Pretty in Pink | Shiraz, Iran

 

PinkMosque_Shiraz_Entrance

Excellent advice for traveling or life in general: it is best not to judge a book by its cover, or a building by its entrance.The famous Pink Mosque  or Masjed e Nasir ol Molk in Shiraz is a case in point.  The approach via an undistinguished street gives only a hint of the beauty that lies within.

Shiraz_PinkMosque_door

Once inside,  you are surrounded by the most exquisite mosaics.  The more I looked, the more I saw. The details and the hidden images (think Where’s Waldo) were absolutely amazing.

Shiraz_PinkMosque_Ceiling

Shiraz_PinkMosque_Squinch
Close-up of a Squinch (love that word)

The Pink Mosque is only one of the wonders in Shiraz. In 2011, UNESCO designated The Persian Garden–as represented by nine examples throughout Iran–as a World Heritage Site. Shiraz’s Eram Garden (or Bagh-e Eram) is one. Persian gardens are laid out in a design that has remained consistent since the time of Cyrus the Great. [I had the good fortune to see  four of the nine. In addition to Bagh-e Eram, I visited Bagh-e Chehel Sotun in Isfahan, Bagh-e Dolat Abad in Yazd (see Yay for Yazd) and, of course, the original in Pasargadae(see  Cyrus the Great Slept Here).]

FieldTrip_EramGardens_Shiraz
School children visiting Eram Garden

These young students were armed with magnifying glasses to examine the flora and fauna on a beautiful day. Field trips are a universal source of joy to their participants!

Allée_EramGardens_Shiraz

Eram Garden is laid out in the traditional quadripartite manner and would have been walled, originally. I love the fact that the Avestan (language of Zoroastrian scripture) word for walled enclosure is pairidaēza,  rendered into Old Persian as paridaida, Latin as paradīsus, and then paradis, paradise, etc.  In fact,  the Persian Garden was conceived as heaven on earth.

QavamHouse_EramGardens_Shiraz_Iran
Qavam House at Eram Garden

Within the garden, Qavam House is a beautiful mid-19th century building with tiles featuring poems of 14th century native son and renowned writer Hafez (more on him below).

Hafez_Tomb_Shiraz

Don’t leave Shiraz without visitig the tomb of Hafez, whose full name is Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī.  He earned the name Hafez  for having memorized the Quran, which he did at a precociously early age. He is revered throughout Iran and his tomb is a favorite destination especially at sunset.

Hafez's_Tomb

There were people of all ages and stages paying their respects, touching the tomb for good luck and taking selfies!

Hafez_Tomb_Admirers

Historically, Shiraz was known for its wine, women and song (or poetry). While the first is no longer available here, the women (and men) are welcoming and the music is sweet. Be sure to include it on your itinerary.

15 thoughts on “Pretty in Pink | Shiraz, Iran

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