Shiraz (Persian: شیراز, Šīrāz) is the sixth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pârsâ). In 2011, the population of the city was 1,601,753. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Roodkhaneye Khoshk (Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. It is regarded as 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. 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 1781, as well as briefly during the Saffarid period. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, 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. Recently the city's first wind turbine has been installed above Babakoohi mountain near the city.
Shiraz is located in the south of Iran and the northwest of Kerman Province. It is built in a green plain at the foot of the Zagros Mountains 4,900 feet (1,493.5 kilometers) above sea level. Shiraz is 500 miles (804.67 kilometers) south of Tehran.
A seasonal river, Dry River, flows through the northern part of the city and on into Maharloo Lake. As of 1920, the area had a large forest of oak trees.
Shiraz’s climate has distinct seasons, and is overall classed as a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh), though it is only a little short of a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). Summers are hot, with a July average high of 38.8 °C (101.8 °F). Winters are cool, with average low temperatures below freezing in December and January. Around 12 inches (305 mm) of rain falls each year, almost entirely in the winter months, though in some cases as much as this has fallen in a single month (as in January 1965 and December 2004), whilst in the year from July 1965 to June 1966 as little as 3.3 inches (83.82 mm) fell. The wettest year has been 1955/1956 with as much as 33.75 inches (857.3 mm), though since 1959 the highest has been around 23.2 inches (590 mm) in each of 1995/1996 and 2004/2005.
Shiraz contains a considerable number of gardens. Due to population growth in the city, many of these gardens may be lost to give way to new developments. Although some measures have been taken by the Municipality to preserve these gardens, many illegal developments still endanger them.
The highest record temperature was 43.2 °C (109.8 °F) on July 12th 1998 and the lowest record temperature was −14 °C (7 °F) on January 5th 1973.
Neighbourhoods of Shiraz