Today, we will travel accompanying with you to one of the beautiful cities of Iran, i.e. Shiraz.
Due to the abundance of its tourism attractions, Shiraz could be considered as a mere destination of your travel. It is better for people who are interested in cultural tours as well as travelling to cultural cities to allocate a specific journey to Shiraz by which they could be provided with enough time to visit the attractive places in this city. The size of tourism attractions in this city is to such extent that you might not be provided with enough time to visit all tourism attractions of this province; we however in term of this paper, do our best to provide you with important list of historical and attractive places of this city.
Shiraz is the Center of Fars Province and capital of ancient Iran. This city has been surrounded by Darak Mount at West, and Bamo, Sabzpovan, Chehel Magham and Baba Koohi Mountains at North.
There is no specific agreement for antiquity of Shiraz among Historians and Archaeologists; however, the point stressed by all historians and archaeologists is the antiquity of Takhte-Jamshid Region going back to Akhamaneshid Era.
Other names of Shiraz as mentioned in historical books and documents include Tirazis, Shirazis and Shiraz.
According to some historical documentations of Islam, the initial place of Shiraz was Abunasr Castle where transferred to its modern-day area during Bani-Omayeh Dynasty. Such transfer however accompanies with extermination of Estakhr City, the Capital of Fars.
It must be mentioned that at the time of Safari, Boiyan and Zandian Rule, Shiraz was the capital of government.
Semantics of Shiraz’s Appellation
The first documentations about Shiraz Naming goes back to the Elamite Clay-made tablets, i.e. 2000 BC. These tablets were just discovered in 1970 during excavations for constructing the Brick Furnaces. There has been mentioned the name Tirazis in these tablets.
There has been also mentioned the Shiraz name during second century AC and Samanid dynasty.
According to Abulgasem Ferdowsi (poet and writer of Shahnameh) Shiraz has been adapted from the name of Hushang’s son, third World King, i.e. Tahmurth.
When introducing Tahmurth, it is necessary to mention that according to Iranian mythical Shahnameh, he is the first one who could learn reading and writing from demons in his captivity.
One can see the name of Shiraz on the stamps discovered in Abunasr Castle going back to Sassanid era.
There has been conducted another study on the name of Shiraz; according to Tedesco Researches, Shiraz means good grapes although this theory hasn’t been confirmed by Benonist and Hening.
In 10th century, Ibn-e-Hougal recalls the publicity of Shiraz naming due to its similarity to Andarounshir because businessmen were taking their commodities from this town to Shiraz and trade there.
History of Shiraz
According to a book published by University of Cambridge, called “History of Iran”, there has been mentioned the name of Shiraz City as below:
“The permanent residence in the place of Shiraz City goes back to Sassanid era and before that time; however, initially it has been validly mentioned during Islamic era.
There are some claims in Islamic Books indicating that Shiraz town has been turned to a city by brother or newphew of Hojjaj Ibn Yousof in 693 AC. However, in his Encyclopedia, called “Iranika”, Iranian historian and archeologist, Shapour Shahbazi, professor of University of Harward, Colombia, Gottingen, Eastern Orgmann, etc.., hasn’t proven it yet.
In this case, John Limbert states that by accepting the believes of Islamic historians that Shiraz City has been established after Islam, however, we should not forget that there was a city by this name exactly in the place where modern Shiraz located or in its surrounding and the name of Shiraz has been obtained from the name of that town.
According to the discovered antiquities related to Sassanid era, Temple of Hormuz and Carnial, an ancient castle in the name of Shah Boubed and antiquities discovered in Abunasr Castle related to Sassanid Castle, Limbert, Shahbazi and Arthur Arberi has just found residuals of residence of people in Shiraz before entrance of Islam.
According to traditions of Iranian Legends, Shiraz city has been just established by Tahmurth.
After a brief introduction to the history of Shiraz, now it is time to make you familiar with some historical and tourism places of this beautiful city.
Samikan Fire Temple
Fire Temple is called to the place where Zoroastrian worshiping their God. This temple has been located in the distance of 140km from Shiraz next to a road related to Sassanid era.
Arg of Karimkhan
Karimkhan Arg is another very beautiful national monument located in Shiraz. This building just began to be constructed in 1766 by the order of Karimkhane Zand and after its construction, it was used as his center of kingdom. During its lifespan, this monument has been differently used and it was the center of kingdom during Zandieh dynasty; during Qajar Dynasty it was used as the residence of kings of Shiraz and during Pahlavi dynasty it has been used as a prison and now it has just turned to one of the tourism attractions of Shiraz.
One of the first private baths has been just constructed in this place for usage of royal family.
Its Watering System is another attraction of this monument, while unfortunately eliminated in modern day, with its water was being supplied from Rokni Aqueduct.
Haft Tanan (Seven People) Museum, the Stone Museum
Now we must introduce Haft Tanan Museum located in Chehel Magham Mount at the north of Lesan Al-Gayb Tomb. The first question you might ask is what is the reason for such naming of this place?
It could be stated that this place is mostly called as “Rock Museum” but why it is named as Haft Tanan as well?
The word “Haft” (Seven) is a familiar word for tourists who are acknowledged to Iranian culture. There are many names with word “Haft” embedded in.
Haft Aref (seven Mystic) Tomb is just located in this monument; for this reason it has obtained its reputation as “Haft Tanan”. By the order of Karim Khane Zand, there were placed seven rocks in dimension of 78× 360cm without any script on their tomb.
This place has its beauty and attraction mostly owed to Karim Khan and Zandieh’s Family because as the oldness of this place goes back to a few centuries before Zandieh Dynasty, however, there has occurred changes in this era to increase its attractiveness.
From the past, this place was an area for worshiping and praying of Dervishi and Sheikhs where people flooded to this place for praying and requesting the precipitation from God.
One of the unique beauties of this monument is five paintings just painted and drawn by Masgter Mohammad Bagher Jahan Miri on the plaster in 1957 and 1958.
These paintings called as “Panj Majlis” as well include:
- Darvish with battle axe and Kashkol (according to Moein Dictionary, it was a container made out of a epicarp of a fruit similar to coconut hanged from the shoulder of Darvish people.)
- The relief of Mousa in pastor cloth
- Landscape of Sheykh Sanan and Tarsa Daughter
- Relief of Ibrahim
- Relief of a Young Darvish
Agha Baba Khan School
This school was just established and constructed by Karim Khane Zand in Shiraz. Karim Khan ordered to Mohammad Hossein Khan Sadr Isfahani to start building this monument; however, Karim Khan died before ending its construction and its construction was just ceased by the dispatch of Mohammad Hossein Khan Sadr Isfahani to Tehran; this monument just called as “Agha Baba Khan School” because it has completed by a man called in this name.
Agha Baba Khan Barforoush Mazandarani, known as “Head Servant”, “Lalah Bashi” and “Sardari” in 1833 during Qajar dynasty, completed this monument during the rule of Hosseinali Mirza in Fars.
We will introduce beautiful monuments with unique attraction for you, as tourists; therefore, we request you to visit from this monument due to the presence of its unique and beautiful tiling that is the top taste and art of Iranian masters combined with Islamic architecture.
We are not aware of your tastes, but according to our experiences, we found out that respected tourists are more interested in Iranian architecture and tiling art. Undoubtedly, you would be provided with the ultimate pleasure after observing the beautiful colorful canvases prepared by Iranian masters out of Tiles.
The geographical situation of Agha Baba Khan School, due to its location at the west of Vakil Bazar and South of Vakil Mosque has a form that you can easily enjoy from beauty of both historical works one time while viewing the beauties of Iranian Islamic Art.
Pars Museum, Nazar Garden Pavilion
As mentioned above, we introduce some monuments established by Karim Khane Zand; now we will show you where the location of tomb of Karim Khan is.
Karim Khane Zand has been buried in Nazar Abad Garden Museum. It must be mentioned that this monument has been just constructed octagonal shape called as “Pavilion” (Kolah Faranghi Building” located at the middle of Nazarabad Garden; in the past, it was used as a recreational place for welcoming the foreign guests and ambassadors as well as the place for holding official ceremonies and feasts.
This monument is also called as “Governmental Garden”. There are Symmetrical Images located on the four sides in this monument where artistically imaged the landscape of hunting ground and story of Throne of Prophet Solomon.
One of the mystical stories of this monument that is very attractive for Iranian and foreign tourists is the story of “Burying Karim Khan” in this place.
After his death, Karim Khan just buried in this place; however, by the fall of Zandieh Dynasty and rise of Qajar monarchy, his tomb was just broken by which Agha Mohammad Khan intended to show his power as a symbol for years by exposing the bones of Karim Khan in Golestan Castle.
After Qajar monarchy and beginning of Pahlavi Kingdom, his bones were just returned back to its main place by the order of Reza Shah.
Tourists who are interested in Shiraz City may refer to other similar papers written and introducing tourism attractions of Iran.
Need more information about Shiraz, City of Gardens, Prosperity and Civilization, please read this article.
Need more information about Pasargadae (Shiraz) Religious Capital of Achaemenid , Capital of Persian Poem, please read this article.