Shiraz is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pars). At the 2016 census, the population of the city was 1,869,001 and its built-up area with "Shahr-e Jadid-e Sadra" (Sadra New Town) was home to 1,565,572 inhabitants. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the "Rudkhaneye Khoshk" (The Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz is one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. The modern city was founded or restored by the Umayyads in 693 and grew prominent under the successive Iranian Saffarid and Buyid dynasties in the 9th and 10th–11th centuries, respectively. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz, whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine (despite Iran being an Islamic republic since 1979), and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city, for example Eram Garden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim, called gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate. Shirāz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran's electronic industries: 53% of Iran's electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran's first solar power plant. Recently the city's first wind turbine has been installed above Babakuhi mountain near the city.
Though there is no definitive record of its existence prior to the late 7th century CE, few archaeological finds dating from 1933 and beyond indicate that the site or vicinity of Shiraz was likely settled in the pre-Islamic era as early as the 6th century BCE. A number of Sasanian-era remains have been discovered around the city, including reliefs at Barm-e Delak to the east and Guyim to the northwest, and ruins of Sasanian fortresses at Qasr-e Abu Nasr to the east and Fahandezh. The latter is identified with the fortress of Shahmobad mentioned as being in Shiraz by the 10th-century geographical work, Hudud al-'alam. The names "Tirrazish" and "Shirrazish" were found on Elamite tablets in Persepolis, while Sasanian and early Islamic-era clay seals found at Qasr-e-Abu Nasr mention the name "Shiraz" alongside the name of the Sasanian administrative district of the area, Ardashir-Khwarrah. According to the diplomat and academic John Limbert, this indicates that the name "Shiraz" is traced back to the Elamite "Shirrazish" and that both refer to a settlement that existed at the site of Qasr-e-Abu Nasr. This settlement prospered between the 6th and 8th-centuries CE and was possibly the administrative center for the Shiraz plain until the modern city of Shiraz was founded. Nonetheless, the lack of references to Shiraz in early Persian sources suggests the city could not have been more than a way-station in the plain in which it lays.
Early Islamic era
The present city of Shiraz was founded or restored in 693 by Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi, the brother of the Umayyad viceroy of the eastern half of the caliphate, al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, or the latter's kinsman Muhammad ibn Qasim. The Arab Muslim army had conquered the wider region of Fars, where the site of Shiraz is located, in several expeditions launched from their garrison town of Basra between 640 and 653, and specifically captured the immediate area around Shiraz early on, in 641. This area did not possess any cities, though there were a number of forts which were forced to pay tribute to the Arabs. The Sasanians held firm in Istakhr, their capital in Fars, until the Arabs captured it in a heavy battle in 653, during which the plain of Shiraz had been utilized as an Arab campground. Because of Istakhr's deep association with the Sasanian Empire and the Zoroastrian religion, the Arabs sought to establish in nearby Shiraz a rival cultural and administrative center. Thus, during its initial founding in 693, the city was planned to be much larger than Isfahan. However, the initial ambitions were not realized and Shiraz remained a "provincial backwater" in the shadow of Istakhr until at least the late 9th century, according to Limbert. This is partly attributed to the reticence of the largely Zoroastrian population of Fars to inhabit the Islamic Arab city. As the population gradually shifted to Islam from Zoroastrianism and Istakhr concurrently declined, Shiraz grew into the practical center of Fars
Persepolis (/pɝˈsepəlɪs/, Old Persian: Pārsa) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BCE). It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BCE. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979
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