In case you want to visit Iran, do take a trip to Shiraz too. This suggestion is not just for visiting Persepolis. Shiraz familiarizes you with the dominant culture of Iran. Poetry, history and culture in Shiraz are collections that beside the intimacy and hospitality of people present you an unforgettable trip.
Shiraz is the capital of Fars Province which is located in the south of Iran. The geographical position of this city is in Mediterranean climate which causes warm days and seasonal heavy rains. Shiraz is generally known as the city of poetry. The tombs of two eminent poets of Persian literature named Hafez and Saadi lie in this city. In the past it was also known for its wine but drinking and trading wine is illegal in the laws of the Islamic Republic; so other countries of the world started producing wine with the brand of Shiraz.
–Shiraz in the History of Iran:
By searching through history, scientists and researchers believe the word Shiraz was derived from different words like Tirazis and Shirazis. The source of this believe was the discovery of ancient coins or tablets that talks about a city with the same name which was located at the present city of Shiraz. In 1970, while building a kiln for a brick factory in the southwest of Shiraz, clay tablets from Elamite period (2000 BC) were found that mentioned a city at around the same location named Tirazis. In fact, historians believe that there was a city in the southeast of Shiraz with the name of Aboonasr, over which the present city of Shiraz was built after being deserted. In Umayyad era, Shiraz was moved to its present location and caused the old city of Estakhr to be deserted.
Scientists like Shahbazi believe that up to the end of Sasanian Period, Shiraz had probably been an official center. Moreover, Arberry believes that Shiraz was run under supervision of Parseh in Darius the Great’s era, and after the invasion of Alexander of Macedon got under supervision of the ancient city of Estakhr. In Sasanian era Shiraz was, politically categorized, a part of Ardeshir Khoreh with the centrality of Firuzabad. This is proved by Sasanian seals which were found in discoveries performed in Abu Nasr Palace near Shiraz.
In the Arab’s attack in 640 to 653 AD Shiraz was conquered, made the capital in the Buyid Dynasty and other buildings including mosques were built in Shiraz in that time. After the conquer of Seljuk in the 12th century AD, Shiraz got developed and simultaneously intact from Alexander of Macedon’s harm by the plan of the governor of Shiraz. In Timur’s time Shiraz again was saved of any destruction. In 15th century Shiraz was run by Safavid Dynasty, from which the khan School is a memorial. After Safavid Dynasty, Afghans ruled over Shiraz for a while until the onset of Karim Khan Zand’s time.
Karim Khan Zand rose to power after Nader Shah and founded the Zand Dynasty. In that period Karim Khan granted Shiraz as the capital and provided the means for the development of the city. The trade of glass and wine progressed day by day and Karim Khan started building some new buildings. The Vakil Complex, including a Bath, Bazaar and a Mosque are the most important of these buildings and are still exuberantly alive in Shiraz.
In Qajar Period the capital was moved to Tehran and in Pahlavi Period, Shiraz was marginalized and, as it was outside the north to south Silk Road corridor gradually decayed.
The present city of Shiraz became popular again in the second Pahlavi era. The main reason was the significance and the value of Achaemenian monuments like Persepolis and Pasargadae for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi which led to the performance of the Art Celebration in Shiraz for 10 years hosting numerous great artists from Iran and other parts of the world.
Based on statistics in 2016 the population of Shiraz was 1.712.745.