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Shiraz, the land of poets and flowers

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Shiraz has been synonymous with roses, nightingales, poetry and at one time, wine. It is also an important university town and has a population of 1.227million (2006 ).

It was founded during the Achaemenian dynasty and under the Sassanid’s, it became one of the major cities of this province.

Shiraz was spared destruction during the Mongol invasion and reached the height of its glory under the rule of the Mongoles (1220-1380) and the Timurids (1380-1502).it soon became to be known as one of the centers of calligraphy, painting, architecture and literature.

Although Isfahan was appointed capital of the Safavid dynasty under shah Abbas I(1502-1722),shiraz remained a provincial capital ,attracting a number of European traders.

During this period, Emam Gholi khan, the governor of Fars built a large number of palaces and other ornate buildings.

The decline of the city started with the Afghan raids in the early eighteenth century, several earthquakes in the region and a domestic uprising. When Nader Shah was assassinated in 1747, most of Shiraz’s historical buildings were destroyed. However, under the enlightened Zand dynasty (1747-1779) it flourished once again, becoming a most worthy Iranian capital. Many of the most beautiful buildings in Shiraz were either built or resorted during that period.

In 1789 Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty moved the nation’s capital from Shiraz to Tehran .Although lowered to the rank of a provincial capital, Shiraz maintained a level of prosperity and it was governed by the loyal family members throughout the Qajar period (1795-1925).

To many shirazis one of the most pleasant places in Iran, with its tolerant, cultivated and generous inhabitants and a multitude of monuments, gardens and mosques.

The most impressive of all archaeological sites in Iran, Persepolis or Takhte-jamshid, is situated about 38 miles from Shiraz.

The green city of shiraz is the hometown and the burial place of some of Iran’s most renowned and admired poets such as Hafiz, Saadi and Khadju kermani .the picturesque which are known as the trees of life in the Iranian culture ,has been depicted in the carvings of the Achaemenian era. Shiraz has a nearly moderate climate .The city is 1540 meters above the sea level and lies 944 Kms to the south of Tehran .

The name shiraz has been mentioned in the clay tables at the Persepolis treasury .it is located next to the ancient city of Estakhr, but its main periods of development and prosperity came in the post-Islamic era. The architectural structure of the city’s older neighborhood marks its ancient historical background.