Vakil Complex

Vakil Complex

Each Persian king selected one of cities as their own capital and improved it during their kingdom. Shiraz, too, had been a capital first during the Zandieh Dynasty and so some of the structures and sites have been built by the founders of that kingdom.

Arg, Bath, Mosque and Bazaar are the highlighted sites of Shiraz that are construed by Karim Khan Zand, king of Zand Dynasty.

Arg Kharim Khani, Karim Khan Citadel or Karim Khan Castle had been the residence of Karim Khan and also his military services. So, it has a mixture of both residential and military architecture. It covers an area of 4,000 square meters and consists of four high walls connected by four round brick towers. He asked for the best Iranian architects of that time and imported the best materials from other cities and even abroad.

It was also used as the governor's seat in the Qajar era and as a prison after this dynasty. Many of its miniatures and paintings were covered over by plaster during that time.

Vakil Mosque just next to the entrance of Vakil Bazaar, is another site that has been passed down from Zandieh Dynasty. It is built within 8,660 square meters and in spite of all other mosques that have four iwans, it has two northern and two southern ones. The tiles have been used in decorating the court and the iwans are originally locally known as shirazi haft rangi. Something that is considerably a master piece is its minbar (podium) that is made of one solid piece of green marble.

The entire mosque was renovated during Qajar era and many beautiful floral tiles were used to decorate it.

Vakil bath is a traditional and historical public house. Generally public bathes (Hammam)  in Iran is composed of an entrance, a cloakroom , a main door and a hot chamber or garm khane and sometimes a pool in an octagonal shape with a foot-washing channel surrounding it . But this bath has another part, known as Shahneshin and means "the place for king."

What has added to the importance of this site is that the best and most advanced architectural styles of that time have been used in constructing it. For example to prevent cold air from coming into the bath and keeping the heat in, they have made a low entrance and a slope below ground level that is lead to the Hashti (vestibule) as well as an angled entrance to the cloakroom.

In addition to the interesting and impressive architecture, its beautiful tiles colored in turquoise and kaleidoscopic Persian dome style ceiling has doubled the beauty of this bath.

Vakil bazaar: Karim Khan selected Shiraz as his capital and so for improving the status of his capital as a trading center, built this market. A long roofed traditional bazaar with caravanserais , courtyards and old shops that are the main hub for selling handmade items, handicrafts, carpets, spices, textiles and etc. has a really live and vibrant atmosphere. Passing through its long winding lanes you will enter a courtyard with a small pool in the middle and handicraft shops full of colorful goods.

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