Shiraz, an ancient city in south-western Iran and capital of Fars Province,
located in the Zagros Mountains, is a commercial centre of the surrounding
region, which produces grapes, citrus fruit, cotton, and rice. It is known as
the city of poetry, wine, roses, and also considered by many Iranians to be the
City of Love due to the many gardens and fruit-trees that can be seen in the
city. Shiraz is most likely more than 4000 years old. The earliest reference to
the city is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC, found in June of 1970,
while digging to make a kiln for a brick making factory in SW corner of the
city. The tablets written in ancient Elamite, name a city called "Tirazi"
[Ref: George G Cameron (1948); "Persepolis Treasury Tablets", University
of Chicago Press, pp 115]. The name Shiraz also appears on clay sealings found
at Qasr e Abu-Nasr, a Sassanid ruin, east of the city (2nd century AD). As early
as the 11th century several hundred thousand people inhabited Shiraz. It had an estimated population of 1,255,955 in
2005. Incidentally the oldest sample of wine in the world dating to
approximately 7000 years ago was also discovered on clay jars recovered outside
of Shiraz. The city is also famous for its people hospitality.
211 & 212. Residence of Zinat-ol-Molk Qavami, sister of
Mirza Ebrahim Khan e Qavam (governor of Fars province during
Qajar era), is now a museum of wax figures of historical characters,
some of them are shown below.
213. A Qajarid gurad of the Persian version of Madame Tussaud's
museum of wax figures!
216. Another Qajarid guard
214 & 215. Zinat-ol-Molk Qavami, the charitable sister of
Mirza Ebrahim Khan e Qavam (governor of Fars province during
217. Audience of Darius the Great.
218. An imaginary figure of Queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus
219. A wax figure of Sapor I (Shapur I in Persian),
Sassanid king of Persia who reigned from 241 to 272 AD and consolidated
and expanded the empire founded by his father, Ardashir I.
Shapur defeated Valerian (Publius Licinius Valerianus,Roman
emperor from 253 to 260 AD) and captured him. The surrender of
Valerian was carved in Naqsh e Rostam and
Tang e Chogan. I believe this figure has not
been made the true likeness of Shapur, since he seems quite
handsome in the
220. An imaginary figure of Barbad, the most famous and skilled
Khosrow II Parviz court. He created the first ever musical system in
the Middle East, known as the "Royal Khosravani", dedicated to the king.
This musical system conceived by Barbad consisted of seven royal
modes, thirty derivative modes, and three-hundred sixty melodies, one
melody for each day of the year; since in the Iranian ancient calendar,
a year was divided into 12 months of 30 days and the last 5 days were
just celebrated and not counted as part of the year.
221. Another shot of Barbad scene
222. Ab-ol-Moghith Hussein ebn Mansur e Hallaj (858-922 AD),
Iranian controversial writer and teacher of Islamic Sufi mysticism.
Because he represented in his person and works the experiences,
causes, and aspirations of many Muslims, arousing admiration in some
and repression on the part of others, the drama of his life and
death has been considered a reference point in Islamic history.
Hallaj was born in the
southern Iranian community of Tur in the province of Fars. According to
tradition, his grandfather was a Zoroastrian. At an early age Hallaj went to live
in the city of Wasit, an important Iraqi centre for textiles, trade, and
Arab culture. His father had become a Muslim and may have supported the
family by carding wool.
Hallaj has been identified as an
"intoxicated" Sufi in contradistinction to a "sober" one. The former are
those who, in the moment of ecstasy, are so overcome by the presence of
the divine that awareness of personal identity is lost and who
experience a merging with ultimate reality. In that exalted state, the
Sufi is given to using extravagant language. Not long before his arrest
Hallaj is said to have uttered the statement "Ana al-Haqq" (means
in Arabic: "I am the Truth"), which provided cause for the accusation
that he had claimed to be divine. Such a statement was highly
inappropriate in the view of most Muslims.
Finally, Baghdad authorities execute him by brutally torturing. He is
jailed for nine years, flogged, mutilated, scaffolded, and then burned.
223. Sheikh Mosleh-ed-Din Sa'di (1213-1292 AD), Persian poet and
one of the greatest figures in classical Persian literature, admired for
his blend of wisdom and kindness, and for the elegance of his verse.
Born in Shiraz, Sa'di studied in Baghdad and later travelled
widely through Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Iraq, and perhaps
India and Central Asia. In North Africa he was held captive by the
Franks and put to work in the trenches of the fortress of Tripoli.
After returning to Shiraz in the 1250s, Sa'di wrote his most
famous works: the "Bustan" (The Orchard, 1257 AD), a verse collection of
fables, maxims, and histories illustrating Islamic virtues (justice,
liberality, modesty, contentment); and the "Golestan" (The Rose Garden,
1258 AD), a book of prose stories and anecdotes interspersed with short
poems and maxims.
Sa'di took his nom de plume from the name of the local
governor, Atabak Abubakr Sa'd ebn e Zangi (1231-1260 AD).
Manifesting a deeply human understanding of life's serious predicaments,
made Sa'di one of the most typical of Iranian culture and beloved
poets in the
One of his more famous poems is used to grace the entrance to
the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York with this call for
breaking all barriers:
"Of one Essence is the human race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base;
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace."
(Translated from Persian by Prof Iraj Bashiri)
224. An ancient Turkic origin
Iranian local queen whose name I have forgotten.
225. Qashqai tribal people, who are one of the most important ethnic
groups in Fars of Turkic origin and speech; but almost all of the
Qashqais today speak Farsi as their first language.
The Qashqais are renowned for their magnificent pile
carpets and other woven wool products. The wool produced
in the mountains and valleys near Shiraz is
exceptionally soft and beautiful and takes a deeper
colour than wool from other parts of Iran. Qashqai
saddlebags, adorned with colourful geometric designs, are
considered to be the finest available.
226. A Persian calligrapher whose name I have forgotten.
227. An imaginary figure of Ustad Isa Shirazi, the assumed Persian
architect of "Taj Mahal", which was ordered to be built by the
Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan (1628-1658 AD), as a burial
place for himself and his favourite Iranian wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
The construction of Taj Mahal began in 1632 AD and took 22 years. A
group of architects were called from various countries of the world,
including the Ottoman Empire, India, Persia and Italy. Credit for
the construction as the head of all architects is usually given with
some uncertainty to Ustad Isa, who is shown here. But according
to some others, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, an Indian architect of
Persian descent, is the man who shaped Taj and made it a reality.
228. Karim Khan Zand, ruler and de facto Shah of Iran (1760-1779
AD). He restored peace to the kingdom after the strife following the
collapse of the Safavid dynasty. Of humble tribal origin, Karim Khan
became one of the generals of his predecessor, Nader Shah. In the
chaotic aftermath of Nader Shah's assassination in 1747, Karim
Khan became a major contender for power but was challenged by
several adversaries. In order to add legitimacy to his claim, Karim
Khan in 1757 placed on the throne the infant Shah Ismail III,
the grandson of the last official Safavid king. Ismail was a
figurehead king, real power being vested in Karim Khan, who never
claimed the title of "Shahanshah" (= "king of kings") but used that of "Vakil"
By 1760 Karim Khan had
defeated all his rivals and controlled all of Iran except Khorasan,
respecting its ruler, Shahrokh, the blind grandson of Nader
Shah. During Karim Khan's rule Iran recovered from the
devastation of 40 years of war. He made Shiraz his capital, constructing
many fine buildings. Moreover, he reorganized the fiscal system of the
kingdom, removing some of the heavy burdens of taxation from the
agricultural classes. An active patron of the arts, he attracted many
scholars and poets to his capital.
229. Maybe Shah Shoja of Muzaffarid dynasty. I am not sure.
231. Lotf-Ali Khan Zand (reigned 1789-1794 AD)
. He faced the resurgent Agha Mohammad Khan of
the Qajar dynasty from 1792 and fought against him with
his small army, then escaped to Shiraz and ordered the
gates to be closed. Lotf-Ali lost Shiraz when his
chancellor, Haj Ebrahim Khan e Kalantar, betrayed
him and opened the city gates to his enemy. In 1793 he
defeated the Qajars and in 1794 captured Kerman. But
soon, he was besieged in Kerman for six months by
Agha Mohammad Khan. When the city fell to Agha
Mohammad Khan, angered by the popular support that
Lotf-Ali Khan had received, all the male
inhabitants were killed or blinded, and a pile was made
out of 20,000 detached eyeballs and poured in front of
the victorious Agha Mohammad Khan. The women and
children were sold into slavery, and the city was
destroyed over ninety days. Lotf-Ali however
escaped the siege but was again betrayed and captured
soon after, near Bam. He was blinded personally by the
hands of Agha Mohammad Khan, imprisoned in jail
in Tehran and tortured to death.
232. Mirza Hasan-Ali e Nasir-ol-Molk, one of the Qajarid lords,
who ordered the construction of Nasir-ol-Molk
Mosque in 1876 AD.
233. Mirza Jahangir Khan e Shirazi (1870 or 1875- 1908 AD),
Iranian writer and intellectual, and a revolutionary during the Iranian
Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911 AD). He is best known for his bold
editorship of the progressive weekly newspaper "Sur e Esrafil", of which
he was also the founder. He was executed, at the age of 38, or 32, for
his revolutionary zeal, following the successful coup d'état of
Mohammad-Ali Shah Qajar in June 1908.
234. Ali Sami, Iranian archaeologist and director of the
Archaeological Institute of Persepolis during the 1940s and 1950s.
(= Qavam's Orangery)
was built between 1879-1886 AD by Mirza Ibrahim
Khan e Qavam, the governor of Fars province during
preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the
upper class families during the nineteenth century. The
paintings on the low ceilings of the house are inspired
by Victorian era Europe.
The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house,
overlooking onto gardens lined with date palms and
During the second Pahlavi era, the House
became the headquarters of
Pahlavi University's "Asia Institute", directed by
Arthur Pope and
Richard Nelson Frye. Frye and his family also lived
in the house for a while as well. The house today is a museum open to the public.
The following photos have been taken there.
236. The Mirrored Hall, inside the Qavam's complex.
237. Very beautiful roof of the Mirrored Hall
238 to 240. Inside the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
241. Front facade of the building
242. Entrance of the Qavam's complex
243. View of the building from the garden
244. Front facade of the building
245. Exterior view of the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
246. The building pediment
247. An ancient stone basin covered by a glass shelter.
248. The building pediment
254. Mirrored roof of the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
249 to 251. Inside the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
255. Inside the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
252 & 253. Interior view, Qavam's Orangery
256. Interior roof, Qavam's Orangery
264. Very beautiful craftsmanship on the interior roof, Qavam's
257.Interior view and window glasswork craftsmanship, Qavam's
260. Interior view, Qavam's Orangery
258 & 259. Interior view, Qavam's Orangery
261. Inside the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
263. Inside the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
265. An interior door, Qavam's Orangery
262. Roof of the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
266. Interior view, Qavam's Orangery
267. The building pediment
270. Entrance of the the Mirrored Hall, Qavam's Orangery
271. Front facade of the building Orangery with the "Lion and Sun"
motif which is an ancient emblem of Iran till 1979. [For more
information please refer to: A Shapur Shahbazi
273. A wall-painting in the front side of Orangery depicting three
274. Another beautiful craftsmanship on the interior roof, Qavam's
275. Mausoleum of Sa'di. More information about him is available
in the caption of fig 223. The tomb was rebuilt many times and finally
the old brick building was demolished in 1948 and the present mausoleum
was constructed in 1954, in a vast garden of 7700 m2 and has
become one of the popular sights of Shiraz.
276. A beautiful wall-painting together with a basin and fountain near
the entrance of tomb of Sa'di are common decorative components in traditional Iranian
277. A bronze chandelier in Sa'di's mausoleum.
278. Admirers of one of the greatest humanists of the world, Sa'di,
visiting his tomb.
279 & 280. Two poems by Sa'di inscribed on the walls of his
281. Tourists and Sa'di's fans visiting his tomb.
284. The way to the basement of Sa'di's mausoleum where is now a
282 to 284. Mausoleum of Sa'di
285. "Mahi-Khaneh" (= "Fish-House" in Persian) is a nice traditional
cafe on the cellar level of Sa'di's mausoleum. Here in this shot
you can see the beautiful dome-like roof the basement.
288. A mosaic shot of "Mahi-Khaneh" representing tourists interested in
the underground springs and its small fishes.
286 & 287. An underground spring in the basement of Sa'di's
mausoleum (Mahi-Khaneh), a residence for small fishes.
A nice and cool place for tourists to rest and have some snacks.
289. Please refer to the description of figs 285 & 288.
290. Entrance of "Mahi-Khaneh"
291. Tomb of Shurideh inside the Sa'di's mausoleum.
Mohammad-Taghi Shurideh Shirazi (1857-1926 AD) known as
Fasih-ol-Molk, was a blind eloquent poet of Qajarid era and the
honourer trustee of Sa'di's mausoleum.
292 & 293. Another shots of Sa'di's mausoleum
294. Mausoleum of Hafez (Hafezieh)
Khajeh Shams-od-Din Mohammad Hafez e Shirazi (1325 or 26 - 1389
or 1390 AD), one of the finest lyric poets of Persia whose poetry
possessed elements of modern surrealism, gained the respectful title
Hafez, meaning "one who has memorized the Quran" as a
theologian. He was a member of the order of Sufi mystics and also, at times,
a court poet. His poems on one level celebrate the pleasures of
drinking, hunting, and love at the court of Shiraz. On a deeper level
they reflect his consuming devotion as a Sufi to union with the divine.
They also satirise hypocritical Muslim religious leaders. His appeal in
the West is indicated by the numerous translations of his poems.
Hafez's work, collected under the title of
"Divan", contains more than 500 poems, most of them in the form of a
ghazal, a short traditional Persian form that he perfected. Each
consists of up to 15 highly structured rhyming couplets dealing with one
subject. The language is simple, lyrical, and heartfelt. His poetry is
characterised by love of humanity, contempt for hypocrisy and
mediocrity, and an ability to universalise everyday experience and to
relate it to the mystic's unending search for union with God.
Hafez is greatly admired both in Iran and, in
translation, in the West. Especially appealing are his love for the
common person and his relation of daily life to the search of humanity
for the eternal.
Encyclopędia Britannica. Encyclopędia Britannica 2007 Ultimate
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopaedia
298. Mausoleum of Hafez
295. Mausoleum of Hafez
296 & 297. Tomb of Hafez
died, controversy raged as to whether or not he should
be given a religious burial in light of his clearly
hedonistic lifestyle and, at most times, unorthodox
ways! His friends, however, convinced the authorities
using Hafez's own poetry to allow it. Twenty
years after his death, an elaborate tomb (the "Hafezieh")
was erected to honour Hafez in the "Mosalla"
Gardens in Shiraz. Inside, Hafez's alabaster
tombstone bore one of his poems inscribed upon it -
"profoundly religious at last" (Durant):
"Where are the tidings of
union? that I may arise-
Forth from the dust I will
rise up to welcome thee!
My soul, like a homing
bird, yearning for paradise,
Shall arise and soar, from
the snares of the world set free.
When the voice of thy love
shall call me to be thy slave,
I shall rise to a greater
far than the mastery
Of life and the living,
time and the mortal span.
Pour down, O Lord! from
the clouds of thy guiding grace,
The rain of a mercy that
quickeneth on my grave,
Before, like dust that the
wind bears from place to place,
I arise and flee beyond
the knowledge of man.
When to my grave thou
turnest thy blessed feet,
Wine and the lute thou
shalt bring in thine hand to me;
Thy voice shall ring
through the fold of my winding-sheet,
And I will arise and dance
to thy minstrelsy.
Though I be old, clasp me
one night to thy breast,
And I, when the dawn shall
come to awaken me,
With the flush of youth on
my cheek from thy bosom will rise.
Rise up! let mine eyes
delight in thy stately grace!
Thou art the goal to which
all men's endeavour has pressed,
And thou the idol of
Hafez's worship; thy face
From the world and life
shall bid him come forth and arise!"
(Translation from Persian by Gertrude Bell)
Nowadays, "Hafezieh" is visited
by millions of tourists and his admirers each year and
regarded by countless people to be a veritable shrine.
Ref: Wikipedia, the Free
299. Columns of the mausoleum as a masterpiece of architecture of Zand
300 to 302. Inside Hafezieh
303 to 306. Inside Hafezieh
307 to 310. Inside Hafezieh
314. A wall-painting in the front side of Hafezieh