Shiraz is the fifth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pârsâ). Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the (Roodkhaneye Khoshk/ The Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. It is regarded as one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia. The earliest reference to the city as Tiraziš is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran Hafez and Saadi are from Shiraz whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
Shiraz 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 for example Eram Garden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design silver-ware pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim called gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production sugar fertilizers textile products wood products metalwork and rugs dominate. Shirāz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran`s electronic industries: 53% of Irans electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran first solar power plant.
Shiraz is located in the south of Iran and the northwest of Fars Province. It is built in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains 1500 meters (4900 feet) above sea level. Shiraz is 919 kilometers (571 mi) south of Tehran.
Shiraz climate has distinct seasons and is overall classed as a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen:BSh) though it is only a little short of a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). Summers are hot with a July average high of 38.8 °C (101.8 °F). Winters are cool with average low temperatures below freezing in December and January. Around 300 mm (12 in) of rain falls each year almost entirely in the winter months though in some cases as much as this has fallen in a single month (as in January 1965 and December 2004) whilst in the year from July 1965 to June 1966 as little as 82.9 millimeters (3.3 in) fell. The wettest year has been 1955/1956 with as much as 857.2 millimeters (33.75 in) though since 1959 the highest has been around 590 millimeters (23.2 in) in each of 1995/1996 and 2004/2005.
Persepolis (Old Persian: Pārsa,Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian,the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid). The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BCE. To the ancient Persians,the city was known as Pārsa,which means "The City of Persians". Persepolis is a transliteration of the Greek Πέρσης πόλις (Persēs polis: "Persian city").
Iranians have a saying that every home must have two things: first the Quran,then Hafez. Hafez is an influential Iranian poet. Almost every Iranian can quote his work,bending it to whichever social or personal persuasion they subscribe to. And there is no better place to try to understand Hafez’s eternal hold on Iran than at Aramgah-e Hafez,his tomb. Set at the back of the ground of Hafez’s tomb is a teahouse which is a great place to chill out with some live traditional music and a cup of chay .
The Aramgah-e Sa’di and its generous surrounding gardens are appropriate for a man who wrote so extensively about gardens and roses. It’s a tranquil place,with the tombstone housed in an open-sided stone colonnade,inscribed with various verses from Sa’di and supporting a tiled dome.
Famous for its tall cypress trees,the delightful Bagh-e Eram will impress visitors of all ages with its stunning sceneries and various flowers and trees. The gardens are managed by Shiraz University. The gardens are easy enough to reach by taking any shuttle taxi going along Zand towards the university.
Shiraz’s ancient trading district is comprised of several bazaars dating from different periods. The finest and most famous is the Bazar-e Vakil,a cruciform structure commissioned by Karim Khan as part of his plan to make Shiraz into a great trading centre. The wide vaulted brick avenues are masterpieces of Zand architecture,with the design ensuring the interior remains cool in summer and warm in winter. Today,it’s home to almost 200 stores selling carpets,handicrafts,spices and clothes and is one of the most atmospheric bazaars in Iran,especially in the early evening when it is fantastically photogenic. As usual,it’s best explored by wandering without concern for time or direction,soaking up the atmosphere in the maze of lanes leading off the main thoroughfares.
The beautiful Masjed-e Vakil was begun by Karim Khan and is the only major mosque surviving from the late Zand period. Beside the entrance to the bazaar,it has two vast iwans to the north and south,a magnificent inner courtyard surrounded by beautifully tiled alcoves and porches,and a pleasingly proportioned 75m-by-36m vaulted prayer hall supported by 48 carved columns. Inside the prayer hall are an impressive mihrab and 14-step marble minbar, carved from a monolith carried all the way from Azerbaijan. Much of the tiling,with its predominantly floral motifs and arabesques,was added in the early Qajar era.