Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque
Walking through the southeastern (back) entrance to the Shah-e Cheragh courtyard and turning right after about 50m leads to the ancient Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque. Dating from 894 this is Shiraz's oldest Islamic structure,though most of what you see is from the late Safavid period onwards.
While the dome of the north iwan and the hypostyle columns in the ancient prayer hall in the southeast corner are impressive,the highlight is the rare turreted Khodakhaneh. It was built in the mid-14th century (or perhaps earlier) to preserve valuable Qurans; poet Hafez is believed to have worked here. The Khodakhaneh (House of God) bears an uncanny likeness to the Kaaba at Mecca,and bears a unique Sassanid-style Tholth inscription in raised stone characters on a tiled background.
The beautiful Masjed-e Vakil was begun by Karim Khan and is the only major mosque surviving from the late Zand period. Beside the entrance to the bazaar,it has two vast iwans to the north and south,a magnificent inner courtyard surrounded by beautifully tiled alcoves and porches,and a pleasingly proportioned 75m-by-36m vaulted prayer hall supported by 48 carved columns. Inside the prayer hall are an impressive mihrab and 14-step marble minbar, carved from a monolith carried all the way from Azerbaijan. Much of the tiling,with its predominantly floral motifs and arabesques,was added in the early Qajar era.
Bagh-e Naranjestan is Shiraz’s smallest garden and is famous as the setting for the opulently decorated Naranjestan-e Ghavampavilion,built between 1879 and 1886,as part of a complex owned by one of Shiraz’s wealthiest Qajar-era families. The pavilion’s mirrored entrance hall opens onto rooms covered in a breathtaking combination of intricate tiles,inlaid wooden panels and stained-glass windows. Ceilings in the upstairs rooms are particularly interesting,with the beams painted with European-style motifs,including Alpine churches and busty German frauleins.
House of Zinat ol-Molk
Down a small lane beside the garden is the Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk,which was originally the private,andaruni area of the complex and is named after its last owner,the daughter of the builder Qavam. Today most of the finely decorated rooms are stuffed with exhibits in the Fars History Museum,while others serve as galleries for young Shirazi artists. The gardens are in a walled compound 400m south of the Nasir ol-Molk Mosq.
Famous for its tall cypress trees,the delightful Bagh-e Eram will impress visitors of all ages with its stunning sceneries and various flowers and trees. The gardens are managed by Shiraz University. The gardens are easy enough to reach by taking any shuttle taxi going along Zand towards the university.
The Aramgah-e Sa’di and its generous surrounding gardens are appropriate for a man who wrote so extensively about gardens and roses. It’s a tranquil place,with the tombstone housed in an open-sided stone colonnade,inscribed with various verses from Sa’di and supporting a tiled dome.