of Saadi. In fact, due to the presence of these outstanding Persian Poets Shiraz has become the center of Persian literature and Persian poetry. Both Saadi and Hafez had lost their fathers in their youth, so that they faced some difficulties. Saadi was a traveler and composed his master pieces of Persian poetry after returning to Shiraz, Golestan and Bustan. Just after Saadi, another Persian poet emerged in Shiraz, during the 14th century. In spite of Saadi, Hafez didn’t travel and almost spent all his life in his hometown.
Also, Shiraz is the city of gardens, flowers and nightingale where you will encounter this special type of gardens, Persian gardens, which are registered in the UNESCO’s world heritage list. Undoubtedly, the most important one is Eram garden which lies in the northern side of the city. This Persian garden traces back to 900 years ago and is one of the oldest gardens in Iran. Afif Abad garden and Delgosha garden are other tourist attractions in Shiraz.
Surely, the capital of Zand era contains more historic places of Iran. About 250 years ago, Karim Khan enthroned and founded a new dynasty, Zand dynasty. He also ordered refurbishing the city, specially after it had faced some natural disasters and wars. In the center of the city, the majestic walls of Karim khan’s citadel is bringing every one up. Beside Karim Khan’s citadel, pars museum, Vakil Bath, Vakil mosque and Vakil bazar are other tourist attractions in Shiraz which are dated in Zand era.
But after that era, the cultural center of Iran kept its importance and beauty. During the Qajar dynasty, the 19th century, some other outstanding buildings were built in Shiraz by some dignitaries of the city. Definitely, the most popular one is Nasir Al-Molk mosque or the pink mosque, where enchants visitors by its magnificent color and fascinating colorful stained glasses. Narenjestan Qavam with its amazing mirror works and Zinat Al-Molk museum are another amazing tourist attractions of Shiraz that were constructed by Qavam house, a powerful and important house of Shiraz during the 19th century.
Shiraz is the center of Persian culture, literature and poetry. Also it is considered to be the city of gardens, flowers and nightingale. All of these elements turn it to the tourism hub of Iran. Reyhan Travel is one of the best Travel agencies in Iran that provides the best tour packages to Iran, including tour to historic sites of Iran, excursions through natural attractions of Iran, pilgrimage and religious packages of traveling to Iran, etc.