Shiraz is a city of sophistication that has been celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for more than 2000 years. Known as the Dar-ol-Elm (House of Learning), the City of Roses, City of Love and City of Gardens, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and wine. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79), when many of its most beautiful buildings were built or restored.
In his 1893 book A Year Amongst the Persians, Edward Browne described Shirazis as ‘…amongst all the Persians, the most subtle, the most ingenious, the most vivacious’. And even in Iran, where regional one-upmanship is common, everyone seems to like Shirazis. This is a city of poets and home to the graves of Hafez and Sa’di, themselves major pilgrimage sites for Iranians. Shiraz is also home to splendid gardens, exquisite mosques and whispered echoes of ancient sophistication that reward those who linger longer than it takes to visit nearby Persepolis.
There are the usual Iranian traffic issues, but Shiraz’s agreeable climate, set as it is in a fertile valley once famed for its vineyards, makes it a pleasant place to visit (except at the humid height of summer or the freezing depths of winter).
Last updated: May 25, 2009
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
Get your guidebooks, travel goods, even individual chapters, right here.