Shiraz, heartland of Persian culture

Tehran, Sept 22, IRNA – As the heartland for the Persian culture, the city of Shiraz in southern Iran has always captured the attention of those interested in the country.

The English-language paper Iran Daily, on its Iranica page, looks at the city of culture, poetry and love.

The full text follows:

Shiraz in southern province of Fars — as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2,000 years — is an opulent oasis of greenery and culture in a barren landscape; it is the town of roses, nightingales and love. But above all, Shiraz is the town of poetry, Sa’di and Hafez. The popularity of these poets is such that their verse provokes tears and signs of admiration. Most Iranians carry collections of their poetry and are able to recite lines pertinent to every aspect of life. Their writings have been immortalized in the form of innumerable proverbs and aphorisms.

According to, Shiraz was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (1747-79 CE), when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored. Shiraz is home to tombs of Hafez and Sa’di (famous poets of Iran), both major pilgrimage sites for Iranians. The earliest reference to the city, as Tirazis, can be found on Elamite clay tablets dating to 2000 BCE. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists.

It’s also home to splendid gardens, exquisite mosques and whispered echoes of ancient sophistication which reward those who linger longer than it takes to visit nearby Persepolis, the area’s major tourism drawcard.

Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to many gardens and fruit trees. A foreign visitor who arrives in Shiraz today, and for whom the town is not as evocative as it is for an Iranian — may wonder at its reputation. Many of its famous gardens have disappeared long since.

Shiraz has hosted Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silverware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes.

Shiraz boasts industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and carpet weaving. The city also has a major oil refinery and is a major center for Iran’s electronic industries: 53 percent of Iran’s electronic investment is centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran’s first solar power plant. Recently the city’s first wind turbine was installed on top of Babakoohi Mountain near the city.
The city’s favorable climatic conditions, set as it is in a fertile valley, make it a pleasant place to visit (except at the humid height of summer or the freezing depths of winter).

The main monuments in Shiraz are to be found in the center of town, on the southern bank of Khoshk River. The city center is Shohada Square (still widely known as Shahrdari Square), which is within walking distance of most hotels, bazaar and the major mosques and shrines. The square intersects the city’s major thoroughfare, Karim Khan-e Zand Boulevard (usually referred to as Zand Boulevard). Khoshk River is in the north while further north of that are the tombs of Hafez and Sa’di.