Geographical Position, Fars Province
The Fars Province with an area of 122,400 sq. km. is located to the south of Esfahan Province. In 1996, this province had a population of 3.8 million people out of which 42% resided in rural areas and the rest were urban settlers. The Zagross Mountains elongated from the northwest to the southeast, have divided this province into two distinct geographical regions. According to the latest divisions, this province contains the following townships: Estahban, Abadeh, Eqleed, Bovanat, Jahrum, Darab, Sepeedan, Shiraz, Fasa, Firooz Abad, Kazeroon, Lar, Lamerd, Marvdasht, Mamasani and Nayreez.
The charming city of Shiraz with about one million inhabitants, is the capital of this province. Shiraz is known worldwide for it’s cultural and historical attractions.
The mountain chain of the Zagross crosses the province from the northwest towards the southeast, and divides the province into two distinguishable parts. The first is located on north-northwest, while the second is located on the south-southeast of the province, and both are mountainous highlands. The north part starts from the mounts of Semirom, and ends at the south of Abadeh, in the point called Kooh-e-Azemat, and its arduous pass which is called Koly Kush. The southern part consists of the highlands of the Shiraz area, including the Maharloo, Kharman and Todaj Mountains. The western altitudes are the prolongation of Kohkiluyeh Province highlands towards the Mamasani Mountains, and southern altitudes includes the Darab Mountains and the Tangestan Highland.
Climate, Fars Province
There are definitely three distinct climatic regions in the Fars Province. First, the mountainous area of the north and northwest with moderate cold winters and mild summers. Secondly, the central regions, with relatively rainy mild winters, and hot dry summers. The third region located in the south and southeast, due to lower altitudes and position of mountains, the quantity of rainfall in winter is lower than spring and autumn. It has moderate winters with very hot summers. The average temperature of Shiraz city is 16.8° C, ranging between 4.7° and 29.2° C.
History and Culture, Fars Province
The Fars Province is considered as one of the primitive centers of civilization and one of the most famous provinces of the Old Persian Empire, thus, for centuries was a home to kingdoms in the Iranian Plateau. Before Islam, two main Iranian leaders named Koorosh (Cyrus) and Ardeshir Babakan rose from this region and each began their vast dynasties, that is the Achaemanian and the Sassanian respectively. At the end of the Achaemanian Dynasty that ruled in Iran for about 219 years, Alexander the Macedonian founded the Seleucidian Dynasty (311 BC) in Iran and established many cities in the Pars (Fars) region.
Meanwhile, local powers under an Iranian name established their government in the central part of the region, in an area called Estakhr. Since 250 BC, on their coins imprints of Pahlavi scripts with Iranian figures and Zoroastrian braziers could be observed. However, the Pars region was a part of Seleucidian Empire till the period of Antioukhous IV period. After the Parthians liberated the central parts of the Seleucidian Empire, Pars became an independent state.
Later on Muslims for the first time invaded Fars during the reign of Omar the Caliph. In 17 AH one of commanders of Ala-ebne-Hazrami, governor of Bahrain was defeated by Iranian governor of Fars. In spite of the Iranian resistance against the moslem invaders. Ultimately, Estakhr, Tooj, Fasa and Shiraz cities were surrounded by moslems and though with violation, they finally gave up to Islam. At that time, Fars had expanded considerably encompassing Yazd and region along the desert. It is because of this diverse and interesting historical background that Fars has so many historical monuments yet to discovered.
In 3rd century AH, at the time of the caliphate weakness,Fars was surrounded by Jacob Leis, the founder of the Saffarian Dynasty, and the city of Shiraz became the capital. His brother constructed a big Jame' Mosque in Shiraz. After that Fars was surrounded by the Al-e-Boyeh and later on by the Seljukians. At the time of weakness of the latter, Sonqor-ebne-Modood established the Fars Atabakan Dynasty. They ruled Fars till 543 AH and after a while the region was invaded by the Mongols.
In 754 AH, the Al-e-Mozafar Dynasty surrounded Fars and ruled there till 895 AH. In 959 AH, Shah Ismail Safavid conquered Fars after which Shiraz and other cities in Fars developed considerably. Although part of the city was destroyed during the reign of Nader Shah, with Karim Khan Zand, Shiraz found its peace again at the time of the latter. In the Pahlavi era, important construction works were performed in Fars and Shiraz. After the Qajar period, the province has dealt with occasional uprisings of the Qashqaie tribes. After the revolution in 1978, this province has been a thriving area and was developed considerably in recent years.
On this marvelous historical background, many different historical and ancient monuments have remained. Each of which has its own values as a worldwide heritage, which reflects the history of the province and the country.
Due to geographical characteristics of Fars and its proximity to the Persian Gulf, since long it has been a residing area for different natives and tribes from other parts of the world like Turks, Semites, and Aryans who were under the influence of Iranian culture. However, the original tribes of Fars including Qashqaie, Mamasani, Khamseh and Kohkiluyeh have kept their native and unique culture and life styles which constitute part of the cultural heritage of the country attracting mainly international tourists.