Located in the vicinity of Persepolis, one of the most magnificent capitals of the ancient world, Shiraz the capital of Fars province, has been well-known for its cultural heritage and notable literary figures since a long time ago. Thus it is known as the “Cradle of Islamic-Iranian Civilization” and “the city of literature.” Also placing in the southwest of the country, at the foot of the Zagros Mountains, Shiraz had been located on the old historical Silk Road, and it was a waypoint to open seas and has been a regional trade center for more than thousands years. Shiraz has been inhabited since Sassanid era (224 A.C.); even though the earliest reference to the city is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 B.C. The city had been the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty (AD 1747–79) and today with the area of 224 square kilometers it has the population of about 1600000.
Shiraz has semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters and is famous for its beautiful moderate springs and falls. The city enjoys a rich agriculture and is abounded with famous gardens and agricultural farms. The sour orange blossom aroma in spring and Narcissus of Shiraz in winter are well-known nationwide and even internationally. Shiraz is an industrial city too and is one of the most thriving cities of Iran.
Having been established before the advent of Islam in Iran, Shiraz is noted as being the home to many distinguished scientists, philosophers, artists, poets, and men of letters. Two famous Iranian poets, Hafez and Sa’adi, are from Shiraz, and their tombs are located on the northern side of the city.
Most importantly, the holy mausoleum of Ahmad Ibn Musa (PBUH), known as Shahcheragh, and some other sons and grandsons of Imam Musa Kadhim (PBUH), the 7th Shiite Imam, are in Shiraz and thus Shiraz is being known as the third important religious city of Iran.
The locals of Shiraz are friendly, educated, talented and great lovers of poetry. Shiraz is also celebrated for its wonderful gardens. The most famous ones are Eram and Afif Abad gardens.