Another important archaeological site at Marvdasht, Estakhr has produced relics from the Achaemenid period to the early Islamic. Moreover, scholars speculate that the date of the city's founding is even more ancient, though the original settlement may have been located at some distance from the later metropolis. The city and its surrounding area are today locally called Takht-e Tavus ("the Peacock's Throne").
Marvdasht Plain is as old as Iran's history
Despite its relatively small size, the plain of Marvdasht contains the most important relics from the Achaemenid and Sasanian periods in Fars, if not in the whole of Iran. These sights can be seen on a one-day trip from Shiraz. The plain of Marvdasht lies to the northeast of Shiraz. It stretches for some 40 km from north to south, and 30 km from west to east.
Afifabad (Golshan) Garden
With an area of about 127,000 sq. m, the Afifabad (Golshan) Garden is one of the largest and best-planned historical gardens in Shiraz. Its history dates back to the Safavid period, when it was reserved for the court, and when a strong fort occupied part of the garden's territory. Under the Qajars, Mirza Mohammad Ali Khan, the second Qavam al Molk, bought the Limak stream for irrigating the garden. He also reorganized the compound, and in 1867 commenced the construction of a beautiful two-story building here.
An impressively beautiful and very atmospheric complex of a two-story pavilion and a garden were designed by Abolqasem Mohandesi in 1930-35. It is entered through an ornate gate, lost in the alleys of the busy Anvari district. The best view of the garden with its ponds and fountains is opened from the balcony of the mansion. Until 2008, the complex was privately owned, but currently, it is registered as a national heritage and has been carefully renovated. The mansion houses a traditional restaurant.
Shiraz is world-famous for its gardens, Eram being the most celebrated. The garden traces its history from the Seljuk period and was much enlarged during the subsequent years. During the 18th century, the garden was owned by the leader of the Qashqai tribe, Mohammad Ali Khan Ilkhan, and its first pavilion seems to date from this time.