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Sight seeing of Iran

Tomb Of Hafez, Shiraz

Amir Chakhmaq Square, Yazd

Shiraz (شیراز)

The city of Shiraz is located in a high mountain valley of the Zagros Mountains and is 935 kilometers south of Tehran. Despite its southerly latitude, due to its elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level, it has a relatively mild climate allowing for its magnificent gardens. The pleasantly temperate climate has long made the city a vacation destination of southern Iran and the northern Persian Gulf states of the Arabian Peninsula.

Shiraz was an important town during the Achaemenian period, located only 50 kilometers south of the powerful capital of Persepolis. It was not, however, developed as a city until 684 after the fall of the Sassanians to the Arabs. It has served as the capital of Iran at various times in the past, the last being when Karim Khan Zand (ruled 1750-1779), the first ruler of the Zand Dynasty, made it his capital. It has served as the capital of the Pars province since the seventh century. While Shiraz was spared from destruction during the Mongol invasion, it began to decline in the latter years of the S afavid Dynasty, after the Afghan raids of the 18th century, several earthquakes, and insurrections. In 1747 when Nader Shah was assassinated, most of the city's historical buildings were destroyed. When Karim Khan Zand made it his capital he rebuiltmany of the buildings. His titled name adorns two of the notable places in the city, the Vakil Mosque, an important building in the religious life of the city as well as architecturally, and the Vakil Bazaar. The bazaar is a colorful place enhanced in certain seasons by the influx of nomadic Qashqai tribesmen and the brightly colored clothing of the tribal women. Shiraz is the chief market town of the Qashqai.

Shiraz is home to the third most visited pilgrimage site in Iran, the Shrine of Shah Chiraq. It is also the hometown of the important poets Hafez (1320-1391) and Sa'di (1184-1292), both of whom have their tombs located in the city. These are situated in beautiful gardens and are places of steady visitation and great veneration, reflecting the poetic propensity of Iranians. It is often commented of Shiraz, the city of "roses and poets," that it is the virtual capital of Persian poetry. Other attractions of the city include a number of fine old homes and associated garden estates, including the Bagh-i Eram, now belonging to Shiraz University and used as a reception hall and a museum, and the Narengestan. The latter, a nicely restored home and garden belonging to a prominent Shiraz family of the 19th century, became the home of the Asia Institute and base of operations of the important art historian, Arthur Upham Pope. There are also many local shrines in the city.

Another claim to fame of Shiraz is as an important university town. Formed in 1945, Shiraz University (formerly Pahlavi University) is a well-developed school which was lavishly spent on by the former Pahlavi Dynasty. Under contract with the University of Pennsylvania, there was a concerted attempt to establish a model American-style institute of higher education. With its many charms and attractions, few would dispute that Shiraz is one of the most pleasant cities in Iran.

 Refrence(s):

Lorentz, H. John. 2007. Historical Dictionary of Iran: Shiraz. Lanham, Maryland, Toronto, Plymouth, UK. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Second Edition. Pp. 311-312

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