There is no better place to understand Hafez’s place in the nation’s psyche than at his tomb and the memorial garden within which it is set. Iranians have a saying that every home must have two things: first the Quran, then a collection of the works of Hafez. This 14th-century Iranian folk hero is loved and revered and almost every Iranian can quote his work, bending it to whichever social or political persuasion they subscribe.

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Hafez died in middle age in 1389 and his tomb was placed here by Karim Khan in 1773. The marble is engraved with a long verse from the poet and in 1935 the site was embellished with an octagonal pavilion, supported by eight stone columns beneath a tiled dome. Sunset is the most popular time of day for Iranians to gather at the garden to pay their respects; some come to perform the faal-e Hafez, a popular ritual in which a volume of Hafez’s works is opened randomly and the future interpreted therein. There’s a teahouse in the grounds where admirers sit to enjoy the recitations broadcast around the garden over a bowl of ash (noodle soup) or faludeh (a frozen sorbet made with thin starch noodles and rose water). The tomb is 2km from the town centre (IR80,000 by taxi).