Shiraz

Shiraz: the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers

Nestled in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, Shiraz is renowned for being the hub for ancient Persian literature and arts. It also is a treasure trove for history buffs as the city is home to some wonderful relics from ancient Persia, including the ruins of Persepolis, the capital city of the ancient Achaemenid Empire. If you haven’t visited this welcoming and warm city, now is the time to plan your trip to check out the plethora of Shiraz tourist attractions one by one.

Shiraz Geographical Location and Weather

Shiraz is the capital of Fars Province (Persia) and the sixth most populous city of Iran. The population of the Shiraz is more than 2 million. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz was the main capital city of Persian Empire.

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.

Shiraz has a semi-arid climate. While the weather can be hot in summers, it is more pleasant than the hot summers of the Mediterranean. Temperatures in summer can soar up to 100°F (39°C). But, you can get respite from the heat when winter sets in. In December and January, temperature dips to 0°C. Shiraz does receive rainfall and a majority of the precipitation occurs during the winter months. The wind chill factor during winter can make it icy cold.

The good news is that you will find the weather cleaner as compared to other Iranian cities. The greenery removes the dust and carbon dioxide, ensuring your lungs can suck in oxygen effortlessly.

History of Shiraz

The ancient history of the city is the most popular Shiraz tourist attractions. The earliest mention of Shiraz is on clay tablets dating back to 2000 BC. The tablets written in Elamite language mention a city called Tirazis, which archeologists believe is the ancient name for Shiraz.

Even tablets from the 2nd century AD found at Qasr-i-Abu Nasr, a ruin from the Sassanid era, has references to Shiraz. Archeologists believe that the first inhabitants of the region formed the city in the 11th century.

Archeological records recovered from the remnants of Persepolis reveal that Shiraz was an important city during the Achaemenid rule, long before Islam made it to the region.

Today, Shiraz has a vibrant Christian-Armenian and Jewish populace. It is the birthplace of Siyyid Ali Muhammad, who is one of the founders of the Baha’i Faith. It was under his proclamation that Shiraz turned into a holy city for Baha’i followers and believers.

Demographics, Language and Food of Shiraz

Modern-day Shiraz boasts a mainly Persian population. However, it also has a Jewish community, albeit in small numbers. Most of the Jewish people have migrated to Israel or the US, but the city still is home to a synagogue that is actively used by its remaining Jewish residents.

It is interesting to note that while Shiraz’s official religion is Islam, most people practice Zoroastrianism in their homes. Also, Baha’i is another popular religion in the city. Thanks to Shiraz’s Christian population, the city has an Anglican and an Armenian church.

Zoom In:

If you are looking for a Shiraz tourist attractions, you will find not one, but many.  Be sure in check out the Shiraz Kilim, which is a type of rug characteristic to this city. Also, its inlaid mosaic work and silverware are very well-known and highly sought-after.

A visit to Shiraz is incomplete if you do not embark on a gastronomic journey with its sumptuous cuisine. While you can eat kebab and rice anywhere in Iran, make it a point to relish the variation served it in Shiraz. It is aromatic, lightly spiced and mouth-watering. The famous Shirazi salad is a must. It is made from succulent tomatoes, crunchy onions and juicy cucumbers served with a dressing made from fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

In case you are seeking the traditional dish of Shiraz, you cannot go wrong with Kalam Polo. It contains several  locally produced vegetables. The entire dish is delicately spiced and aromatic. You can also try Ash Shirazi, which is a type of meat and vegetable soup that is served in the early hours of the morning. This delicious soup is nourishing and sustaining, just what you need when you go out expending energy exploring the Shiraz tourist attractions.

A cold dessert that is a must if you are visiting Shiraz is Shirazi Palude or Faloodeh. It is made using vermicelli noodles that are lovingly mixed in fragrant rosewater and sweet sugar syrup. Of course, the rosewater and sugar syrup are semi-frozen. It is a traditional dessert in Shiraz that will transport you to heaven. You can eat Faloodeh at any ice cream store or coffee shop in Shiraz.

Contemporary and Non-Contemporary Celebrities of Shiraz

Shiraz is renowned for its poets, and you will not find more popular poets than Saadi and Hafez Shirazi.

Saadi was born in Shiraz sometime in the 12th to 13th century. While Saadi left the city to learn Arabic literature and Islamic science in Baghdad, he returned to his beloved Shiraz as an elderly man. He spent the rest of his life creating and reciting poetry for the royal family and the people of Shiraz. Hafiz Shirazi was another famous poet of ancient Shiraz. The tombs of both poets are a popular tourist attractions.

Shiraz is also the birthplace Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi. He was an astronomer, scientist, physicist, physician and mathematician of the 13th century. Other modern-day celebrities from Shiraz include Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to former American President Barack Obama, who was born in the city to African-American parents; the Iran’s former Minister of Health and Medical Education Kamran Bagheri Lankarani; Jimmy Delshad, who had the distinction of Beverly Hills’ 67th and 70th mayor; Director for Solar System Exploration at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, Firouz Naderi; and Gholam A. Peyman, who invented LASIK.

Recreation and Tourism Places

There is no dearth of Shiraz tourist attractions. The tombs of Hafez and Saadi are worth visit along with the tomb of Khaju e Kermani.

The Atigh Jame’ Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the region. It can be enlightening to see the grand architecture. However, you can also visit the Vakil Mosque, which is located close to the popular Vakil Bazaar, where you can get everything, from a pin to carpets, rugs and furniture.

You can also visit Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz, which was constructed in 1187 and is spread over an area of 8,600 square meters. The entrance gate to the bazaar is mesmerizing. If you are seeking for a distinctive Shiraz tourist attractions, then visit Eram Garden. It houses a historic mansion and an abundance of plants.





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