Fars province with an area of 122,608 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 & Boyerahmad, 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 the Qashqais section, 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 valleys and lowlands, it is moderate and warm; in the southern provinces, winters are moderate and summer months are hot days.
The Persians, who were a local ruler under the governance of the Medes in Pars (Fars Now), gradually became more powerful, and eventually Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, exterminated the Median rule. Cyrus the Great and his successors formed a vast empire at the time, and under a written law developed their power. The Achaemenid kings established and chose several cities as the capital, including the Takht-e Jamshid or Parseh, Susa, Babylon and Ecbatana (Hamadan). The palaces of the Achaemenid rulers are one of the great masterpieces of ancient architecture, the remains of which are the ancient city of Parseh. After the siege and capture of Babylonia and Susa, Alexander the Macedonian ruler attacked Takht-e Jamshid. He plunder, killed many, and burned the Achaemenid palaces.
Followed by Alexander and his followers were the Parthians. The power centers of the Parthians were in various cities, including Darabgard Fars. As the power of the Parthian decreased, the uprising of Ardashir Babakan began, the man that began the Sassanid dynasty. Yaqub (Jacob) Layth was the first Emir of the Safarid dynasty who seized Fars and made Shiraz his capital. After that, Buyids, Seljuks, Atabakan Fars, Mongols, Muzzafarids, Safavids, Afsharids and Zands dominated the region. In Karim Khan Era, Fars got the much needed peace and prosperity, but it was greatly damaged during the wars of Lotf Ali Khan of Zand clan and Aqa Mohammad Khan of Qajar clan.
The land of Fars, both in pre-Islamic and post-Islamic time, was the center of civilization and culture and has great number of historical monuments. This land is the first center for the development of Persian civilization and culture, and the historical monuments such as Persepolis, Pasargad, the historical city of the Estakhr, Naqsh-e Rustam, Bishapur, Shapur’s cave, and the palaces and fire temples of Ardeshir are remained here. Takht-e-Jamshid, Pasargad and Eram Gardens (from the Iranian Garden Collection) have been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The collection of Zandieh and Qajar constructs including Arg-e-Karimkhani, mosque and bathroom of Vakil, Nasir al-Malek mosque and Narenjestan Qavam 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 industries in the province are woodcarving, carpet weaving, glassblowing (in Maymand city), repoussage, handmade Khorjin (saddle) and Give-doozi (in city of Abadeh). Native foods are also known as Koofte-holo, Kooft-e-sabzi, Salad Shirazi, Shirinplo (sweet rice), especial Ash for breakfast (Sabzi), Ash-e-Kardeh, and Kalam-polo Shirazi (cabbage and rice). Hossein Mansour Hallaj, the Persian mystic, and two valuable Persian poets, Sa’di and Hafez are among the celebrities of Fars province.