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Shiraz

Shiraz

Shiraz city is the capital of the Fars Province. It is 10531 square kilometers wide, which is 8.5 percent of the whole area. This city is called as the city of flowers and nightingales. It’s old, delightful, and pleasurable gardens have gained word fame.

Many tourists have mentioned this city and its dreamy gardens. Shiraz is a beautiful city decorated by cedars, and odorized by orange flowers. Shiraz has been the birthplace of many educated men and has always been the site of science and art. Shiraz is the birthplace of Hafez, Sa’di, Mulla Sadra, Sibevey, Abu Hayyan, Ahli, Qutb-al Din Shirazi. It has been a very attractive city since many years ago.

Naranjestan-e-Qavam

Naranjestan-e-Qavam (The Qavam’s Orange Garden)

Naranjestan-e-Qavam, which is also called as Bagh-e (garden of) Qavam and Bironi-Ye Qavam, is one of the historical buildings of Shiraz that dates from the Qajar dynasty Ali Mohammad Khan began the construction of the garden in 1290 AH and Mohammad Reza Khan-e Qavam completed it in 1305 AH.

The building outside this complex has been the office of Qavam-ol Mulk, known as Divankhaneye (the Divan of) Qavam-ol Molki, and seems it many orange trees it got fame as Naranjestan. This garden covers a 3085-square meters ground. It has buildings in northern, eastern, and southern sides. There is a building porch in the southern side that is the main building of the garden. The outside facade of this enterance is decorated with a brick portal. A stone inscription shows the completion date (1305 AH).

CYRUS CHARTER

CYRUS CHARTER- “The first universal Commandment of nations liberty”


I am Kourosh (Cyrus), King of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Camboujiyah (Cambyases), great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Kourosh (Cyrus), great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Chaish-Pesh (Teispes), great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish,-whose kingship they desire for their hearts, pleasure. When I well -disposed, entered Babylon, I set up a seat of domination in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk the great god, caused the big-hearted inhabitations of Babylon to………………me, I sought daily to worship him. At my deeds Marduk, the great lord, rejoiced and to me, Kourosh (Cyrus), the king who worshipped him, and to Kaboujiyah (Cambyases), my son, the offspring of (my) loins, and to all my troops he graciously gave his blessing, and in good sprit before him we glorified exceedingly his high divinity. All the kings who sat in throne rooms throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in……………..all the kings of the West Country, who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From… to the cities of Ashur, Susa, Agade and Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der as far as the region of the land of Gutium, die holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them, I returned to their places and housed them in lasting abodes

I gathered together all their inhabitations and restored (to them) their dwellings. The gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabounids had, to the anger of the lord of the gods, brought into Babylon. I, at the bidding of Marduk, the great lord, made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes

May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in mv favour before Bel and Nabu, that my days may be long, and may they say to Marduk my lord. “May Kourosh (Cyrus) the King, who reveres thee, and Kaboujiyah (Cambyases) his son._” Now that I put the crown of kingdom of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions on the head with the help of (( Gods )) ….., I
announce that I will respect  the traditions, customs and religions of the nations of my empiree and never let any of sc-, governors and subordinates look down on or insult them until I am alive. From now on, till (Ahura) Mazda grants me the kingdom favor, I will impose my monarchy on no’ nation. Each is free to accept it, and if any one of them rejects it, I never resolve on war to reign. Until I am the king of Iran, Babylon, and the nations of the four directions, I never let anyone oppress any others, and if it occurs , I will take his or her right back and penalize the oppressor

And until I am the monarch, I will never let anyone take possession of movable and landed properties of the others by force or without compensation. Until I am alive, I prevent unpaid, forced labor. To day, 1 announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other’s rights

No one could be penalized for his or her relatives’ faults. I prevent slavery and my governors and subordinates are obliged to prohibit exchanging men and women as slaves within their own ruling domains. Such a traditions should be exterminated the world over

I implore to (Ahura) Mazda to make me succeed in fulfilling my obligations to the nations of Iran (Persia), Babylon, and the ones of the four directions

Vakil Mosque

Vakil Mosque

The tile-work of Vakil mosque is a masterpiece in, its own right, It Is a display of rich and vibrant colors which are so exuberant and brilliant that appeal to the visitors’ eyes, and excite a sense of exhilaration In them, This kind of tile-work created a new style which became very popular throughout the next years in other historical monuments of Shiraz,

Karim Khan, the powerful founder of Zand dynasty, spent the last years of his life in Shiraz, his capital. He was a creative figure, and a large number of public buildings were constructed under his own direct supervision. One of these is Vakil Mosque which is located next to Vakil Bazar, It is one of the most magnificent and solid mosques in Iran.

This mosque has two great winter and summer prayer halls, The summer prayer hall, 80 meters long and 40 meters wide, has 48 monolith and spiral carved columns.

The winter prayer hail having an area of 500 square meters which is plain with no decoration is situated in the eastern part of a great yard. The yard has two great southern and northern, porches that are decorated with mo’araq and haft-rang (seven-colored) tile-work embellished with floral and arabesque designs. The downward surface of the arch is covered with fantastic elaborate moqarnas-work (honey comb-shaped decoration in stalactite form),The dadoes are carved out of the marble stones.

A beautiful and delicate pulpit with 14 steps carved out of a single piece marble stone, on the top of which is a seat for the preacher, is placed beside the Mehrab (Prayer Niche) in the summer prayer hall, This pulpit is unique among mosques all around Iran.

The Nasir-ol Mulk Mosque

The Nasir-ol Mulk Mosque

This mosque i s one of gloriose buildings of the Qajar era that lies in the Govd-e Orban district of Shiraz. Mirza Hassan Ali Nasir-ol Mulk Founded this mosque. It covers 2980 square meter s ground, with a building of 2212 square meters area. The Nasi-ol Mulk has two western and eastern prayer hall. The entrance of the mosque has a big wooden door located in a big arch. The ceiling of the arch is decorated with tile works. The main prayer of this mosque lies in the western part of the courtyard and has beautiful brick panels. This prayer hall was seven big woodwn doors decorated with stained glasses. It also has twelve fluted stone columns with spiral grooves. Each of these columns is made of a single piece of stone.The ceiling of the hall, the prayer of the niche, and the walls are decorated with tiles. The eastern prayer hall, which is winter hall has a tiled ceiling and seven stone columns. The porticoes of the mosque sit on the southern ond the northen sides.There is a high arch in the north of the mosque that is known as Taq-e Morvarid (the pearl arch). All walls of this arch are decorated with beautiful tiles. The construction of this mosque began in 1293 AH and it finished in 1305 AH.

The Sarvestan Palace

The Sarvestan Palace

This palace lies 9 kilometers southeast of Sarvestan. It belongs to Bahram V, or Bahram-e Goor, which was constructed by his prime minister. This palace is 14.75 meters long and 36.4 meters wide. It has a square portico in the central part. The portico is 13 square meters and is 18 meters high. This palace has a copula in the middle of building.

This palace is much like the Firuz Abad palace but it is smaller and has brick arches. The main facade is in the eastern side and consists of centeral portico and two smaller ones on the sides. The central main portico leads to four courtyards through the main hall.

There are also two domed rooms on the sides. The southern wall of the central hall leads to a portico.

In addition, there are two narrow rooms with semicircular arches on both sides of the building. The Sarvestan Palace sits between Sarvestan and Fasa in the road of Nazar Abad.

The Sassanid palace of Firuz Abad

The Sassanid palace of Firuz Abad-Ardeshir (I)

The palace of Artaxerxes (I) lies 10 kilometers north of ruins of the ancient city of Goor (Ardeshir Kharreh). This palace, which a masterpiece of the Sassanid era, was founded by Artaxerxes (I). The materials used in this palace were pieces of stone and plaster mortal.

This palace has a rectangular plan. It has three entrances. Some constructions in front of the main entrance belong to the Islamic period. They look like those of fourth century AH.

The second entrance is in the western side and has a staircase that leads to the second floor of the palace. The third gate is in the northwestern part of the palace. The Artaxerxes palace has a central hall with an entrance in the northern portico. There are two other halls on both side of this hall, which have dome-like cielings. The cielings of these halls have originally been rectangular which became circular after some antae. There is a 27.50*27.50 meters courtyard in this palace. It has four rooms with arched cieling and niches with stucco decorations. The walls of these rooms are covered with plaster. Iron braces conect the giant stones of this palace, like those of Persepolis and Pasargadae. The Firuz Abad palace has also been used in the fourth century AH. The copula of this palace is the oldest dome in Iran. This dome is erected on thick wall. In addition, this palace is the oldest building that is based on the Sassanid architecture.

Shah Cheragh

Shah Cheragh

The mausoleum of Ahmad ibn Mosa-al Kazem or Seyyed MirAhmad, the elder brother of Imam Reza, known as Shah Cheragh, sits in the Ahmadi square of Shiraz. Amir Muqarrab-ol Din Mosque, the prime minister of Atabak Abobakr ibn-e Sa’d ibn-e Zagi, erected the original building in 623 AH. The present building consists of the main portico, the grave room, four alcoves, and tomb chambers. The main portico lies in the eastern side and has a ceiling made of wood. The grave room lies behind the main portico.

The Mausoleum of Sa’di

Sa’diye- The Mausoleum of Sa’di an old garde surrounds a simple dome

In northeast of Shiraz and in the Sa’diye town. The last resting place of the big lyric poet of Iran, Sa’di, lies below the small dome.

There is also a portico with eight columns in front of the dome. Sa’di died in 691AH and was beard in his abbey, the present mausoleum. This mausoleum has had dome and garden from the very beginning and several rulers and gings has repared and reconstructed it. The garden has trees such as palm, sedar, orange, pine and various flowers. The present building inspired by the Chili Sutun Palace of Isfahan, has been erected in 1950. The construction of the mausoleum was completed in 1952.

Naghsh-e Rostam

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Naghsh-e Rostam

Naghsh-e Rostam

The ancient complex of Naghshe Rostam is one of stone-works and sculpture masterpieces from Elamites, Achaemenids, and Sasanid era. Naghshe Rostam is at the foot of Hossein koh in a distance of 3 kilometers in the northwest of Takhte Jamshid (Persepolis). The tomb of Ardeshir I, Xerxes, Darius, Zoroaster’s Kaaba, Darius inscription, and also the relief figures of Ardeshir I coronation, the battle of Bahram II, Narses coronation, the battle of Hurmuz II with Bahram IV, are some of remaining works in Naghshe Rostam.

The Naqsh-e Rostam region has been used as a place for religious and formal ceremonies in Sasanids and Achaemenids era. In addition to the historical aspects, the old remains on Hossein Koh have turned the Naqsh-e Rostam region into an old stone book about the history of ancientIran.

The Rostam-e Darab

The Rostam-e Darab Relief Figure – Naqsh-e Shapur

Naqsh-e Shapur or the Rostam-e Darab relief figure lies on southern side of a mount known as Mount Pahna 4 kilometers southeast of Darab. This stone figure, which sits between the old city of Darabgard and the present of Darab, is one of four figures depiciting conquest of Shapur 1 over Romans. This figure depicts Shapur on the horse in the middle. Seventeen Persian nobels with long hats are standing behind him. There are twenty captives of enemy army before the king. A persian soldier guards these captives. There is also a chariot in the right. There are two Romans between the Persian guard and the king. One of them has extended his hand towards the king and the other is holdin the hand of the king with his left hand. There is a mandate in the right hand of the king. There another Roman under the feet of the king’s horse. This figure, considering with other relief figures in Bishapur and Naqsh-e Rostam, is known as the victory of Shapur over valerian.

Hafez

Hafeziye-The Hafez Mausoleum

The original mausoleum of Hafez was erected 65 years after his death in 856 AH.  In the ruling time of Abolqasem Gurkani and supported by his prime minister Shams Oddin Mohammad Yaghmaee. From  then on it has undergone several repairing. But the most basic reconstruction was done in Karimkha’s time. He erected a very beautiful building on Hafez grave in 1188 AH. This building which was in the style of Zand period architecture has a hall with four stone columns and two rooms in the left and right of it.

The construction of the present building began in 1935 and it was completed in 1937

Persepolis

Takhte Jamshid (Persepolis)

Takhte Jamshid is the most glorious ancient complex of Iran and a reminder of ancient world civilization. This palace was erected by Darius I at 518 B.C in the foot of Rahmat mountain. This stone complex with 135000 meters square at its base contained four palaces, one hall, pillars, stairs, embossed figures and stone tombs. The greatest and the most important building of this complex is the Apadana palace or the Darius palace which is one of the masterpieces of Achaemenid era. Takhte Jamshid was used for the residence of kings of Achaemenid dynasty for 200 years until Alexander’s attack in 330 B.C.

Apadana Palace

The palace of Darius the Great known as Apadana,is the largest,most magnificent and splendid palace of the royal complex.It took thirty years to be completed in the early days of Xerxes’ reign.

Apadana consists of a great central hall,which had 36 columns & three porticos, built on an area of 12000 square meters on the northern,eastern,and western sides.

The central hall is in the shape of a square,with a width of 60.5 meters and along each side of it were six limestone pillars,each measuring 20 meters in height.The walls of this hall are made of sub-dried bricks 5.32 meters thick.

Each portico contained 12 pillars and only one,the eastern portico which is the most magnificent & important part of Apadana palace has a capital,consisting of two double-headed bulls.

The eastern portico of Apadana as the western northern porticos has a length of 60.5 meters,and a width 25 meters.Its roof stood upon twelve columns.

Those staircases of Apadana which were found by Prof. Herthfeld, under the debris of the eastern portico had remained safe.It can be divided to the southern,central & northern staircase.In the northern part of the eastern staircase,three groups of Achaemenid soldiers,members of the royal guard nobles of the empire,grooms,charioteers,and staff-bearers of the king are carved.Behind these groups in sculpture inscribed in the name of Xerxes and another sculpture of a lion attacking a bull & motifs of rows of palms & cypress trees.

The facade of the southern wing of the eastern staircase is ornamented with a frieze depicting 23 delegations bringing exotic gifts to the Achaemenid king,Xerxes.Each delegation is led by an usher clad either in the “Persian” or “Median”costume.These officials usually wear torques,a sign of their elevated rank,and carry staffs,the attribute of their office.

Gate Of All Lands

Access to this impressive entryway,The Gate of All Nations,is by passing through the magnificent Entrance of Xerxes.Each side of this monumental entrance is 24.75 meters long and stands on 612.5 square meters of land and has 3 impressive doorways with more than 16.5 meters high columns.

Through the western doorway two ball-capitals are carved & the the eastern doorway has two human heads with bulls’ bodies.These legendary animals are influenced by Assyrian Art.

Above each of these four piers of these two doorways,is a cuneiform inscription rendered in the three main languages of the realm:Old Persian, Elamite & Babylonian.In these inscriptions the great king of Achaemenid notified that The Gate of All Nations was constructed by grace of Ahuramazda:

“Says Xerxes the great king:By the grace of Ahuramazda,this gateway of all lands made;much else (that is) beautiful (was) done throughout Prsa which I did and which my father did;whatever work seems beautiful,all that we did by the grace of Ahuramazda”.

The inner sides of pillars of the western doorway have been subject to mutilation by renowned or unknown travelers who have carved their names in to the sculptures.

According to the Prof. Herthfeld, stone cutting of human face,eagles,wings,and bull body is influenced by Assyrian Art,through Urartu’s stone cutting & meaning consists of human thought,eagle overreaching & bull power.

Tachara Palace

The private palace of Darius, Tachara, is is constructed to the south-western of the Apadana palace on the platform of Persepolis.

Tachara or Tazara meaning “Winter Palace” in old persian but there is no evidence for this being as a Winter Palace of Darius.

It was built on a platform which rose 2.20-3 meters above the platform of Apadana and its adjacent courtyard.Its width is approximately 30 meters & its length is 40 meters.

Tachara consists of a Central Hall with 12 stone columns supporting its ceiling & a portico with 8 stone columns in the south.

Chambers were located to the both sides of portico.Also 2 quadrangle chambers with 8 stone columns were located to the northern side of the Central Hall.

The construction of this palace was started during the reign of Darius & according to the southern inscription of Tachara, it was finished during the reign of Xerxes.

Also,the construction of the staircase & western carved figures decorating the palace,relate to the reign of Artaxerxws III.

The two sides of the southern doorway bear a cuneiform inscription carved above the head of the king,in three versions: Elamite, Old Persion and Babylonian.A translation of this is as follows:”Darius, the Great King,the king of kings,king of countries,son of Hystaspes,the Achaemenid, who built this Tachara”.

Doorways of this palace are decorated with carved figures of Achaemenid soldiers,servants & king’s battle with lion or the other devil animals.The carved decorated crown of Darius the Great,torque,bracelet & earring, which had been made of precious metals were stolen by Alexander and his companions.

Because of the glossy surface of this palace’s polished stones,it was formerly called the “Hall of Mirrors”.

Upon the walls of this palace some texts have been carved.Two the oldest of them,which relate to Shapur Sacanshah lead us to the name of”One Hundred column Palace”instead of Persepolis in the Sasanid era.

Tripylon Central Palace

In the center part of Persepolis’s platform,there is a small palace with three doorways,known as the Tripylon.

The construction of this palace was started during the reign of Xerxes & it was finished by making a northern staircase with sculptured figures during the reign of Artaxerxes I.

However,its eastern stairway is ornamented with sculptured figures of nobles of empires who proceed informally and friendly towards the hall of the palace,Prof.Schmidt named it”Council hall”.

This palace consisted of a central hall,built on an area of 240(15.5*15.5)square meters &4 magnificent stone columns supporting its ceiling.

There is a cliff 75c.m in length & 71c.m in width,in the central part of this palace which had a circle carved in the middle part of it.Some scientists know it as a palace for calender for calculating the calender.

The south & north doorways show the Achaemenian monarch in the act of leaving the palace.

The eastern doorway has sculptured figures of 28 representatives from countries of the empire who are supporting the throne with their hands also Artaxerxes I and his successor are seen in this sculptured figure too.

One hundred columns palace is the second largest palace in Persepolis which is located to the east of Apadana courtyard. The main part of the building was occupied by a square central hall.this hall was supported by one hundred columns and because of this,was known as “One Hundred Columns Palace”.

 Later, it was known as Persepolis hall because of one hundred columns existence in treasury. The hall of this palace build on an area 4600(68.5 * 68.5)square meters and consisted of a central hall with one hundred stone columns supporting its ceiling and each stone column had a height of approximately 14 meters.

According to the inscription which was recovered by Prof. Herthfeld, it was build by Xerxes and completed during the reign of Artaxerxes I.

“Artaxerxes the king speaks:

This house Xerxes the king-my father

Laid its foundation in the protection of Ahuramazda:

I,Artaxerxes the king build and brought(it)to completion “.

Hence,the day of its construction falls between 470 & 450 BC.

The “audience scene” is repeated on two sides of the northern doorways.It was sculptured with an enthroned king,two incense burners,a Median chili arch reporting to the king,a towel bearer,a weapon bearer,and two pairs of Persian guards flanking the scene.

Also there are five superimposed sculptured rows of soldiers.They would have stood in lines,in front of the royal throne.Thus,there are two groups of soldiers and the combined scenes carved on the doorjambs represent on hundred soldiers,arranged in ten lines.

The south doorways portray the king,Artaxerxes I,being borne on his throne in to the hall.Behind the throne stands a eunuch with a neatly folded towel in one hand and a fly whisk  in the other.Above the king hovers a winged figure symbolizing his royal fortune.Below the palanquin which carries the throne,representatives of 28 subject nations are depicted in two registers,14 representative on every jamp.

The smaller doorways on the west & east show representations of a royal hero or the king who engaged in victorious combat against wild creatures.

Hadish Palace

The private palace of Xerxes stands high upon a platform in the southeast of the Persepolis & according to the northern portico inscription of this palace is called “Hadish”.

“…Says Xerxes the Great King,by the grace of Ahuramazda,I made this Hadish.Let Ahuramazda and the gods protect me and this country and what (was) done by me”.

This palace consisted of a Central Hall,built on an area of 2550(55*40)square meters.The interior of the central hall is in the shape of a square,with a width of 36.5 meters,36 stone columns,a portico with 12 stone columns in the north & a narrow portico in the south.Some small chambers were located to the eastern & western sides of the Central Hall too.

The doorjambs of the main hall were sculptured with the representation of Xerxes leaving or entering the hall.In each case he is accompanied by two attendants who are depicted as much smaller than the king;one is the Holder of the Fly-whisk.

Through the palace Alexander’s fire burned,causing immediate collapse and later disintegration of most of the architectural elements of this building.

In the west of Xerxes private palace there is a ruin of a palace which is attributed to the Artaxerxes.

Persepolis Royal Tombs,Queen’s Palace

It is located to the southeastern part of Persepolis’s platform,the eastern part of Harem & southern part of the “One Hundred Column Palace”.The Treasury was one of the first three monuments to have been built by order of Dariush the Great & completed during Xerxes reign.He tore down a  part of its western wing,and replaced it with a long passage,which was as wide as the whole northern side of the building and used it as the Harem.

The Treasury built on an area of 10390(77.60*133.90)square meters & consisted of “Central Hall” with 99 stone columns supporting its ceiling & one hundred stone columns hall,some chambers, passages & courtyards.

One of the most outstanding discovers of Prof.Schmidt in Persepolis was the recovery of 750 small clay tablets,all inscribed with cuneiform characters in the Elamites language & also inscribed all were probably labels of the objects and documents housted in the Treasury,for they bore the seals of supervisors and senior officials.

In 1936 two great  relief of Persepolis had been discovered by the Eastern Agency of Chicago University.One of them which were better preserved was taken to the Iran National Museum in Tehran & the other one is still in Treasury of Persepolis. In this relief the Great king,Xerxes,enthroned his crown prince and the”royal audience”is shown.It was also sculptured with an enthroned king,two incense burners,a Median chili arch reporting to the king,a towel bearer,a weapon bearer,and two pairs of nobles flanking the scene.

Pasargad

Cyrus’ the Great Tomb

The building of the Cyrus’ Tomb, the Achaemenid king, is a small building resting on a six-layer base. This building is 11 meters high. The whole building is made of  only a kind of stone similar to white marble without any other materials. These stones have been carried from a mine in the northwest of Sivand, near Haji Abad. The lowest floor is about

12 by 13 meters and is 170 centimeters high.

The building of this tomb is not only a reminiscent of the Achaemenid king, but also an everlasting reminder of the precious art of ancient Iranian architecture.

Bishapur

Tang-e Chovgan-The Relief Figure of Shapur Triumph over Valerian

This relief figure, with dimension of 13.5*5 meters, is avery big figure cut in a sicular and concave surface on the rocks. There is the scene of triumph of Shapur (I) over Valerian, the Roman emperor, in the middle of this figure. There is an angle above the king that is bringing the symbol of victory for Shapur. On the right and before Shapur, there are four rows of Roman soldiers and their weapons that are taken as booties. There are Persian infantries and troopers on the left side of the king. This stone figure is the biggest one among the Sassanid relief figures. In this figure, Shapur depicts his victory over Valerian more completely. The stone figures of Shapur’s victory are located in Naqsh-e Rostam and Darab.

Ghar-e Shapur (The Sapur’s Cave)

6 kilometers north of Tang-e Chovgan, there is a cave called as Ghar-e Shapur because of a big statue of Shapur. This long cave is about 7 meters higher than the surrounding area. It is 1 kilometer long. The cave has an uneven floor and has many holes. The big statue of Shapur, which belongs to the Sassanid era, lies in this cave. As water continues to flow, dissolved rock slowly precipitates to form icicle-like formations. There is one of these stone columns in the middle of the cave and near the entrance. It was used for making the big statue of Shapur, the second Sassanid king. This statue is 7 meters high. The weight of this statue is 30 tons. This statue has fallen and had been in a hole four meters deep. Finally, Bastan Shenasi (Archealogy) office of Fars along with army forces, and the National Remains Committee erected it in 1958.

Tang-e Chovgan-The relief figure of the Shapur (II), Shapur-e Zol Aktaf

The last relief figure that was cut after the Coronation of Bahram (I) and a little higher tan it, is the figure of Shapur (II). Having a dimension of 10.5*5 meters, it is among the big relief figures of a Sassanid era.

In this figure, Shapur is in the upper part and the middle of the figure. He is holding his sword with his left hand and is leaning on a long stick or a wand.

There are the court dignitaries, marshals, and the horse of Shapur on the right.

On the left of the king, right of the figure, there are some captives and a executioner who is holding the heads of the enemy. Moreover, some Persian soldiers are bringing the captives and booties before the king. Although this relief figure is not artistically important and the stonecutters have not been so skillful, it recorded the victory of Shapur (II) in his last years.

Pars Museum (Nazar Garden)

Pars Museum (Nazar Garden)

Nazar garden was larger than what exists today. It was assigned for private royal occasions and official receptions.

An octagonal building is situated in the middle of this garden which is converted into a museum in 1931 and is called Pars Museum afterwards. Archeological excavated articles belonging to different periods of Iranian history are displayed in this Museum.

The interior of this building is decorated with tile works and many other medallion paintings very similar to the Hasht Behesht ( Seven Paradises Garden of Esfahan ).

The facade of the building is also decorated with tile works.The designs of these tiles include flowers plants, birds, hunting fields and scenes of the legendary tales.The museum building has an impressive pavilion used for formal meetings during the reign of Karim Khan.

The building comprises one large domed hall and four chambers on the four sides. Karim Khan Zand is buried in the middle on the eastern chamber.

In the middle of the domed hall a marble pond is constructed. The interior facade of the building is decorated with exquisite plaster works. Eleven paintings works, of a master painter of Zand period , Agha Sadeq , are decorating various chambers of the building.

After a ten year interval, Pars Museum has recently resumed its business and is open to the public. As you are in Shiraz, don’t miss it.

The Eram Garden

Bagh-e Eram (The Eram Garden)

Baghe eram is the most beautiful and the most famous garden in Shiraz. The beautiful edifice and portal of this garden belongs to the Qajar era. The original garden has been constructed in the Seljuk period. It has been prosperous in the Al-e Injo era. It has been reconstructed in the Zandyeh period. Qashqaee rulers took posetions of this garden for 75 years in the Qajar era. Mohammad Qoli Khan built a barrier and edifice in this garden in this period. During the Naser Addin Shah reign, Hassan Ali Khan-e Nasir-ol Molk erected the present building. The main edifice faces eastward. This building is a master piece of the Qajar era considering its architecture, brick works, and interior decorations specially tile works. Stone masonry, painting, and calligraphies. It is a mixture of the Safavid, Zand, and Qajar architecture.

Some outside decorations and the outside facade of the building are like those of Persepolis. The edifice is a three- storey building with a gable roof. There is a two- portico in front of the building. It has a springhouse in the basement, which was used in the hot days of the summer. The yard has many cedar, pine, orange trees, and many beautiful flowers. At present, this garden, with many beautiful species of flowers and plants, is the botany garden of Shiraz university.

Before 1342 H (1963 AC) when Shiraz University was appointed in charge of the garden by government, it used to be run by different institutions. Since then, Shiraz University has transformed the garden into a botanical garden in which various plant species and cultivars are grown. In 1387 (2008 AC), the garden was recognized as a research center for botanical studies by the ministry of Higher Education and thus was named” Eram Botanical Garden Research Center” .At the present, the garden attracts people from all walks of life not only for its historical identity but also as a botanical research center.

The garden special attributes have provided a favorable environment for a wide variety of plants to be grown. Over 450 plants species and many cultivars have been identified and labeled accordingly. Considering the long history of the garden, a vast area has been allocated to various fruit trees including pomegranates, sour oranges, persimmons, olives and walnuts. In the rock garden section, a wide range of beautiful sub-tropical plants, are on display.

The beautiful 200 year -old cypress tree (sarv-e -naz) known globally attracts plant lovers to the garden. In the rose garden, over 300 rose plant cultivars create a panoramic view during the month of Ordibehesht (April).

The Afif Abad Garden

Bagh-e Afif Abad (The Afif Abad Garden)

This garden is one of beautiful and old gardens of Shiraz that covers a 127000 square meters ground. Its building has an erea of 1700 square meters. This garden was very important in the Safavid era and was the recreation place of the king. The Afif Abad was called Baq-e Golshan (the golshan garden) at that time.There is an edefice in this garden with pools and a basement floor.

Mirza Ali Muhammad Khan Qavam-Ol Mulk Shirazi erected the edifice of the garden in 1284 AH. This garden was called Afif Abad after a woman, Afife, inherited it.The Afif Abad garden has many unique buildings. The edifice, the bath, and the tearoom are some of this buildings. The buildings and decorations of the garden are a mixture of Achaemenid, Sassanid, Zand, and Qajar architectures and styles. This garden became a military museum in 1991. This museum  consists of two major parts, the gun museum and the Ebrat (ensample) museum.

The Vakil Bazaar

Bazar-e Vakil (The Vakil Bazaar)

Bazar-e Vakil is the most important marketing place of Shiraz. It was built in the KarimKhan Zand era (1172-1193 AH).

The architecture of this Bazaar, although very similar to the architecture style of the Safavid era, has many unique features, and is superior to the Bazaars of previous periods considering its space, bigness, and decorations.

This Bazaar, with an area of 31840 square meters and 2396 square meters building area, consists of two parts of one in the north-to-south and the other in the east-to-west direction. The center of the Bazaar is beautiful Char soq (crossroad) that is the intersection of the two parts of the Bazaar. this part is an octagonal area with a high dome above it. It has a big annular barrel vault. The intrados of this dome is beautifully decorated and has some brick works in different parts.

More over, Bazaar-e Vakil accommodates the Gomrok, Roghani, and Ahmadi caravanserais. There were some additional parts constructed beside this Bazaar in the Qajar era. Bazaar-e Mesgarha (1298 AH) and Urdo Bazar, constructed by Haj Mirza Mo’tamed-ol Dovleh, are amonge them.

The Karimkhani Citadel

Arg-e Karimkhani (The Karimkhani Citadel)

There is a square building in the center of Shiraz. The walls of the building and it’s towers are decorated with simple, hence beautiful, brick works. These building, which has once been the place of Karimkhan-e Zand, is known as Arg-e Karimkhani.

Karimkhan began the construction of this citadel with panel of architects from Isfahan, Khorasan, Azerbaijan, and Indian stone cutters in 1180 AH. He also canalized an underground aqueduct 6 kilometers away from Shiraz to supply the necessary water for the citadle and the vakil Bath. The citadle covers a 12800 square meters grounds and the building has an area of 400 square meters. A 4-meter deep moat surrounds this citadle. There are big pools with beautiful fountains in the courtyard. There are many orange trees in this citadle. Some of these trees are 200 years old. The Arg-e Karimkhani has 3 alcoves in the north, west and south of the yard. the northern alcove was for winters, the southern one for summers, and the last one was for all seasons. Tehere are some rooms and porticos on the sides of each alcove.

The enterance gate of citadle is in the east. This part of the citadle has a tall wall. there is a scene of the battle of Rostam and the White Monster over this portal.

The Izad Khast Caravanserai

The Izad Khast Caravanserai

The Izad Khast or Shah Abbasi Caravanserai is belongs to the Safavid era. It sits on the western bank of Izad Khast River and on the east of the encient castle of Izad khast. The material of this caravanserai consist of stone, clay, lime, and brick. It has a 35 by 35 courtyard with a row of rooms, porticos, and halls round the yard. The warehouse are behind the rooms and porticos. The rooms, porticos, and warehouses are are 15 meters wide. The whole caranserai covers a 4000 square meters ground. There are 20 rooms, 3*3 meters, in the sothern, northern, and eastern sides of the courtyard.

The Izad Khast Castle

The ancient castle of Izad Khast, also called as Sar Sang and Qale Kuhne (the old castle), belong to the Sassanid era, and lies on the northeast of Isfahan to shiraz road and seven kilometers north of Izad Khast city. This castle is erected on a high trapezoid promontory that is surrounded by a deep valley. The only rout to the castle is a portable wooden bridge called Takht-e Pol. This bridge leads to the castle in the southern side of the fort. This fortification is made of stone, clay, lime, and wooden shafts. The upper part of the walls is made of adobes. There is a high tower in the southeastern corner that is made of adobes. The southern wall was for protecting this tower. The gate is in this wall and there has ones been another tower above this gate.

The Old Friday Mosque

Masjid-e Jame-e Atiq (The Old Friday Mosque)

This mosque is one of the old remains of the Islamic period that lies in the rest of Shah Cheragh. Amr-e Leyth-e Safar founded thi mosque after his victory over the Caliphe’s army in 281 AH, when he arrived in Shiraz. This mosque is known as Masjid-e Jom’e and Masjid-e Adineh ( the mosque of Friday) in Shiraz. This mosque has a 1672 square meters courtyard that is called Khoday Khaneh (the God room). There are four short towers on the corners of the mosque. The mosque has six doors, two in west, two in the east, and one in the south. The last door is in the north of the mosque. This northern door is called the door of Davazdah Emam (twelve Imams). There lies a high arch, known as Taq-e Morvarid (the pearl arch), in the northern side of this mosque. The Hal Ata chapter of holy Quran is written on the intrados of this arch on tiles and in Naskh writing. There are also some verses of holy Quran in Thulth and Naskh  on the entablature of the arch.

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