Shiraz is the capital of Fars Province which has more than 4000 years of history. It has a population of around 1,460,000. Shiraz is located in the south of Iran and the northwest of Fars Province. It is located in a green plain at the foot of Zagros Mountains 1,500 meters above sea level. It is known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city. Shiraz’s economic base is in its provincial products, which include grapes, citrus fruits, cotton and rice. It also has a major oil refinery and is a major center for Iran’s electronic industries.

The tourist attractions of Shiraz are:

Nasir-Al-Molk Mosque
The mosque is called by many different names. It’s also known as the “Pink Mosque” because of the rose-colored tiles that cover the interior. The mosque was built during the Qajar dynasty, and is still in use under protection by the Endowment Foundation of Nasir al Molk. The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kase (five bowls) design. With sunrise, the colors of window reflect on the ground, walls and even the visitors. The color dances of the interior reveals a magnificent masterpiece of design.


Narenjestan Garden of Shiraz (Qavam House)
Qavam Garden of Shiraz dates back to Qajar era. Due to abundance of sour orange trees, it is called Narenjestan. It is a traditional and historical house built by Mirza Ibrahim Khan between 1879 and 1886.  The edifice represents the elegance of upper-class family during the 19th century. The garden in the complex is one beautiful structure which represents Persian gardens. The house is a museum today and open to the public. It attracts many tourists who travel to Iran.


Eram Garden
Eram Garden is a historical Persian garden in the north of Shiraz and includes several historic buildings and a botanical garden. Both the building and the garden were built in the middle of the thirteenth century by the Ilkhanate or a paramount chief of the Qashqai tribes of Pars. Bagh-e-Eram, literally translates to Paradise Garden, is one of the nine UNESCO inscribed cultural heritage sites. Currently, the garden and the building are within Shiraz botanical garden, protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization, and open to public as a historical landscape.


Karim Khan Citadel
This building which is the biggest and the most important building of Zand Dynasty had been the residence of Karim Khan and where he ruled from. Karim Khan Zand was the founder of Zand Dynasty ruling from 1751 to 1779. The Arg of Karim Khan was built in 1766. Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the castle of Karim Khan. The castle was constructed in a short period of time. It is rectangular in shape and resembles a medieval fortress. Today, the citadel is also a museum under the control of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.

Karim Khan Citadel


Persepolis, literally meaning “the Persian city” also known as the Throne of Jamshid, was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenian Empire. It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province founded by Darius I in 518 B.C. It is situated 60 km, northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It represents the Achaemenid style of architecture which is one of the most architectural masterpieces of the ancient world. The complex contains Entrance Stairs, Gate of All Nations, Apadana palace, Tachar (palace of king), Hadish palace, Hall of Tripylon (Triple Gate), Palace of  the Hundred Columns, incomplete gateway, and mausoleums in the eastern part. It is one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. After the conquest of Iran by Alexander the Great, a fire burned Persepolis which destroyed some parts of the complex.



Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Today, it is an archaeological site and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites about 90 km to the northeast of the modern city of Shiraz. Pasargadae complex is an ancient area, including a large number of structures remained from the first capital of the Achaemenid era (sixth century BC) in Iran, established by Cyrus the Great. The most important monument in Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. It has six broad steps leading to the sepulchre, the chamber of which measures 3.17 m long, 2.11 m wide,  and 2.11 m high and has a low and narrow entrance. On the inscription of the tomb is written: “I am Cyrus, who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia. Grudge me not therefore this monument.”



Naqsh-e Rostam
Naqsh-e Rostam is an ensemble of historic, religious and artistic works from the Achaemenian and Sasanian periods. It is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province. There are a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. Naghsh-e Rostam is the necropolis of the Achaemenid Dynasty (550–330 BC), with four large tombs cut into the cliff face. Well below the Achaemenid tombs, near ground level, are rock reliefs with large figures of Sassanian Kings, some meeting gods, others in combat.

Upper register of the Achaemenid Tomb of Xerxes I is shown below in the left side and Darius I inscription which is located on the upper left corner of the facade of his tomb in the right side.

Inscriptions on Naqsh-e Rostam


Naghsh-e Rajab
Naghsh-e Rajab  is an archaeological site about three kilometers north of Persepolis. Together with Naghsh-e Rostam which lies 2.5 km away, the site is part of the Marvdasht cultural complex and the two sites are a tentative candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status. There are four reliefs at Naqsh-e Rajab that  are carved at the foot of the Mountain of Mercy. Naqsh-e Rajab is the site of four limestone rockface inscriptions and rock-cut reliefs that date to the early Sassanid era. One of the carvings is the investiture inscription of Ardeshir I (ruled in 226-241 CE), the founder of the dynasty. The second investiture inscription is Ardeshir’s successor, Shapur I (241-272 CE). A third relief, known as ‘Shapur’s Parade’ celebrates the king’s military victory over the Roman emperor Philip the Arab. A fourth relief and inscription is attributed to Kartir, high priest under Shapur I and his sons Hormizd I (272-273 CE) and Bahram I (273–276 CE).

Naghsh-e Rajab


Quran Gate
Quran Gate is the ancient gate of entrance to Shiraz from the north of the city. It dates back to the 10th century. Karim Khan Zand added a room at the top of the gateway in the 18th century to house a holy Quran. The gate suffered a lot of damage by the time of Zand Dynasty. Then it was repaired and a small room was added on the top of the building. Two hand-written Qurans were put in the room by Sultan Ibrahim. The two Qurans were transferred to Pars Museum in Shiraz in 1937.


Hafez Mausoleum
Hafez is the 14th century poet of Iran who was born, lived and died in Shiraz during the Ilkhanid period. He is one of the most celebrated of the Persian poets, and his influence can be felt to this day. The tomb, its garden, and the surrounding memorials are visited by many domestic and foreign tourists


Saadi Mausoleum
Saadi lived in the 13th century, but he’s a man for all centuries. The rich depth of his writings and ideas with social and moral values has gone beyond time. His tomb was destroyed in the 17th century. The current building was built between 1950 and 1952. Around the tomb on the walls are seven verses of Saadi’s poems.


Vakil Mosque
It is one of the most important artistic and historical buildings, which have remained from the Zand period. Vakil means regent, which was the title used for Karim Khan, the founder of Zand Dynasty. This mosque was built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period. Vakil Mosque covers an area of 8,660 square meters. The mosque is a representative of the Persian architecture.

Vakil Mosque


Vakil Bazaar
Vakil Bazaar is the main bazaar of Shiraz which is located in the historical center of the city. It is thought that the market originally was established by the Buwayhids in the 11th century AD. It was completed mainly by the Atabaks of Fars, and was renamed after Karim Khan Zand in the 18th century. The bazaar has beautiful courtyards, caravanserais, bath houses, and old shops which are deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques. Like other Middle Eastern bazaars, there are a few mosques and Imamzadehs constructed beside or behind the bazaar.


Ali Ebn-e Hamze Holy Shrine
He was Nephew of Imam Reza (Shiite’s 8th Imam) who also demised on the way to Khorasan to help Imam Reza. His Shrine was built in the 19th century with an attractive dome. There are mirror work in the shrine which are very impressive to the visitors.

Ali Ebn-e Hamze Holy Shrine


Afif Abad Garden
Afif Abad Garden is one of the most beautiful historical gardens in Shiraz with a vast area of approximately 127,000 square meters  which was built in 1863. It is a museum complex which contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden, all open to the public.


Shah-e-Cheragh Holy Shrine
Shah Cheragh is a famous holy shrine of Imam Mousa Kazem’s (7th Shia Imam) son, Mir Seyed Ahmad, who is the brother of Imam Reza. The first building of Shah Cheragh holy shrine antiquity dates back to Azdodole Deilami who was one of the Ale Boye kings. The new buildings repaired and linked to the main courtyard were established in Fars Atabakan, Shah Ismaeil Safavi and Nader Shah Afshar periods. Two main gates are in south and north of holy shrine decorated by 2 big tiled entrances and linked to the vast courtyard of the shrine. The Shah Cheragh holy shrine is located in the west of the courtyard and his brother’s shrine is located in the northeastern of this place. The beauty of this building is increased by the use of small colored mirrors, tiling, Persian and Arabic hand-writings in the shrine. There are some rooms decorated with mosaic tiling around the yard. Iron columns of the shrine decorated with exquisite wood, a large integrated flat roof inlaid with wood and marble pulpit sculpted are the other beauties of this building.

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