SHIRAZ – CITY OF POETRY AND SUFISM
“ Come to Shiraz! From the effluvium of the Holy Spirit, come and find here the most perfect of people. Who dares speak of Egypt and of sugar, while forgetting the sweet faces of Shiraz”
Hafez of Shiraz (14th century)
Vakil Mosque, 18th century
Promoted by tourist agencies as the city of love, poetry, roses and nightingales, it takes little to forget these stereotyped and sugary clichés as the associations reveal the pulse of the city that housed the greatest of Persian poets. (Sa’di and Hafez). The city’s foundations are ancient, probably dating to the Sassanid empire ( 3rd- 7th century). It became, in the Islamic era, a centre for theological instruction, a home of Sufism and poetry. Miraculously spared from the Mongolians, it was partially destroyed by the floods of 1630 and 1668, by the Afghans in 1723 and then suffered through two violent earthquakes in the 18th century. Reconstructed several times, the city owns its present face to the founder of the short-lived Zand dynasty, Karim Khan. An enlightened ruler who took the title of regent (Vakil), he made Shiraz his capital and improved and embellished it in the 18th century. Today, Shiraz is a university and industrial city.
The mausoleum of Hâfez
Vakil Mosque ; Citadel of the Regent ( Arg-e Karim Khan) ; Bagh-e Nazar ( Pars Museum) ; Vakiul Bazaar ; Shah Cheragh Mausoleum ; the ancient Friday Mosque (Masjed-e Djame Atiq) ; Khan madrasa , Nasir ol Mulk Mosque ; Hafez Mausoleum ; Sa’di Mausoleum ; the gardens of Eram ; Narenjestan Qavam house.
Mosque Nasir ol-Molk, 19th century
One day is sufficient to see the city’s main monuments; one extra day is needed for an excursion to Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam.
Shiraz is an essential central point from which to visit the major ancient historic sites of Iran from the Achaemenes (6th – 4th centuries BC) and Sassinid eras (3rd-7th centuries): Persepolis (60kms) Naqse-e Rostam (50kms), Firuzabad (120kms), Bishapur (140kms), and Pasargades (135kms)
Persepolis, Achaemenid palatial city, 5th century BC