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, for example Eram Garden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim, called gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate. Shirāz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran’s electronic industries: 53% of Iran’s electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran’s first solar power plant. Recently the city’s first wind turbine has been installed above Babakoohi mountain near the city.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, gardens, wine, nightingales and flowers. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; carpet-weaving, and the making of the rugs called gilim (Shiraz Kilim) and “jajim” in the villages and among the tribes.
The garden is an important part of Iranian culture. There are many old gardens in Shiraz such as the Eram garden and the Afif abad garden. According to some people,[who?] Shiraz “disputes with Xeres [or Jerez] in Spain the honour of being the birthplace of sherry.” Shirazi wine originates from the city, and ancient Persia is considered the first wine-making civilization, however under the current Islamic regime, liquor cannot be consumed except by religious minorities.
Shiraz is proud of being mother land of Hafiz Shirazi, Shiraz is a center for Iranian culture and has produced a number of famous poets. Saadi, a 12th and 13th-century poet was born in Shiraz. He left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad. When he reappeared in his native Shiraz he was an elderly man. Shiraz, under Atabak Abubakr Sa’d ibn Zangy (1231–1260) was enjoying an era of relative tranquility. Saadi was not only welcomed to the city but he was highly respected by the ruler and enumerated among the greats of the province. He seems to have spent the rest of his life in Shiraz. Hafiz, another famous poet and mystic was also born in Shiraz. A number of scientists also originate from Shiraz. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, a 13th-century astronomer, mathematician, physician, physicist and scientist was from Shiraz. In his The Limit of Accomplishment concerning Knowledge of the Heavens, he also discussed the possibility of heliocentrism.
Tourist attractions in Shiraz
- The tombs of Hafiz, Saadi, and Khaju e Kermani (whose tomb is inside a mountain above the city’s old Qur’an Gate). Other lesser known tombs are that of Shah Shoja’ (the Mozafarid emir of Persia, and patron of Hafiz), and the Haft Tanan mausoleum, where seven Sufi mystics are buried. The Tomb of Baba Kuhi sits atop a mountain overlooking the city, and the tomb of Karim Khan Zand is at the Pars Museum of Shiraz.
- The oldest mosque is Atigh Jame’ Mosque, which is one of the older mosques of Iran, followed by Vakil Mosque and Nasir al-Mulk mosque. The Vakil Mosque is situated west of the famous Vakil Bazaar. It covers an area of 8,660 square metres (93,200 square feet) and was built in 1187 (AH) during Zand Dynasty. On the two sides of the entrance gate there are magnificent tile-works and arches. The left and right corridors of the entrance gate are connected to the main room.
- The citadel of Arg of Karim Khan sits adjacent to the Vakil Bazaar and Vakil Bath at the city’s central district. The most famous of houses are Zinat-ol-Molook House and Gahavam’s House, both in the old quarters of the city.
- The Qur’an Gate is the entrance to Shiraz. It is located near the gorge of Allah-o-Akbar and is flanked by the Baba Kuhi and Chehel Maqam mountains. The gateway is where two copies of the Qurans known.
- The Eram Garden (Bagh-e Eram) in Shiraz is a striking location for visitors with a variety of plants as well as a historic mansion. Although the exact date of the construction of the garden is not clear, historical evidence suggests it was constructed during the Seljuk Dynasty on the orders of the celebrated Seljuk monarch Sanjar. Other historical Persian gardens are Afifabad Garden and The Museum of Weapons, Delgosha Garden and Jahan Nama Garden.
There is a tourist information on the main boulevard a bit west of the palace. They speak English and can give helpful tips and have English maps.
For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. There is not a lot of room for haggling as prices are more or less fixed. Ask locals who take taxis about what the price should be and agree with the driver before you get into the car.
If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don’t be alarmed. Many taxis in Shiraz are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.
However it is always good to find a taxi through a reputable “telephone taxi” agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.
The city also has a reasonable bus service.