Welcome back to Inside Iran. After exploring the traditional city of Isfahan, we now take you to the diverse city of Shiraz with its impressive sites. We’ll try Iranian fast food and step back in time at Persepolis. After checking out the capital and the traditional city of Esfahan, we now want to explore more of the south. And this is why we came to Shiraz. Let’s explore! We start our discovery at the historical old town with the Vakil Mosque and the Vakil Bazaar. The Vakil Mosque was built between -, during the Zand period. Vakil means regent, which was the title used by Karim Kahn the founder of the Zand dynasty. Under the rule of Karim Kahn Shiraz became the capital of Persia in. Employing more than, workers, he constructed the royal district with a fortress, many administrative buildings, a mosque, and one of the finest covered bazaars in Iran. It seems like always when we are on a bazaar, we somehow end up in a tea house with a water pipe. But this one is the original one from Shiraz.
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And, it comes with natural tobacco. How is it? Pretty strong, actually. Good. Talking about Karim Kahn, who was once the ruler of ancient Persia in the s, we’re now at the Karim Kahn Citadel. And these used to be the living quarters of this guy. Not too bad. Karim Kahn invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for construction of the citadel, which only took one year to build. During the Qajar period, it was used as the governer’s seat. Right after, the citadel was turned into a prison. Nowadays, it is a museum operated by Iran’s cultural heritage organization. Persian traditional cuisine is nice, but today, we have a break and we try out the Iranian version of fast food. So, we’re here in a fast food place where they have burger, pizza, and fries. It’s going to be an experience. The hot dog is gigantic. That is like the size of your arm. What’s the experience? Not so good? So-so? It has a smoky taste. There’s actually a lot of green stuff in it. A lot of salad. Tastes fresh. It’s also kind of a yogurt sauce on it. It’s actually much better than I expected. I would say definitely worth trying. Another must see in Shiraz is the Shah Sheraq Mosque which is best to visit at night because of the beautiful lights you see. Look at this mosque. This site is the most important place of pilgrimage within the city of Shiraz. Shah Sheraq is Persian for King of the Light. The site was given its name due to the nature of the discovery of the site by Ayatullah Dastgha’ib.
He used to see light from a distance and decided to investigate the source. He found that light was being emitted by a grave within a graveyard. The grave that emitted the light was excavated and the body wearing an armor was discovered. The body was wearing a ring saying, “The Pride belongs to God, Ahmad son of Musa” Thus, it became known that this was the burial site of the sons of Musa al-Kadhim. The tombs became celebrated pilgrimage centers the th century when Queen Tashi Khatun erected the mosque and theological school in the vicinity. There’s one thing in Shiraz you should get up really early for, and this is the Nasir ol Molk Mosque, or the Pink Mosque. Why? I will show you. The Nasir ol Molk Mosque was built from -, during the Qajar era, and is also known as the Pink Mosque due to the considerable usage of pink colored tiles for its interior design. It is best to visit very early in the morning as this is the only time when you see the sun shining through the multitude of stained glass windows, which is simply impressive. So, for breakfast today, we went into a coffee shoppretty cool one. We’re now in the beautiful Eram Garden, which is located in the north of Shiraz and is a historic Persian Garden that was built in the middle of the th century, and is also part of the unesco world heritage. We used the chance to go on top of the Chamran Hotel where you have an exceptional view of Shiraz. We sneaked into the restaurant, went onto the terrace and then the guys here even invited us for tea.
That’s not too bad. When in Shiraz, you shouldn’t miss out on Faloodeh, which is basically like spaghetti ice, the same as we had in Esfahan. But here is the best place to get it. No trip to Shiraz would be complete without paying a visit to the Tomb of Hafez, who is one of the greatest Persian poets and who also influenced a lot of European poets such as Goethe. And he is from here. He is from Shiraz. It’s finally time for some typical food from Shiraz. And this is why we came to Haft Kahn which seems to be one of the best restaurants in town. And it’s pretty touristy too. We have Ghormeh Sabzi. This is a vegetable lamb stew. It comes with rice, of course. David has Budemjan which is basically a stew with eggplant and lentils. So, after about a one hour drive from Shiraz, we arrived at the country’s most important unesco world heritage site, Persepolis. Which means, the City of the Persians. It used to be the ceremonial capital of Persia from -BC until Alexander the Great destroyed it. It is believed that he destroyed it by fire, and this was an act of revenge for the Persians destroying the Acropolis years before that. For dinner, we found another traditional restaurant in Shiraz. And today, we try out some vegetarian options. We have Mirza Ghazemi and Kookoo Sabzi which is smoked eggplants, garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, and the Kookoo Sabzi is Perisan herb frittata, finely chopped herbs mixed with egg and walnuts. And it comes all with bread. And for drinks, we ordered Doogh which is basically like the turkish Ayran. How is it? Don’t tell anyone. Shiraz! This is it from Shiraz, my friends. In the next post post, I will show you around Yazd and the desert. If you like this post, don’t forget to leave a comment below, and share it with your friends. And don’t forget to comment to this blog for new travel posts every Thursday.