In the South of Iran as far as the shores of the Persian Gulf, lies a territory which has been called Fars (Persia) since ancient times. Fars has had the city of Shiraz as its capital since the beginning of the Islamic era. For thousands of years, the territory has been the prosperous habitat of Iranian ethnic groups.
Parsees were one of Iranian peoples who came to Fars three thousand years ago. They settled down in places such as Anshan, Malian, 46 kilometers north of Shiraz and Pasargad which was their first capital. The first ruler of Fars – Cyrus the Great– had such characteristics to be considered a sagacious and competent king by historians.
From among important historical pre–Islamic remains in Pars to be named are Persepolis, Pasargad, Nagsh–e-Rostam, Ardeshir Palace, Bishaboor, etc.
With the appearance of Islam, Farsees welcomed this religion with wide arms. Farsees have always been in deep sympathy with the prophet’s household. The first Iranian who went in search of the true prophet to Hejaz and converted to Islam was Salman–e–Farsi. Salman gained the honor of being called “one of our household” by the prophet.
During the formation of Islamic Revolution and also after the splendid victory of the Revolution, Fars has had a worthy role and after the revolution both during the Holy Defence and in the construction era, it has always been one of the vanguards of the preservation and development of the holy values of the Revolution. Fars has an area of about 124 thousand square kilometers which is 7.6 Percent of the total area of the Islamic Republic.
Fars is bordered in the north by provinces of Isfahan and Yazd, in the west by Bushehr, Kohkiluyeh and Boyrahmad, in the south by Hormozgan and in the east by Kerman. It has a population of approximately five million. The vast province of Fars is a four–seasoned one. As far as the climate is concerned, we can divide this province into three cold, tropical and temperate regions. The average temperature in the coldest month of the year is 2 to 7 degrees centigrade, and in the warmest month of the year is 35 to 40 degrees centigrade. Fars comprises 16 townships, 60 rural districts, 140 villages and 39 towns. There are 288 places of interest in the whole province of which 148 are of historical – religious, 125 of natural and 15 are of natural–historical interest. The capital city of Fars is Shiraz and the townships are Abadeh, Eghlid, Estahban, Bavanat, Shiraz, Jahrom, Darab, Sepidan, Fasa, Firoozabad, Kazeroon, Lar, Lamerd, Marvdasht, Mamassani, and Neireez.
Fars is the electron pole of the country and its petro-chemical industries are of importance. The province has the first rank in the production of wheat, corn and figs in the whole country. Fars handicrafts have a special place in national and international markets because of their quality, charm and beauty. Rugs, Gabbeh and inlaid works are famous handicrafts of Fars.
The center of the province – Shiraz – has experienced many ups and downs. Finally, with the onset of Karim Khan–e–Zand’s ruling, peace and prosperity came back to the region. Construction works such as Jame–e–Atiq (old congregational Mosque), Masjed–e Now, the Zand collection: Bazar–e–Vakil, Arg–e–Karimkhan, Vakil Mosque, Naranjestan–e–Qavam, Nasiralmolk Mosque, Gardens of Afifabad, Delgosha and Eram, all are among precious monuments of our time. Holy shrines of Shah–e-Cheragh, Seyyed Alaeddin Hossein and Ali Ebn–e–Hamzeh have always won Shiraz reverence of lovers of the prophet’s household and the shiites of the world.
Finally, as a cultural center of the country, Shiraz is honored to be the home of such poets as Hafez and Saadi whose tombs are visited by thousands of foreign and domestic tourists every month.
Fars in the eyes of others
Virtues, capacities and characteristics of Fars and Farsees have always attracted the attention of great men of Iran and the world. Many writers, tourists, geographers and historians have written and talked about this province.
Description of Fars and Farsees is extensively found in works and itineraries by different explorers such as: Ebn–e-Batouteh, prof. Arthur Arbery, Tavernier, Lord Curzon-Sir John Malcom, Conte de Gobineau, Edward Brown, Percy Syks, William Jackson, Pietro Della Valle, J. Morier, and J.G. Wishar.