There are many attractions in Shiraz and in Fars province and what you have in mind of ancient Persia, of the beauty of orient will be realized by visiting this huge province in the south of Iran. Arg-e Karimkhani or Karim Khan Citadel is a must-see in Shiraz, so go for it.
Arg-e Karimkhani and Zand Dynasty
Citadel Arg-e Karimkhani, once the private palace of Karimkhan, a king of Zand dynasty, is a square brick building with beautiful plain patterns on the exterior walls and towers. Karimkhan ordered Arg-e Karimkhani or Karimkahn Citadel in 1180 AH. This building covers a 12800 square meters ground and the building has an area of 4000 square meters. A 4-meter deep moat surrounds this building.
The Design of Arg-e Karimkhani
Karimkhan began the construction of his royal citadel with a panel of architects from Isfahan, Khorassan, Azerbaijan, as well as Indian stone cutters. He also canalized an underground aqueduct six kilometers away from Shiraz to supply the necessary water for the citadel and the Vakil Bath. The courtyard of the citadel is a 120 by 100 meters rectangle. There are big pools with beautiful fountains in the courtyard.
The Safety and the Strength of Arg-e Karimkhani
There are many orange trees in this citadel. Some of these trees are 200 years old. The Arg-e Karimkhani edifice has three alcoves in the north, west, and south of the yard. The northern alcove was for winters, the southern one for summers, and the last one was for all seasons. There are some rooms and porticoes on the sides of each alcove. Military and resident factors have been taken into account in the construction of the citadel. Since the citadel has been the residency of the king, it should be safe enough. Therefore, the walls are as tall as strongholds. Accompany us, for more mus-see in Iran.
Vakil Mosque, one of the Top Shiraz highlights
The Masjid-e Jame’ Sultani -Vakil Mosque, also called Masjid-e Shahi (Royal Mosque), was constructed near the Citadel and Bazaar of Vakil in 1188 M I it is among of the biggest and strongest mosques of lran. Its perimeter is 80 by 120 meters and covers a 9578 square meters area. The Vakil Mosque has two winter and summer prayer halls. The summer prayer hall has 48 stone columns 5 meters high and 80 centimeters thick. These columns have spiral fluting. The hall is paved with stone and the plinths are covered with kind of stone called “Gandomak”. The winter hall lacks any kind of decoration and enjoys a pleasant simplicity that is a reminder of the mosques of the early Islamic period. The courtyard of the mosque has two giant porticos on the south and north. The porticoes are covered by inlaid poly chrome tiles bearing floral and arabesque figures. The intradoses of them are decorated by uniquely beautiful vaults.There are 11 false arches on the western side of the yard. The piers and pendentives of them are decorated by colorful tiles. The Taq-e Morvarid Arch of the mosque has two tiled minarets that lie on the northern wing of the mosque. This arch is 20 meters high and 12 meters wide. Taking the tiled piers on the sides of the portico into account, this portico is 20 meters wide. There are three false arcades on four sides of Taq-e Morvarid. One of them is the entrance of the courtyard and the other ones form the frontage of a five meters wide alcove.
Vakil Bath, Best Shiraz sights
Vakil Bath is one of architectural masterpieces of Fars province that lies on the west of the Vakil Mosque. This building, which is among old baths of Iran, has been built by the order of Karimkhan Zand. The bath has a cubic design with an entrance on the north. There is a water reservoir belonging to the Zand era on the south of the bath. The portal of the bath, which is decorated with tiles, belongs to the Qajar era. There is a beautiful vestibule decorated with beautiful arabesque figures on lime. The dressing room of the bath has the most ornamentation. The lime decorations of ceilings and walls belong to the Karimkhan’s reign. Most figures are in shape of vases bearing lime inscriptions of religious and legendary stories such as the ascension of the prophet, the story of the old woman and Sultan Sanjar, the tale of Shirin and Farhad, the tale of Bijan and Manijeh, etc.A beautiful copula is built on this vestibule. The dome has a beautiful latticed dome-like window. This vestibule leads to the beautiful wide dressing room of the bath through some corridors. The dressing room is an octagonal space with an arched ceiling erected on eight stone columns. There is an octagonal basin in the middle of the lower part of the dressing room. This basin is made of a single piece of stone. There are four identical small basins with fountains on four corners of the dressing room. The most important parts of this bath are the caldarium, three pools in the south of the hot room, a dressing room with five basins, two big alcoves with stone basin in the caldarium that was exclusive to the rich people, and two parts called Khalvatgah (the solitude).
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