Shiraz

A great place to spend at least a couple of days, Shiraz was a contrast from the vastness of Tehran, with a relatively compact old town and some phenomenal mosques.

Masjed-e Nasir Al-Molo (Pink Mosque)
Worth getting to when it opens at 7.30am to enjoy the light streaming through the stained glass, though the exterior would have been better lit later in the day. Was wonderful to have the place pretty much to myself for a little while.

Arg-e Karim Khan Zand citadel
Newer than it looks, it was originally built as a rather robust palace, before being converted into a jail. I didn’t go inside but liked the elaborate brick work of the exterior, and the one sunken corner.

Tomb of Hafez
Set in flower filled gardens, this was a fitting resting place for Iran’s most famous poet, and other poets in a nearby building.

Eram Gardens
Somewhat underwhelming other than the stunning pavilion house and some patches of flowers.

Quran Gate
At the northern end of town, this definitely looks better from below than above!

Qajar Rock reliefs
Up the hillside from the Quran Gate are a maze of half formed paths leading to a cave, some carvings, cafes, and some rather good views worth the scramble, though perhaps not a good idea in the midday heat.

Bazaar
A seemingly endless expanse of shops stretching along the streets and behind.

More mosques
You’re never that far from a mosque in Iran, and Shiraz was no exception. Bi Bi Dokhtaran was the the closest mosque to my hotel in the old town. It didn’t look very well used but had some beautiful flowers in the garden.

Close by the Beitol Mahdi mosque also could do with some work but remains beautiful.

The Madraseh-ye Khan had a rather nice fountain filled courtyard.

Few more random, but lovely mosques, they’re everywhere!

Forough Hotel
A great place to stay in the heart of the old town, lovely spot to spend a couple of nights.

Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holy Shrine (Mirror Mosque)
Will be covered in more detail in another post but here’s a taster, shiny!

Jame Atiq Mosque and Mausoleum of Shah Cheragh
My favourite place in Shiraz, to be covered separately, here’s a taster.

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