Qur’an Gate (Darvazeh-e Quran) | Shiraz, Fars, Iran
Sweet and welcoming! That’s what the city of Shiraz has always been for its visitors. From the good old days (10th century), a special gate has been welcoming and blessing travelers: Qur’an Gate. As one of the oldest gates of Iran, this historical gate, the beautiful mountains beside it, and the magnets neighboring it, have blessed the city with a unique attraction. Stay with me for an exploration of the history, architecture, secrets, and charms of the iconic symbol of Shiraz, Quran gate.
Why Visit Qur’an Gate?
- Qur’an Gate is one of Shiraz’s historical attractions.
- The gate embraces one of Iran’s famous poets: Khwaju Kermani.
- It is near the lookout point of Shiraz: Gahvareh Did.
- All the locals agree that the floodlit Quran Gate is the perfect place to be at night.
- Drinking tea or eating traditional Persian deserts around the gate will sweeten your trip.
The Open Arms of Shiraz – Quran Gate
A long long time ago, the city of Shiraz had six gates. One of these gates, known as Quran Arch, had a Quran on top of it. Why? Because of the belief that Quran blesses and protects a traveler. Based on this long-lasting tradition in Iran, when someone wants to go on a trip, he/she kisses and passes under a Quran. So, a Quran was placed on one of Shiraz’s gates to bless travelers and wish them a safe journey back home. This age-old belief used to be so deep rooted in the lives of the people of Shiraz that they would leave the city on the first day of each lunar month to bless and protect themselves by passing under the Quran.
The Story of Qur’an Gate
In 10th century, Qur’an Gate was built and a Quran was placed on top of it. Later in the 18th century, Karim Khan Zand, the humble founder of Zand Dynasty (1779-1750), reconstructed the gate. He added a room upstairs and placed 2 fine Qurans in it (you can check out these two special Qurans in Pars Museum). Then in Qajar era (1796-1925), a number of earthquakes seriously damaged the gate. In 1936, Shiraz was a large town and Qur’an Gate wasn’t big enough for the high commute. So, it was completely torn down for expansion reasons. Finally, in 1949, a famous Shirazi merchant reconstructed the gate and gave it its present plan.
How Qur’an Gate Looks
On arrival to Shiraz (from Isfahan-Shiraz road), you’ll see this beautifully decorated arch. Calligraphed verses of Quran and beautiful tilework cover all around the gate. The present gate is larger and higher than the original one. The lovely structure features a pointed arch, 2 small portals on both sides, and a rectangular room on top of it. All these small details work hand in hand to create the lovely and welcoming symbol of Shiraz.
What You’ll See Beside Qur’an Gate:
Khwaju Kermani Tomb
Beside the historical gate, on the foot of a mountain, you can find the tomb of a famous Persian poet: Khwaju Kermani. This respected figure of late 13th and early 14th centuries wrote poems with mystical themes. The beautiful tomb of Khwaju Kermani is on an unroofed platform. The tombstone is inside a glass box in the center. Beside it, a stone statue of the poet and an inscription of his poems showcase themselves.
Khwaju Kermani Park
In front of Quran Gate, you’ll find a beautiful park that includes Khwaju Kermani Tomb. After a visit to Qur’an Gate, you can stop by this park and enjoy its musical fountain, its terraced architecture, and the great cityscape it offers you.
The Caves in Khwaju Kermani Park
If you go a little farther up from the tomb of Khwaju Kermani, you’ll discover 3 caves. One of these caves used to be a prayer and meditation refuge for mystics and Sufis, including Khwaju Kermani. Near this cave, there is another cave that embraces the tomb of a Mongol era minister (14th century). In 1803, the ruler of Shiraz ordered the construction of a rock relief of Rostam and the Lion (based on one of the scenes of the epic book of Ferdowsi) beside this cave. Plus, you can see the incomplete rock relief of a Qajar era (1796-1925) king and his 2 sons beside the Rostam relief.
The Charms of Quran Gate
Quran Gate is a popular hub for the laid-back people of Shiraz. You’ll find them picnicking with family, eating at the nearby cafés and restaurants, and posing for the camera. The gate is at its best at nights. The floodlit area, the people, and the night beauties of the city make for a pleasant atmosphere. If you ever go there, don’t miss the traditional ice cream and Faloodeh (a traditional Persian dessert) of a very popular ice cream parlor nearby (7 minutes by car): Baba Bastani.
A View of Shiraz From Up There
One of the most popular lookout points of Shiraz, Gahvareh Did, is near Quran Gate. You only need to hike up for about 45 minutes to get the widest and most fascinating perspective of the city and the nearby mountains. From there, guards used to watch the city and protect it against enemies.
Not far from the fascinating lookout point, there’s a mystical well that has been a retreat for the prayer and meditation of Sufis (a revered Sufi is also buried there): Mortaz Ali Well. The well is also a sacred place where people go to pray and light candles for their wishes to come true.
More about Qur’an Gate
The Nearby Attractions
Sightseeing attractions? Well, Shiraz is filled with them! Specially around Quran gate. Haft Tanan Museum of Shiraz is probably one of the nearest. Old stones from 9th to 16th centuries fill this lovely museum. The Tomb of Hafez, the pleasant burial place of Iran’s most cherished poet, is also a must-see. Plus, you can check out the Persian Garden plan of the 18th century Jahan Nama Garden. Ali Ibn Hamzeh Holy Shrine is also a good choice if you are into Islamic culture.
Haft Khan Restaurant
Darband Garden Restaurant