Vakil bazar of Shiraz. Photo: Nick Taylor
City in southwestern Iran with 1.1 million inhabitants (2005 estimate), around 200 km from the Persian Gulf, at an elevation of 1,486 metres above sea level in the Zagros Mountains. It is the capital of Fars province with 4.4 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 121,825 km².
The economic base for Shiraz is commerce of products from the surrounding region, where grapes, citrus fruits, cotton and rice is produced. Of Shiraz own industries, cement, sugar, fertilizer, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate.
Landmarks in Shiraz include the tombs of the celebrated Persian poets Hafez and Saadi, both lived in the city; the 9th century Atigh Friday Mosque, the 14th century Shah Cheragh shrine, the 17th century Great Library and the 19th century Nizar-e Molk mosque. The ruins of Persepolis lies about 60 km northeast.
Shiraz has been the capital of Iran several times. University of Shiraz was founded in 1945.
Shiraz has a moderate climate, with mild summers and winters.
Recorded history for Shiraz dates back to the 4th century BCE.
1387: Shiraz is occupied for a short period by Timur Lenk.
1393: Timur Lenk occupies Shiraz for the second time.
1630: A flood destroys large parts of the town.
1668: Another flood hits Shiraz.
1724: Is sacked by Afghan invaders.
1750: Shiraz becomes capital of the Zand Dynasty. Many of the famous buildings are restored or rebuilt in this period.
1794: End of the Zand dynasty, and Shiraz’s status as capital.
1824: An earthquake destroys parts of the town.
1853: A new heavy earthquake hits Shiraz, but many important buildings are spared.
1945: Shiraz University opens.