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Masjid-e Vakil




Tomb of Cyrus The Great in Pasargad


 Perspolis capital of Achaemenid Empire 500 B.C.

in Few lines.

Provincial Capital of Fars. Altitude 1,600 meters, 500 km S of Esfahan (935 km from Tehran) on a good road. 300 km N-E of Bushehr on a good road in course of completion. 600 km E of Abadan on road in process of being restored. International airport and link-up with Iran Air Internal airline.

An eight-kilometer-long motorway links the airport to the outskirts of the town, eight uninterrupted kilometers of rose-garden, aptly announcing Shiraz, the "City of roses and poets". 

Parks with magnificent trees are one of the town's attractions. Long wide shady avenues lead from one side to the city other. They are an incitement to leisurely wanderings during siesta time. Exemplary modern achievements, including remarkable hotels and very striking university buildings are conducive to a pleasant stay. Because of the city's altitude (1,600 meters) the climate is extremely pleasant. It is very mild in winter and not too hot in summer. Nearby Persepolis and the international fame of its annual art festival have confirmed Shiraz as a tourist center. The Bagh-e Eram, in Shiraz, famous for its gardens, is a typical late Qajar palace, now donated to Shiraz University.

Shiraz, Naranjistan, 19th century. This very beautiful house and garden which originally belonged to the Ghavam family now been restored to become the home of the Asia Institute. A fine painted title frieze borders the roof, while the facade has a dado of carved stone slabs. The high central porch fronts a room lined with mirror mosaic, and the garden has been restored to an original design.

This gives the capital of the Fars region a new dimension, but does not prevent its inhabitants from demonstrating a touching devotion for their leading poets, Hafez and Saadi. Saadi died in 1291 at the age of 100. He asked for the following inscription on his tomb:
"From the tomb of Saadi, son of Shiraz - The perfume of love escapes - Thou shalt smell it still one thousand years after his death."
The many Iranians who come to visit these gardens of rest briefly place two fingers on the flag-stone of their favorite poet as a gesture of tribute. 

Hafez lived in Shiraz from 1300 to 1389. His verses are well-known to all Iranians and, six centuries later, have still value as aphorisms. His extraordinary popularity is due to his simple, and frequently discursive language, rid of any affection and to the use he makes of familiar images and of proverbial expressions. Iranians feel that his best poetry is the "Ghazal" engraved on his tomb. The Ghazal is a six to fifteen verse composition in which the verses are linked together by a unity of inspiration and of symbolism rather than by a logical sequence of ideas. Here are a few verses:
Sit near my tomb, and bring wine and music - Feeling thy presence, I shall come out of my sepulchre - Rise, softly moving creature, and let me contemplate thy beauty. 

The populous quarters in the center of the city are busy trading areas. The picturesque quality of the Iranian bazzar is enhanced here by the presence of nomads or semi-nomad elements belonging to southern Iranian tribes, including the Qashqais recognizable by the women's brightly colored dresses. The open space of a large esplande to the south of the bazzar gives one a chance to appreciate from a sufficient distance the elegance or at least the originality of pear-shaped domes above a high tambour covering two mosque mausoleums: The Shah Shiragh and Seyed Mir Mohammad Imamzadehs. The facades of the two buildings are not shaped like those of traditional ivans. It is a portico supported by light columns in the style of houses in Shiraz.

Near the Bazaar-e Vakil, Masjed-e Vakil, the Regent's Mosque is especially famous for its large prayer hall (75 meters long, 36 meters wide) covered with small cupolas resting on forty-eight twisted columns cut out of one single block of stone. 

Several other religious edifices are worthy of interest. The Old Friday Mosque has in the middle of its courtyard, a building found in no other sanctuary: The Khoda Khane - "House of God" - a square building (which reportedly) imitates the Kaaba in Mecca and where the mosque's Korans are kept.

The capital of Fars province, city of poets, wine and flowers

Shiraz is the capital of Fars province, one of the most beautiful, historical citi
es in the world. Farsi (Persian or Parsi) the language of Ancient Fars (Pars), has become the official language of Iran (Persia).

Shiraz with more than 850,000 inhabitants situated in southwestern Iran, in the inland around 200 km from the Persian Gulf, at an elevation of 1,800 metres above sea level.

Different people have lived in the Fars province such as the Aryans, the Samis and the Turks, who worked together to form the Iranian culture.

The first Capital of Fars, some 2500 years ago, was Pasargad. It was also the capital of Achaemenid King Cyrus the Great. The ceremonial capital of his successor, Darius I (or Darius the Great), and his son Xerxes, was Persepolis. Today, only the ruins of these two capitals remain. Stakhr was another capital of Fars. It was established by the Sassanids and lasted until Shiraz finally assumed the role of the regional capital.

Shiraz is also the birthplace and resting place of the great Persian poets Hafez and Saadi. There are two remarkable monuments in Shiraz. One is dedicated to Hafez, the master of Persian lyrical poetry. The other one is dedicated to Sa'adi, the author of the famous Golestan, a book of sonnets called the Garden of Roses.

by the 13th century, Shiraz had grown into one the largest and most popular Islamic cities of the era. Shiraz lies spread out like an immense garden on a green plain at the foot of the Tang Allah-o-Akbar Mountains.

The most interesting buildings in Shiraz are located in the old part of the town. Among them are about a dozen mosques, some with bulb- shaped domes, and others with pear shaped domes and cupolas. These mosques are mostly scattered in among the old houses.

The Masjid-e-Vakil (the Regent Mosque) has an impressive portal containing faience panels in floral designs with various shades and colors on each side. The northern iwan (verandah) is decorated with shrubs and flowers, mainly rose bushes. The ceiling in Mihrab Chamber (altar) is covered with small cupolas resting on twisted columns. Vakil Bazaar, which is close by, was built by Karim Khan Zand. Here silversmiths and jewelers still apply their trades of exquisite inlay work. Persian carpets and other traditional Persian handicrafts may also be purchased in the Vakil Bazaar.

About 50 km. Northwest of Shiraz, at the foot of the rahmat Mountains, one encounters the vast platform and remains of Persepolis, the grand ceremonial Capital built by Darius I (Darius the Great) and his successors some 2500 years ago. Archeologists are still combing through the debris and ashes that have covered Persepolis since Alexander the Great destroyed it in 330 BC. Most of the structures have already been revealed.

Pasargad is located about 77 km away from Persepolis. It was built by Cyrus the Great. Among the interesting sites at Pasargad is a stone platform 80 m. long and 18 m. wide. It is believed to have been the foundation of a palace. Close by are the ruins of a building called the Prison of Solomon which was probably a fire temple.

The most important monument in Pasargad is undoubtedly the tomb of Cyrus the Great. It has seven broad steps leading to the sepulcher, which measures 534m. in length by 531m in width and has a low and narrow entrance. When Alexander the Great looted and destroyed Persepolis, he paid a visit to the tomb of Cyrus. It is recorded that he commanded Aristobulus, one of his warriors, to enter the monument. Inside he found a golden bed, a table set with drinking vessels, a gold coffin, some ornaments studded with precious stones and an inscription of the tomb, which reads:

"Passer-by, I am Cyrus the Great, I have given the Persians an empire and I have ruled over Asia.
So do not envy me for this tomb."


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"Hafez-e Shirazi" "Khoda Khane - House of God" "Masjed-e Vakil" "Shah Shiragh Mausoleum "
"Saadi's Tomb" "Darvazeh Korean (Entrance to Shiraz)" "Asia Institute" "Bagh-e Eram"


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