Shiraz, a city of Persia, capital of Farsistan, in a beautiful and well cultivated plain, about 4,750 ft. above the sea, 217 m. S. by E. of Ispahan, and 115 m. E. N. E. of Bushire; pop. about 40,000. There are few other Persian cities so substantial in construction, or so attractive in appearance and surroundings. The walls are nearly 4 m. in circumference, and the buildings within are constructed principally of stone and a mixture of sun-dried and kiln-dried bricks. Among the finest are the citadel, the mosques surmounted with domes of green and blue, the bazaars, and the largest of the ten colleges. Considerable portions of Shiraz are ruined and dilapidated. The adjoining plain is exceedingly fertile, abounding in fruits and flowers, and the rose gardens of the suburbs are celebrated throughout the world. The position of Shiraz on the trade route between Ispahan and the Persian gulf makes it a place of considerable commercial importance; and it is a station of the Indo-European telegraph. In addition to rose water, wine of a very fair quality resembling Madeira, and tobacco of remarkable fragrance, are the chief industrial products of vegetable origin. Glass bottles and sword cutlery are manufactured.
It has a mint, and its lapidaries are renowned for their skill. - Shiraz was founded in the 7th century, captured by Tamerlane in 1387, and made the capital of Persia by Kerim Khan in 1760, who greatly enriched and beautified the city. It was visited by severe earthquakes in 1812, 1824, and 1853, the last one being very destructive. It is famous among Persians as the birthplace and residence of the poets Saadi and Hafiz, both of whose tombs are in the neighborhood. There are numerous antiquities in the vicinity, including the ruins of Persepolis.