Shiraz is renowned for its many beautiful gardens, including the Eram, Narenjestan and Afif-Abad, each with a richly decorated pavilion set among graceful cypress trees. Shiraz is also the birth place of the nation’s two greatest poets, Saadi and Hafez, who are also buried there in two beautiful mausoleums, and who devoted so much of their poetry to the idolization of the city.
Religious activity in Shiraz centres on the glittering Shah Cheragh (King of Lights) Shrine, where the remains of Seyyed Amir Ahmad, the brother of eight Shi’ite Imam is buried. the Nasir-ol-Molk of Qajar period is another mosque not to be missed. The province of Fars has a lot more to offer than its capital Shiraz. Some of Iran’s and indeed, the world’s most important archaeological sites are located all over the province:
Some of Iran’s and indeed, the world’s most important archaeological sites are located all over the province:
PERSEPOLIS: Darius I, the great Achaemenian king, created and reorganized and unified an empire which eventually was larger and more efficiently ruled than any other the ancient world had yet seen. Darius conceived Persepolis, its unmatched splendour still evident today, despite the ravages of foreign invaders and centuries of exposure, as the spiritual hub of the empire . The building program begun by Darius I (522-486 B.C.) was carried on by his two immediate successors, Xerxes (486-465 B.C.), and Artaxerxes (465-424 B.C.) remaining a magnificent memorial to the achievments of the Achaemenid kings.
The most important buildings at Persepolis were crowded onto a terrace of natural rock (Takhte-Jamshid) that rises 12 meters above the plain on three sides and abuts a low mountain on the forth side.There are about fifteen major buildings, including the Apadana, the Hall of Hundred Columns, the Gate house of Xerxes, the Treasury, the Harem, the central building and the majestic palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes, Atraxerxes I, and Artaxerxes III.
Persepolis was the site to which the Achaemenid kings came to celebrate the Iranian New Year (Now-Ruz), and the achievments of their ancestors in religious ceremonies, to receive foreign delegations, and to be buried, until it was burnt to the ground by Alexander of Macedonia in 330 B.C. The existing remains consist of stone columns with elaborate bases and capitals, stone door and window jambs, and facades and staircases , many with splendid bas-reliefs one of the most impressive sites, not just in Iran but in the whole of the ancient world.
PASARGADE: The capital and last resting place of Cyrus the Great is situated in Dashte Morghab, some 110 miles north of Shiraz.Here Cyrus fought and won his last battle against his former suzerian , the Median king Astyages, in or near the year 550 B.C., and Pasargade, named for the chief tribe of the Persians, was built as a memorial to the epic victory.
Pasargade is an extensive site containing the remains of a massive platform, the tall-e-Takhte; the majestic tomb of Cyrus himself, its foundation taking the form of a high plinth of six receding steps, upon which rests a gabled tomb chamber ; two palaces ; a monumental gate marked by a winged genius, with Egyptian crown ; a royal garden, and an enigmatic stone tower known as the Zendane- Sulaiman (prison of Sulaiman).