There are lots of Iran travel hotspots in its different cities and outside them. If you visit Shiraz, make sure you take a walking tour to Zand Quarter. This is the area that was flourished under Zand dynasty beginning with Karimkhan-e-Zand (second half of 17th century) ruling over Fars province as well as Iran.
A Walking Tour When You Visit Shiraz
Among all different hotspots in this city, I would recommend you to take a walking tour to Zand Quarter where several historic highlights can be visited. Recently, Zhiraz city hall has blocked Karimkhan-e-Zand street from Shardary toward Est and built an underpass helping vehicles crossing this area from underneath. It’s helped with traffic as well as historic monuments’ protection. Let’s say you begin to walk from your hotel, if you will so, to Shahrdary Sq. The tour starts from this square.
Arg-e-Karimkhany (Karimkhan Citadel)
During your Iran travel period, you rarely see such a scene that an old citadel of this size and quality stands in the center of the city. At the North East of Sharhrdary Sq, this citadel is located totally constructed with bricks having bastions at all its corners. This used to be the residence and governing center during Karimkhan era. I can say it used to be something like presidential palace. Of course, the fortified appearance of this structure would rightly remind you of strongholds, castles and even prisons. This is what it was for some time too. There’s only one entrance from the Eastern side with some glazed tiles on top of the entrance with some mythical painting depicting Iranian protagonist character, Rostam.
Almost opposite the Southern side of the citadel, in the middle of Nazar Garden, there’s an octagonal mansion (kolah farangy) that has been converted into a Museum. This building was used to host the royal guest of Karimkhan court. They could be governors from other parts of Iran or ambassadors from other countries. Today, exquisite Qorans and lacquer painted boxes are displayed there among other attention-grabbing items of the museum.
A bit further toward East as you get closer to the main entrance of the bazaar, on your right-hand side, you will see an alley at the end of which Vakil Mosque is located. This beautiful mosque invites you to its beautiful glazed tiles bearing beautiful paintings as well as a columned hall at its Southern side ending to its mehrab. When you visit Shiraz, this mosque in one of the two major ones that you could enjoy.
Vakil Bazaar & Sara-ye-Moshir
Back to where you’d turned right, if you continue for a few more minutes, you will see pretty high arched ceilings on both sides of the street. They’re the bazaar passageways of Shiraz. The Northern one may not have the charm and attraction of the Southern one, but makes you familiar with the genuine function of this traditional bazaar where people go to in order to purchase their everyday lives’ essentials. The one on the right is a fascinating example of Iranian architecture in its bazaars. An Iran travel plan will not be complete without having such a walking tour to its hotspots.
Make sure you go through various parts of it including textile, carpets, handicrafts (Sara-ye-Moshir). This section is a dazzling part of the bazaar easily distinguishable for its charming tile works and the pool in the middle of its courtyard. Several types of handicrafts from Fars province can be found here. To reach there, you need to go to the end of the main passageway, turn left and walk for 20 meters and you can see the entrance on the left.
Leaving Sara-ye-Moshir, you can ask the way to Shah-e-Cheragh shrine, which goes through coppersmith and tinsmith area. Eventually, you get out of a narrow arcade finding yourself at an intersection. Opposite you, there’s a street that leads you directly to this Shrine. From time to time, various regulations allow or disallow non-Muslims to enter the shrine. This is the most well-known shrine of Shiraz, which is said to be the burial place of one of Emem Reza’s brothers. If disallowed, you can visit similar shrines, which are as charming but are in smaller scales. For example, Ali-ibn-Hamzeh or Alladin.
Back to Lotfalikhan-e-Zand street, you can continue toward East to get to three other sites to visit. If your day gets too long and you already need some rest or something to eat, you can leave the rest of the tour for another time. If not, go ahead as bellow:
Setting off toward East from the intersection mentioned before, somewhere on the left, you see a cylindrical bastion-like structure, which is part of Madraseh-ye-Khan. This is a theological school of early 17th century. The school is still in use and the entrance is allowed for the visitors. Just make sure that your dress code isn’t offending and observe the silence when you are in the courtyard. It’s worth visiting and learning about the atmosphere of a religious school in Iran.
Back to Lotfalikhan-e-Zand street, you continue Eastward. After a few minutes, on the other side of the street, you will find an alley at the end of which you see Nasirolmolk Mosque with its pinkish red color dominant in the design. This is a local mosque built in 19th century without a dome or even minarets. The honeycomb decorations at the Northern ivan and prayer hall at the Western wing are the most spectacular parts that you don’t want to miss.
Narenjestan Garden (Orangery)
During your Iran travel period and once in shiraz, make sure you visit this delightful grove where the supreme judge of the city used to live in 19th century. The structure of the building is typical of Qajar period’s construction style. It’s a peaceful garden with beautiful mirror works on the walls and ceilings of some rooms. Don’t forget to have a look at the collection museum located in the basement. The then supreme judge used to live in an opposite house connected to this building by a corridor under the ground.
This Can be the Reason Why to Visit Shiraz
This walking tour is so interesting and enjoyable that you feel you’ve seen a lot and immersed into the local culture so much that you will be extremely happy to have taken such a walk. There are other Iran travel hotspots in Shiraz that you can visit. That is why it is sensible to visit Shiraz during your tour to Iran.
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