Located about 350 km north of Shiraz, Izadkhast (signifying, as explained by old writers, “God willed it”) is one of the most curious sites in Fars. The road approaching it, after passing in a long straight line through a flat desert, suddenly plunges into a narrow, verdant valley, or rather a deep trench cut down without the slightest warning into the middle of the plain. One is almost on the brink of the trough before becoming aware of its existence. Right in the middle of this strange ditch, once the old boundary between Fars and Esfahan, is a long, isolated hump of rock, standing apart from abrupt cliffs on either side, which forms a sort of a canyon with a river flowing at the bottom.
Lying largely in ruins (except for the Mausoleum of Cyrus), Pasargadae offers less for the layman to see than do some other historical sites. Although most of its somewhat scant remains are relatively meaningless to the nonprofessional, even so, its historical importance as an ancient imperial capital city, as well as its artistic value as one of the most remarkable manifestations of early Oriental art make it well worth a visit. Pasargadae is the memorial city of Cyrus the Great, the emperor still regarded by many as history's most just and impartial ruler.
Darab Historical Sites
Located about 280 km southeast of Shiraz, Darab is one of the largest and oldest cities in Fars. It lies in the Rudbar Valley, at an altitude of 1,180 m above sea level. In the north of the region, a continuation of the Zagros mountain range runs from northwest to southeast. The three highest peaks are, from west to east, Mt.
Namak (2,863 m), Mt. Panjah (2,765 m), and Mt. Barfdan (3,025 m). Scattered mountains also form the southern border of the region. The region is well watered, owing to abundant seasonal precipitation and a number of permanent springs, supplemented by qanats and wells.
The terrain of the Neyriz region is composed mostly of ridges that are prolongations of the Zagros Mountains; the ridges run northwest-southeast and are intersected by plains. The region borders on the largest of the permanent lakes of the Fars province, Lake Bakhtegan, and Lake Tashk. The territory around Lake Bakhtegan has revealed many prehistoric sites. As a matter of fact, most of the settlements were once on the shores of Lake Bakhtegan, but because of the lake's shrinkage, they are now some distance to the southeast.
The Sarvestan Palace
The Sassanid Palace at Sarvestan is one of the most important relics of the Sassanid period and one of Iran’s oldest brick dome. It is located 90 km southeast of the city of Shiraz. This royal residence was implicitly completed in the fifth century AD and was either a gubernatorial living arrangement or a Zoroastrian fire sanctuary.
The Sarvestan Palace was ordered by the Sasanian ruler Bahramgur and commands an enormous, purge plain. This palace is about 25 hectare and in comparison, the other Sassanid structures is a more complex and diverse style of construction.
The Eastern part of Fars province
To travel east of Shiraz, the visitor should take the road that goes to Pol-e Fasa. At that point, the road forks. The left fork runs along the southern shore of Lake Maharlu and goes on to Sarvestan. Beyond Sarvestan, about the same distance as from Sarvestan to Lake Maharlu, the road branches again. The left branch goes to Fasa and Darab, while the right passes by Lake Parishan and continues to Neyriz. After Neyriz, there is a long stretch dividing settlements of Fars from the Kerman region; the road ends in Sirjan in the Kerman province.
Lar Water Storehouses
Low level of precipitation, rapid evaporation, and long seasons of drought account for scant water resources in most regions of Iran, and have made people look for efficient ways of water collection and conservation. The construction of water storehouses, where water is accumulated during the rainy seasons and stored through the remaining year, has become one of the solutions to this problem. Though water storehouses are built in most parts of Iran, perhaps nowhere is their number as impressive as in Larestan.
The Qeysariyeh Bazaar is the most remarkable structure in Lar, and one of the most interesting historical monuments in the whole of Fars. The name Qeysarieh (“Royal") is usually attributed to those marketplaces that were constructed at the order of a king or a local ruler. These bazaars had elaborate architectural styles and housed shops trading, especially in luxury goods. The Lar Bazaar was in existence long before the Safavid period, but what we see today dates mainly from the 16th century.
The Maiden's Fortress
Located at a distance of 3 km from Ardashir's Palace, Qal'e-ye Dokhtar housed the first residential and administrative quarters of the Sasanid kings. The palace was greatly fortified, in order to defend Ardashir's position from the Parthian survivors, who still threatened the newly founded Sasanid dynasty. Standing on a promontory of Mt. Firuzabad, Qal'e-ye Dokhtar was defended on three sides by precipices that fall nearly straight down from its outer walls and was thus almost invulnerable to enemy attacks.
The magnificent Palace of Ardashir stands outside the ruins of ancient Gur, at a distance of about 2 km to the north. It was built on a remarkably vast scale, sometime later than Qal'e ye Dokhtar. Generally, it repeats the design of Qal'e-ye Dokhtar, but greatly exceeds it in size and quality. Although closely adherent to Parthian building techniques, Ardashir's Palace is the earliest embodiment of all the basic elements of Sasanid architecture which were to persist until the downfall of the empire, and would survive long afterward in Islamic architecture of Iran.
The City of Gur
The Sasanid period begins, officially, with Ardashir's accession to the throne in 224 A.D. Sasanid art, however, has its genesis in the art produced by the Parthians and by the local kings of Persis (Fars) well before that date. Ardashir began his brilliant reign with a series of successful military campaigns. The treasures he acquired during his expeditions to Esfahan, Elymais, and Kerman permitted him to found the town he audaciously called Ardashir-Khwara (Ardashir's Glory), and make it his capital. The town was later known as Gur (Jur in Arab texts) and is today's Firuzabad.
Kazerun has located about 150 km from Shiraz and 170 km from Bushehr. It lies in a valley, 732 m above sea level, between two mountain chains, the Davan Mountain on the north and the Mast Mountain on the south. The region is rich in water, with Lake Parishan being the largest freshwater lake in Fars. The region has very hot summers, with a maximum temperature of 49°, and mild winters, with a minimum of 6o. The annual rainfall is about 400 mm. However, the climate of the town itself is more moderate.
Bas-reliefs of the Chogan Gorge
On the formerly main approach to the town, lies a scenic gorge that for centuries has been known as the Chogan (Polo) Gorge. It is called so in memory of the polo contests allegedly held here during the Sasanid period. Although this sport of Iranian origin is today unfortunately neglected, it was one of the favorite pastimes of the Iranian elite from ancient times until at least the 17th century. The gorge is crossed by the fast-flowing Shapur River, which brings water from numerous mountain springs, among them the famous Sasan Spring.
Bishapour Historical Sites
The ruins of Bishapur, one of the largest Sasanid cities, sprawl over a green valley on the southwestern bank of the Shapur River, near the point where it merges with the Sasan Spring, passing through the scenic Chogan Gorge. In addition to the beauty of its location, Bishapur had another great advantage. It was situated along the most important imperial roads, which under the Achaemenians linked Persepolis and Susa, and during the Sasanid period connected Estakhr and Ctesiphon.
Nourabad's Historical Sites
Located in the northwestern part of Fars, the region of Mamasani occupies an area of about 15,000 sq. km. It is situated west of the Zagros mountain range at a height of 900 m above sea level. The center of the region - Nurabad - is located 165 km northwest of Shiraz. The history of Mamasani goes back at least 5,000 years ago. The region is known to have been a part of the Anshan realm under the Elamites.