Shiraz, Iran - The City of Poets, Wine and Flowers
I had been to Shiraz 35 years ago on business, and I really looked forward to my return of this historic city. I must say, however, that what I saw was a city whose glory days are mostly in the past. The city looked old, with few new buildings. While we were there in February, I saw none of the roses that used to be planted along every major street. Famed, pre-revolution for its wine, vineyards now export the grapes to France as production as well as consumption of all alcoholic beverages is strictly forbidden. While the bazaar and historic sights remain sights worth seeing, preservation efforts to me seemed to lag behind other cities visited.
Here's what wikipedia.org has to say: Shiraz - is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Fars Province. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Rudkhaneye Khoshk seasonal river. Shiraz has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for more than one thousand years.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, thanks to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. Shiraz was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1781, as well as briefly during the Saffarid period.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, wine 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. 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.
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