Located in the southern half of the country, Shiraz is known as the city of poets and literature as well as the city of gardens and flowers. Shiraz has been considered a significant city in different historic periods of Iran. The earliest reference to the city refers to about 2000 BC on an Elamite tablet. Under the Persian Empires of Achaemenids (550-330 BC) and Sassanids (224-642 AD) it was on the way between the capital and important cities and areas and has been mentioned in many documents of those periods. In the Islamic period the city was also considered an important center for art and in two different periods it was the capital of the country. Since 13th century Shiraz became the leading center for art and literature and many poets and philosophers appeared there due to the concern of the rulers of the time. There are many historic sites in and outside Shiraz belonging to Pre-Islamic and Islamic Periods. Persepolis, the remaining of Persian Empire Palaces of 550 BC and the tomb of Cyrus the Great are among the most important sites near the city. And in the city there are lots of attractions such as some traditional Iranian gardens, traditional bazaar, bathhouse and caravansaries, tombs of famous poets of the past and many more. It is also another center of making valuable handicrafts and souvenirs. Besides, Shiraz is also well known for its warm and hospitable people. Having all these features it is one of most popular destinations for domestic tourism among Iranians.
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