Cultural Capital of Iran
City of poets
City of gardens
City of flowers and nightingale
|• Type||City Council|
|• Mayor||Heydar Eskandarpour|
|• City||240 km2 (86.487 sq mi)|
|• Land||240 km2 (86.487 sq mi)|
|• Water||0 km2 (0 sq mi) 0%|
|Elevation||1,500 m (5,200 ft)|
|• Density||6,670/km2 (18,600/sq mi)|
|• Urban||1,565,572 |
|• Population Rank in Iran||5th|
|Time zone||UTC+3:30 (IRST)|
|Routes|| Road 65|
Shiraz (// (listen); Persian: شیراز, Šīrāz, [ʃiːˈrɒːz] (listen)) is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pars). At the 2016 census, the population of the city was 1,869,001 and its built-up area with "Shahr-e Jadid-e Sadra" (Sadra New Town) was home to 1,565,572 inhabitants. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the "Rudkhaneye Khoshk" (The Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz is one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz, whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine (despite Iran being an Islamic republic since 1979), 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 Babakuhi mountain near the city.
The earliest reference to the city is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BCE, found in June 1970, while digging to make a kiln for a brick factory in the south western corner of the city. The tablets written in ancient Elamite name a city called Tiraziš. Phonetically, this is interpreted as /tiračis/ or /ćiračis/. This name became Old Persian /širājiš/; through regular sound change comes the modern Persian name Shirāz. The name Shiraz also appears on clay sealings found at a 2nd-century CE Sassanid ruin, east of the city. By some of the native writers, the name Shiraz has derived from a son of Tahmuras, the third Shāh (King) of the world according to Ferdowsi's Shāhnāma.
Shiraz is most likely more than 6,000 years old. The name Shiraz is mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions from around 2000 BC found in southwestern corner of the city. According to some Iranian mythological traditions, it was originally erected by Tahmuras Diveband, and afterward fell to ruin.
In the Achaemenian era, Shiraz was on the way from Susa to Persepolis and Pasargadae. In Ferdowsi's Shāhnāma it has been said that Artabanus V, the Parthian Emperor of Iran, expanded his control over Shiraz. Ghasre Abu-Nasr (meaning "the palace of AbuNasr") which is originally from Parthian era is situated in this area. During the Sassanid era, Shiraz was in between the way which was connecting Bishapur and Gur to Istakhr. Shiraz was an important regional center under the Sassanians.
The city became a provincial capital in 693, after Arab invaders conquered Istakhr, the nearby Sassanian capital. As Istakhr fell into decline, Shiraz grew in importance under the Arabs and several local dynasties. The Buwayhid empire (945–1055) made it their capital, building mosques, palaces, a library and an extended city wall. It was also ruled by the Seljuks and the Khwarezmians before the Mongol conquest.
The city was spared destruction by the invading Mongols, when its local ruler offered tributes and submission to Genghis Khan. Shiraz was again spared by Tamerlane, when in 1382 the local monarch, Shah Shoja agreed to submit to the invader. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, thanks to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. For this reason the city was named by classical geographers Dar al-‘Elm, the House of Knowledge. Among the Iranian poets, mystics and philosophers born in Shiraz were the poets Sa'di and Hafiz, the mystic Ruzbehan, and the philosopher Mulla Sadra. Thus Shiraz has been nicknamed "The Athens of Iran". As early as the 11th century, several hundred thousand people inhabited Shiraz. In the 14th century Shiraz had sixty thousand inhabitants. During the 16th century it had a population of 200,000 people, which by the mid-18th century had decreased to only 55,000.
In 1504, Shiraz was captured by the forces of Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid dynasty. Throughout the Safavid empire (1501–1722) Shiraz remained a provincial capital and Emam Qoli Khan, the governor of Fars under Shah Abbas I, constructed many palaces and ornate buildings in the same style as those built during the same period in Isfahan, the capital of the Empire. After the fall of the Safavids, Shiraz suffered a period of decline, worsened by the raids of the Afghans and the rebellion of its governor against Nader Shah; the latter sent troops to suppress the revolt. The city was besieged for many months and eventually sacked. At the time of Nader Shah's murder in 1747, most of the historical buildings of the city were damaged or ruined, and its population fell to 50,000, one-quarter of that during the 16th century.
Shiraz soon returned to prosperity under the rule of Karim Khan Zand, who made it his capital in 1762. Employing more than 12,000 workers, he constructed a royal district with a fortress, many administrative buildings, a mosque and one of the finest covered bazaars in Iran. He had a moat built around the city, constructed an irrigation and drainage system, and rebuilt the city walls. However, Karim Khan's heirs failed to secure his gains. When Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty, eventually came to power, he wreaked his revenge on Shiraz by destroying the city's fortifications and moving the national capital to Tehran. Although lowered to the rank of a provincial capital, Shiraz maintained a level of prosperity as a result of the continuing importance of the trade route to the Persian Gulf. Its governorship was a royal prerogative throughout the Qajar dynasty. Many of the famous gardens, buildings and residences built during this time contribute to the city's present skyline.
Shiraz is the birthplace of the co-founder of the Bahá'í Faith, the Báb (Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad, 1819–1850). In this city, on the evening of 22 May 1844, he first declared his mission as the bearer of a new divine revelation. For this reason Shiraz is a holy city for Bahá’ís, and the city, particularly the house of the Báb, was identified as a place of pilgrimage. Due to the hostile climate towards Baha'is in Iran, the house has been the target of repeated attacks; the house was destroyed in 1979, to be paved over two years later and made into a public square.
In 1910, a pogrom of the Jewish quarter started after false rumours that the Jews had ritually murdered a Muslim girl. In the course of the riots, 12 Jews were murdered and about 50 were injured, and the 6,000 Jews of Shiraz were robbed of all their possessions.
During Pahlavi dynasty Shiraz has become center of attention again. Many important landmarks like Tombs of Poets' such as Sa'di and Hafiz, has been constructed and presented to public. Also the ruins of the Achaemenid palace and city of Persepolis were re-discovered by the order of the Shah, excavated, and made into a major tourist attraction.
Lacking any great industrial, religious or strategic importance, Shiraz became an administrative center, although its population has nevertheless grown considerably since the 1979 revolution.
The city's municipality and other related institutions have initiated restoration and reconstruction projects.
Some of the most recent projects have been the complete restoration of the Arg of Karim Khan and of the Vakil Bath, as well as a comprehensive plan for the preservation of the old city quarters. Other noteworthy initiatives include the total renovation of the Qur'an Gate and the mausoleum of the poet Khwaju Kermani, both located in the Allah-u-Akbar Gorge, as well as the restoration and expansion of the mausoleum of the famous Shiraz-born poets Hafiz and Saadi.
After the Iranian Revolution, Shiraz was re-established as the capital of Iranian Art and Culture among the people. Shiraz is known[by whom?] as the capital of Persian Art, Culture and Literature. However, the current government has tried to re-brand the city as "Sevomin haram-e ahle beit" meaning "Third home of Saints" referring to the Shahcheragh shrine and some other holy places in the city.
Shiraz is located in the south of Iran and the northwest of Kerman Province. It is built in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains 1,500 metres (4,900 feet) above sea level. Shiraz is 800 kilometres (500 mi) south of Tehran.
During the Zand dynasty when Shiraz was the capital of Iran, it was a small village limited around the Arg of Karim Khan and naturally there were several villages near it. The north part of old Shiraz (now Qasr al-dasht and Chamran) was completely covered with gardens and green trees that still remain. A number of municipal laws prohibit construction in any of the garden areas. In another view, these gardens are the city's lungs and help to clean the dust, and haze or carbon dioxide that cars produce, by photosynthesis. On the other hand, we see Shiraz as being more likely to have clean air in Iran; this is when it is compared to big cities such as Tehran or Isfahan, and the reason behind it may lie in Shiraz's many gardens.
Shiraz’s climate has distinct seasons, and is overall classed as a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh), though it is only a little short of a hot-summer Merranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Summers are hot, with a July average high of 38.8 °C (101.8 °F). Winters are cool, with average low temperatures below freezing in December and January. Around 300 mm (12 in) of rain falls each year, almost entirely in the winter months, though in some cases as much as this has fallen in a single month (as in January 1965 and December 2004), whilst in the year from July 1965 to June 1966 as little as 82.9 millimetres (3.3 in) fell. The wettest year has been 1955/1956 with as much as 857.2 millimetres (33.75 in), though since 1959 the highest has been around 590 millimetres (23.2 in) in each of 1995/1996 and 2004/2005.
Shiraz contains a considerable number of gardens. Due to population growth in the city, many of these gardens may be lost to give way to new developments. Although some measures have been taken by the Municipality to preserve these gardens, many illegal developments still endanger them.
|Climate data for Shiraz (1961–1990, extremes 1951–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.4
|Average high °C (°F)||12.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||5.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−14.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||79.8
|Average rainy days||8.7||7.9||7.9||6.4||2.1||0.2||0.8||0.4||0.1||1.2||3.7||7.2||46.6|
|Average snowy days||1.5||0.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.6||2.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||65||58||51||46||32||22||24||24||26||34||48||61||41|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||217.0||218.5||236.2||247.7||324.1||357.8||344.6||329.7||318.0||297.7||238.3||216.2||3,345.8|
|Source #1: NOAA|
|Source #2: Iran Meteorological Organization (records)|
Shiraz is the economic center of southern Iran. The second half of the 19th century witnessed certain economic developments that greatly changed the economy of Shiraz. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 allowed the extensive import into southern Iran of inexpensive European factory-made goods, either directly from Europe or via India. Farmers in unprecedented numbers began planting cash crops such as opium poppy, tobacco, and cotton. Many of these export crops passed through Shiraz on their way to the Persian Gulf. Iranian long-distance merchants from Fars developed marketing networks for these commodities, establishing trading houses in Bombay, Calcutta, Port Said, Istanbul and even Hong Kong.
Shiraz's economic base is in its provincial products, which include grapes, citrus fruits, cotton and rice. 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. Agriculture has always been a major part of the economy in and around Shiraz. This is partially due to a relative abundance of water compared to the surrounding deserts. Shirāz is famous for its carpet production and flowers as well. Viticulture has a long history in the region, and Shirazi wine used to be produced here. Shiraz is also an Iranian center for IT, communication, electronic industry, and transportation.
The Vakil Bazaar, one of the oldest bazaars in the world, is located in the old city centre of Shiraz. Featuring beautiful courtyards, caravansarais, and bath houses, its shops are deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques.
As of 2011[update], Shiraz has a population of 1,700,665 the majority of whom are Persian. Most of the population of Shiraz are Muslims. Shiraz also was home to a 20,000-strong Jewish community, although most emigrated to the United States and Israel in the latter half of the 20th century. Along with Tehran and Esfahan, Shiraz is one of the handful of Iranian cities with a sizable Jewish population, and more than one active synagogue. Though officially Muslims, many Shirazis privately practice Zoroastrianism or at least hold it in high regard.
Shiraz also has a significant Baha'i population, the largest in the country after Tehran.
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; 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.
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The city is one of the key tourism sites in Iran, its cultural heritage is of global importance.
Within a relatively short driving distance from Shiraz are the ruins of Persepolis, Bishapur, Pasargadae, and Firouzabad. At Naqsh-e Rustam can be found the tombs of the Achaemenid kings as well as the Ka'ba-ye Zartosht, which has been thought to be either a Zoroastrian fire temple or possibly even the true tomb of Cyrus the Great. Maharloo Lake is a popular breeding ground for various bird species.
List of neighborhoods in Shiraz:
Shiraz is home to a vibrant academic community. The Shiraz University of Medical Sciences was the first university in Shiraz and was founded in 1946. Much older is the august Madrasa-e-Khan, or Khan Theological School, with about 600 students; its tile-covered buildings date from 1627.
Today Shiraz University is the largest university in the province, and one of Iran's best academic centers. Other major universities in or nearby Shiraz are the Islamic Azad University of Shiraz, Shiraz University of Technology, and Shiraz University of Applied Science and Technology.
Virtual University of Shiraz is one of the sub colleges of Shiraz University.
Shiraz International Airport serves as the largest airport in the southern region of Iran. After undergoing renovation and redevelopment work in 2005, Shiraz Airport was identified as the second-most-reliable and -modern airport in Iran (after Imam Khomeini International Airport of Tehran) in terms of flight safety including electronic and navigation control systems of its flight tower.
A metro system started in Shiraz in 2001 by the Shiraz Urban Railway Organization which contains six lines. The length of the first Line are 22.4 km (13.9 mi), the length of the second line will be 8.5 km (5.3 mi) The length of the third line will be 16 km (10 mi). 21 stations were built in route one. The first three lines, when completed, will have 32 stations below ground, six above, and one special station connected to the railway station. The first line was started in October 2014 between [[Shahid Dastgheib (airport) Metro Station and Ehsan stations. A single ticket costs 10000 rials, with trains operating every 15 minutes. Line 1 is extended from the airport To Ehsan Square (northern part).
Shiraz has 71 bus lines with 50,000 buses. Iran's third Bus Rapid Transit opened in Shiraz in 2009 with two lines, and a further two planned to open in 2010. Service is free on 5 May, the day of the city.
Shiraz is connected with the rest of Iran's railway network. The trains arrive and leave from Shiraz railway station, Iran's largest railway station according to surface area. It has passenger trains, operating six days per week to Isfahan, Tehran and Mashad.
There are 700 000 cars in the city of Shiraz.
There is a tourist information on the main boulevard. 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, and wait for them while they visit sites or shops. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.
Football is the most popular sport in Shiraz and the city has many teams in this sport. The most notable of these teams is Bargh Shiraz who are one of the oldest teams in Iran, Bargh was once a regular member of the Persian Gulf Pro League; however, financial issues and poor management have led them dropping to League 3 where they currently play. Shiraz's other major football team is Fajr Sepasi who also played in the Persian Gulf Pro League; however, now they play in the second tier Azadegan League. Shiraz is host to a number of smaller and lesser known teams as well, such as Kara Shiraz, New Bargh and Qashaei who all play in League 2.
The main sporting venue in Shiraz is Hafezieh Stadium which can hold up to 20,000 people. The stadium is the venue for many of the cities football matches and has occasionally hosted the Iran national football team. Shiraz is also home to another stadium, Pars Stadium, which have been completed in 2017 and can host up to 50,000 spectators.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Shiraz.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shiraz.|
| Capital of Iran (Persia)
| Capital of Zand dynasty
Largest cities or towns in Iran
|2||Mashhad||Razavi Khorasan||3,001,184||12||Zahedan||Sistan and Baluchestan||587,730|