Fars province with an area of 122608 square kilometers is located in southwest of Iran and is the fourth largest province of the country. Fars province borders the provinces of Kerman, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Kohgiluyeh & Boyer Ahmad, Yazd and Isfahan. It has 29 counties and its center is the city of Shiraz. Persians, Qashqai Turks, Arabs and other ethnic groups live in the province. Common language of the Fars province is Farsi in the Shirazi dialect. There are also some sections of the province that speak Turkish, especially Qashqai tribes and the Arabs of the province speak Arabic. Due to the vastness and extent of Fars province, its climate is different in the northern and southern regions. In highlands, the climate is mild; in the valleys and lowlands, it is moderate and warm and in the southern parts of the province, the winters are moderate and summer months are hot.
The Persian who formed their own local government under the support of the Medes in Pars (current Fars), gradually became more powerful and eventually Cyrus, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, overthrew the Median government. Cyrus and his successors formed a vast empire at the time, and developed their power under organized and determined laws. The Achaemenid kings established and chose several cities as the capital such as Takht-e Jamshid or Persepolis, Susa, Babylon and Ecbatana (Hamadan).
The palaces of the Achaemenid rulers are among the great masterpieces of ancient architecture, the remains of which are the ancient city of Parseh. After the siege of Babylon and Susa, Alexander the Macedonian attacked Persepolis. He plundered, killed many people and fired the Achaemenid palaces. Darabgerd, a city in Fars, was one of the centers of power for the Parthian. As the power of the Parthian decreased, the uprising of Ardashir Babakan began, the man who ran the Sassanid dynasty.
Ya’qūb-i Layth-i Saffārī (Jacob) was the first Emir of the Saffarid dynasty who seized Fars and chose Shiraz as his capital. After that, Buyids, Seljuks, Salghurids, Mongols, Muzzafarids, Safavids, Afsharids and Zands dominated the region. During the governance of Karim Khan Zand, Fars found its needed peace and prosperity, but it was greatly damaged during the wars of Lotf Ali Khan Zand and Aqa Mohammad Khan of Qajar.
The land of Fars, both in pre-Islamic and Islamic time, was the center of civilization and culture and it has great number of historical monuments. It is the first center which developed Persian civilization and culture, and the historical monuments and buildings such as Persepolis, Pasargad, the historical city of Istakhr, Naqsh-e Rustam, Bishapur, Shapur cave and the palaces and fire temples of Ardeshir have remained.
The collection of Zandieh and Qajar constructs including Arg of Karim Khan, mosque and bathroom of Vakil, Nasir al-Mulk Mosque and Qavam House as well as the shrine of Ahmad ibn Musa (Shah Cheragh) are among the most important tourist attractions of the city of Shiraz.
The most important handicrafts in the province are wood carving, carpet weaving, glass blowing (in Meymand city), repoussage, handmade Khorjin (saddle) and Give-doozi (in city of Abadeh).
Native foods are also known as Kufteh Holoo, Kooft Sabzi, Salad Shirazi, Shirin polow (sweet rice), especial Aush for breakfast (Sabzi), Aush Kardeh and Kalam polo Shirazi (cabbage and rice).
Mansur al-Hallaj (the Persian mystic and poet) and two valuable Persian poets i.e. Saadi and Hafez are among the celebrities of Fars province.