Shiraz

Shiraz is a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many gardens. The marble Tomb of Hafez, honoring the revered poet, sits within its own garden. To the east, the Mausoleum of Saadi houses the 13th-century writer’s mosaic-tiled tomb and an underground pool. Shiraz is a gateway to Persepolis, the ruined 6th-century-B.C. capital to the northeast, with its immense gateways, columns, and friezes.

In central Shiraz, the 18th-century Vakil Mosque is decorated with carved pillars and tiles in floral patterns. The adjacent Vakil Bazaar, also built during the Zand period, has wide, vaulted avenues selling handicrafts, spices, and carpets. Within the nearby Nazar Garden is the compact Pars Museum, with displays including Zand-period watercolors and Islamic calligraphy. The Nasir al-Molk Mosque is known for its intricate stained-glass windows that cast colored light inside. Northwest of here, the landscaped Eram Garden was originally used by Persian rulers and has a traditional layout and design.