Shiraz, the capital of Fars province, is 1,540 m above sea level and lies at distance of 895 km from Tehran. It is one of the most prominent cities of Iran. This city enjoyed particular glory and prosperity before Islam. Kourosh I established the Achaemenid dynasty in this region in 553 BC, which dynasty, after two centuries of rule over Iran, was overthrown by Alexander the Macedonian. Today, the remains of the palaces, tombs, and castles of the Achaemenid era in the Marvdasht region, northeastern parts of Shiraz are considered as one the most outstanding historic monuments of the world. Shiraz was captured by the Moslem army in 28 H.G. (circa 649 A.D.), and its people gradually become Moslem. During the Saffarian and Deylaman era, Shiraz once again becomes a prominent city; and during Safavid era many monumental buildings were constructed there. Shiraz has witnessed many tragic events in the course of history, including a devastating flood in 1079 H.G. (circa 1668 A.D.), general massacre at the hands of Nader shah (ruled 1736-1747) and the outbreak of plague in 1175 H.G. (circa 1761). Karimkhan Zand chose Shiraz as the capital circa 1780 A.D. and this city enjoyed more glory and prosperity. During its long history, Shiraz has always been one of the most significant centers of Persian literature and raised a large number of great poets and writers such as Hafez, the greatest composer of lyric poetry (ghazal) in the Persian language, and Saadi, the great Iranian poet, writer and sociologist.
The province of Fars covers an area of 121,825 km2 and lies to the south of the central regions of Iran. It is one of the richest provinces of the country as regards archeological sites and historic monuments and tourist sight. This province is surrounded by Hormozgan province to its south, Yazd and Isfahan provinces to its north, Kohgilouyeh-va-Boirahmad and Bushehr provinces to its west and Kerman to its east.
The capital of this province is the historic city of Shiraz and its other major cities are: Abadeh, Estahban, eghlied, Bovanat, Jahrom, Darab, Sepidan, fassa, firouzabad, Kazeroon, Laar, Marvdasht, Mamassani and Neyriz. In 1996, when the latest census was taken, the province had a population of 3,817,036. Some of the inhabitants of this province are tribes who migrate back and forth between their summer and winter resorts, every year. The major nomad tribes are Ghashghai, Khamesh and Mamassani. The province has mountains and highlands in the northern parts which render these parts a cold-temperate climate. Average annual rainfall in this region in 500 mm. the altitude in the central parts of this province is much lower and consequently there, the summers are warm and dry, and the winter’s temperate. The southern parts, which are even lower in altitude, have very warm summers and temperate winters. The average temperature in the capital, Shiraz, is 9.9°C in spring, 27.4°C in summer, 14.2C in autumn and 7.9°C in winter. In a study carried out over a 30-year period, the average annual temperature of Shiraz was established to have been 17.6°C; average relative humidity at 06; 30 am, 58%, and at 12:30 pm, 29%; average annual rainfall, 372.5 mm; maximum amount of rainfall, on a single day, 99 mm; average number of days with the temperature wind speed, 29 meters per second, blowing in the direction of 210°.
Major natural features
Major rivers: Kor River originates in the mountains of Eghlieh, passes over Shiraz province, and finally pours into the Bakhtegan Lake. Margan and Chobakhleh rivers are the tributaries of this river. The most important river of Mamassani, Fahliyan River, provides great potentials for recreation. Others major rivers of this province are Shadkam, Aghaj and Pirab.
Bakhtegan and Tashk lakes: These two lakes lie in the eastern and northeastern parts of Shiraz province at an altitude of 1,558 m above sea level. Kor River connects these two lakes to each other. The area of the basin of these lakes is more than 20,000 km2.These are considered to be two of largest lakes of Iran. Bakhtegan lake is 750 km in area, and Tashk Lake, 422 km2. Tashk Lake enjoys beautiful islands such as Narges Island and Pelican Island. These lakes play an important role in the climatic conditions of the province and the Flora and Fauna of the region. Parishan lake, 15 km from Kazeroun city,is another major lake of Fars province which has fresh water and provides great opportunities for recreation. Other lakes of Fars province are Shadkan near Eghlid city, and Arjan, 60 km from Shiraz. A large number of natural sights including revers, springs, lakes and impressive gardens provide great attraction to this province. The most important natural sights in Fars are: Atashkade (Fire-Temple) on Shiraz-Estahban forest, Miyan Kotal south of Shiraz, Tang Tizab northwest od Sepidan, and Band Bahman in Shiraz city. Amongst the major gardens of this province are Eram, Delghosha, Golshan, and Takht.
The major highlands of Fars province are: Mount Sefid whose peak is 3,943 m above sea level, and lies near Eghlieh; Mout Kharman Kouh, 3,183 m near Fasa and mount Touraj, 3150 m.
Name: Takhte Jamshid (perspolis)
Type: A complex of ancient places and buildings. Description: Takhte Jamshid complex of palaces is considered as a historic Marvel of Iran and the world. Its construction was started in the reign of Darius and it took about 150 years to complete. The grandeur of these monuments fascinates the visitor. In 330 B.C. Alexander the Macedonian put this grand complex on fire, and today only small ruins are so magnificent edifices. Even so, the ruins are so magnificent that few ancient monuments can be found anywhere in the world, to match them. This complex covers an area of 125,000 m2 consisting of several small and large palaces, a government treasury and some guard houses. The major places are known as Apadana, Shora (Assembly), and sad sotun (hundred pillars) has constructed in black and white stones, and the stone reliefs depict different ceremonies of Achaemenid courts. Winged cows with the head of humans are the most common and outstanding features. The inscriptions, in cuneiform, are given in the three languages of Ilami, Babeli, and ancient Persian. They reveal a part of the history of this magnificent civilization.
Name: Naghshe Rostam
Type: A collection of stone reliefs on tombs. Description: The bodies of several Achaemenid kings were buried in this cave-like tomb. There are seven reliefs dating back to Sassanid era, each of which depicts a battle or glorifies a Sassanid king. A Zoroastrian religious center, perhaps the most important in the world, is situated here.
Name: Naghshe Shapour
Type: A collection of stone reliefs carved in the mountain. Description: This is a collection of stone reliefs depicting the scenes of battles and feasts of Shapour l.
Name: Exclusive palace of Cyrus (Kurosh)
Type: Palace. Description: This palace belonged to Cyrus the great, the founder of Achaemenid dynasty. It is constructed in black and white stones.
Type: A bridge. Description: This ancient but still strong bridge runs across the Kor River.
Name: Vakil Bazaar
Type: Baazar. Description: This Bazaar which is constructed in the form of across has fascinating architecture. Its roof, more than 10 m high, is one of the most remarkable architectural achievements in beauty and durability.
Name: Koran Gateway
Type: Gateway. Description: This gateway was renovated during the era of Karim Khan Zand, and again reconstructed in 1948 A.D. above this gateway there is a Koran kept in a small room and passengers pray for their health and safety during the journey as they pass below it, on leaving the town.
Name: Vakil mosque
Type: Mosque. Description: This grand mosque with its exquisite tile-work, marbled pulpit, forty-eight stone pillars, and firm roof, is considered be one the most worthy monuments of the Zand era.
Name: Mosque Nasirolmolk / House Of Nasirolmolk
Type: mosque/House. Description: The mosque and house of Nasirolmolk are located next to each other, and display very remarkable tile-works and architectural style.
Name: Mosque Jame Atigh
Type: Mosque. Description: This is one of the oldest mosques of Fars province and enjoys particular fame and grandeur. The stone building of Khoda Khane (House Of God) was constructed beside it in 752 H.G. (circa1351 A.D.)
Name: Karim Khan Citadel
Type: Citadel. Description: This brick citadel, with four towers in the corners, was the imperial palace and the government’s seat, during Zandiyeh era.
Name: Narenjestan Ghavam
Type: Historic Buildi. Description: This building is outstanding as a masterpiece of plasterwork, inlaid-work, mirror-work and paintings.
Name: Abar Ghu Mosque
Type: Mosque. Description: The Mehrab of this Mosque, which has an impressive plaster work, was constructed in 738 H.G. (circa 1337 A.D.)
Name: Shah Cheragh
Type: Shrine. Description: This is the shrine of Mir Sayid Ahmad, the son of the seven Imams of Shias, which has been renovated several times during the course of history.
Name: The Tomb of Cyrus the Great
Type: An ancient Tomb. Description: This is where Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, and his wife, were buried.
Type: Tomb. Description: It is the tomb of the great Iranian poet Hafez. Hafez passed away in 1389A.D. In1773 A.D. Karim Khan Zand reconstructed his tomb and it was late renovated several times. The present building was constructed in 1937.
Name: The Tomb Of Saadi
Type: Tomb. Description: Saadi, the famous Iranian poet and writer was born in Shiraz in 13th century A.D. After several years traveling round the world, he returned to Shiraz and remained there until he passed away. His tomb has been renovated several times and the present building was constructed in 1942 A.D.
Shiraz: Khan School, Vakil Bathhouse, Armenian Church, Kolah Farangi Buildings , Abu Nasr Palace, Demon Cradle, No Bazaar (New Bazaar), Sibouye Tomb, Khajouy Kermani Tomb, Shah Daie Tomb, Chehel Tanan Tomb (Forty-Persons Tomb), Pasargad Fire-Temple
Marvdasht: Pool Castle, Khan Bridge, Soleyman Tower
Lar: Gheisariyeh Baazar, Ghadamgah Castle
Abadeh: Sassanid Palace, Ali Dome
Kazeroon: Ancient City Of Bishapour, Kazeroon Fire-Temple
Darab: Stony Mosque, Klarath Palace, Mirror Palace, Jame Mosque
Firouz Abad: Sassanid Fire-Temple, Daughter Castle, Old City of Firouz
Mamassani: Kurnegoon Inscriptions, Naghshe Bahram. Fasa: Zahak’s castle
Museum of Anatomy: The traces of the process of human beings evolution are kept in this museum.
Pars Museum: Museum of artistic, historic and archeological works.
Museum of natural history: Museum of stuffed animals, and fossils.
Takhte Jamshid Museum: Museum of prehistoric monuments related to the Achaemenid and Islamic eras.
Stone Museum (Haft tanan or “seven persons”): This Museum contains the tomb-Stones of seven Sufis of Zandiyeh era.
Shah Cheragh Museum: Handwritten books, coins and metal beads are put on display in this museum.
Narenjestan Museum: Museum of ancient and Islamic monuments.
Military Museum of Afif Abad: Museum of old armaments, hand-woven carpets and old furniture.
Fars province is one of the major centers of handicrafts.The most important handicrafts of this province are carpet weaving, cloth weaving, pottery, inlaid work, needlework and mat making.