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21 January 2021 |

  Shiraz

Shiraz is known for its breath taking beauty, history and architecture. Home to Cyrus the Great...


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Shiraz

The capital of History and Beauty

Shiraz is the capital city of Fars province and a treasure trove of Persian culture. It is also the former capital of Iran, during the Zand dynasty's era (1747-79), and also the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi. It is also been said to be the origin of one of the best wines in the world called Syrah. The city has a population of about 1,300,000.


Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2000 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and wine. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79), when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored.


In his 1893 book A Year Amongst the Persians, Edward Browne described Shirazis as ‘…amongst all the Persians, the most subtle, the most ingenious, the most vivacious’. And even in Iran, where regional one-upmanship is common, everyone seems to like Shirazis.
A city of poets, Shiraz is home to the graves of Hafez and Sa’di, both major pilgrimage sites for Iranians. It’s also home to splendid gardens, exquisite mosques and whispered echoes of ancient sophistication that reward those who linger longer than it takes to visit nearby Persepolis, the area’s major tourism drawcard.


There are the usual Iranian traffic issues, but the city’s agreeable climate, set as it is in a fertile valley once famed for its vineyards, makes it a pleasant place to visit (except at the humid height of summer or the freezing depths of winter).
There is a tourist information on the main boulevard a bit west of the palace. They speak English and can give helpful tips and have English maps.
For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. However be sure to haggle for a good price prior to getting into the car.
If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don't be alarmed. Many taxis in Shiraz are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.
However it always best to find a taxi through a reputable "telephone taxi" agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.
The city also has a reasonable bus service.


Pasargad


Pasargad was a Persian capital built by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. Around 500 BC, Darius I built a new capital at Persepolis 50 km away. Both are now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and both are near Shiraz.


Persepolis 


The centre of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian art, Persepolis (Capital of Persia in Greek) is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz. Iranians call it Takht-e Jamshid (The throne of Jamshid), Jamshid being the first, probably mythical, ruler of Iran.

This magnificent court was the summer residence of the Achaemenian emperors and their official reception quarters. It must be by some strange accident of history that Persepolis was never mentioned in foreign records, for it was here that representatives of all the varied peoples of the empire gathered to pay homage, and bring tribute, to the King of Kings, probably each spring, at the time of the ancient Now Ruz festival. Although set on fire and destroyed by Alexander in a gesture symbolizing the destruction of Persian imperial power, its still impressive ruins permit a fairly complete reconstruction of its original appearance. Entrance fee 200,000 rial (not including optional guide or museum entrance)


Tomb of Hafez


The Tomb of Hafez and its associated memorial hall, the Hāfezieh are two memorial structures erected in the northern edge of Shiraz, Iran, in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez. The open pavilion structures are situated in the Musalla Gardens on the north bank of a seasonal river and house the marble tomb of Hafez. The present buildings, built in 1935 and designed by the French architect and archaeologist André Godard, are at the site of previous structures, the best-known of which was built in 1773. The tomb, its gardens, and the surrounding memorials to other great figures are a focus of tourism in Shiraz.

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