Tomb of Saadi Shirazi (Sa’di Tomb – Sa’dieh) | Shiraz, Fars, Iran
You don’t know Persian culture if you don’t know the secrets of the Tomb of Saadi. Commonly known as Saadieh, it is a mausoleum in Shiraz in which the great Persian poet, Saadi Shirazi, is eternally resting. The beautiful garden where the tomb of the 13th century poet lies, the attractive architecture of the building and the holy fishpond have together created a tranquil ambiance that has been attracting visitors year in and year out. Like to know more about it? Follow me then!
Why Visit Tomb of Saadi
- Iran’s celebrated poet of 13th century is resting there
- Its architecture is a nice model of Persian mausoleum architecture
- It is a great place to get familiar with Persian culture
- The site features a lovely fishpond with cultural significance
Who was Saadi Shirazi
As one of the masters of Persian poetry, Saadi was born in the 13th century to give moral depth and eloquence to Persian literature. His poor background didn’t stop him from becoming a man of learning. and his verses of social, and moral values from echoing beyond his time and far outside Iran. His thirst for learning drew him to the then center of knowledge of the Islamic world, Nezamieh University of Baghdad. There he showed his talent in Islamic theology and sciences, Arabic literature, history and law.
Saadi had itchy feet. The unpleasant situation of Iran at the time of the Mongol invasion made a tourist of him. He constantly traveled to places like Central Asia, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, India, and today’s Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. After 30 years of traveling, he returned to shiraz as a wise man of the world and began writing two of the classics of Persian literature. Bustan (The Orchard) which concerns moral virtues is in verse, and Golestan (The Rose Garden) which contains anecdotes about love, youth, and ethical values is in prose. The verses of Bustan are so popular that Persians use them as common proverbs.
Tomb of Saadi – History of the tomb
The well-respected poet was buried in the Khanqah (a spiritual retreat for Sufis) he spent the last years of his life in. The Khanqah was located in a village near Shiraz which is now part of the city. A memorial structure was built over his tomb in the 13th century, but the Safavid era governor of Shiraz destroyed it in 17th century. Then Karim Khan Zand ordered the construction of a mausoleum in honor of the poet in the 18th century.
After renovations in Qajar era, Reza Shah Pahlavi assigned the architect Mohsen Foroughi for the construction of the current structure. He got inspiration from Isfahan’s charming Chehel Sotoun and mixed the elements of both modern and traditional architecture. The assigned group restored, annexed and built what has now become a popular sight in Shiraz. Later, the garden was expanded in order to receive the large number of visitors who came to pay their respect to Saadi Shirazi. From the religious figures who were honored to be buried near Saadi, Shurideh Shirazi was the luckiest to have his separate tomb chamber.
The Architecture of the Tomb of Saadi
Typical of the mausoleums built by Iranians, the Tomb of Saadi is located in a garden to symbolize paradise. In the middle of evergreens, cypresses, bitter oranges, rose beds and pools, lies an L-shaped structure that’s cubical on the outside and octagonal inside. Topped with an amazing turquoise dome that is the first thing that catches the eyes, the monument has the charms of an architectural masterpiece. 8 brown columns and colorful tilework, with tree of life designs on each side of the entrance decorate the main Iwan. The marble interior, where the tomb lies, is just as charming as the limestone exterior. On the tombstone and the 8 walls around it, you can see inscribed verses of Saadi’s poems. Also, the ceiling of the chamber is decorated with turquoise tiling. The front Iwan is connected to the tomb of another Shirazi poet by a colonnade of brown pillars on the left.
The Sacred Water and Fishpond
Under the garden, there is a Qanat (underground water channel) that fills the pools and an underground fish pond. On the left side of the garden, there is a staircase that leads to an underground chamber with 28 steps. Inside the chamber, deeper down into the ground, is the octagonal fish pond. The c
hamber itself has a tasteful architecture with Seljuqid tileworks adding to the beauty of its arched walls and muqarnas ceiling. Locals have long believed that the water that comes from the Qanat is sacred, a belief that may have existed even before Saadi’s death. Washing in this water, specially at Chaharshanbe Suri night (an ancient Iranian festival), was among Shirazi customs. Through years, the washing ritual gave its way to another custom: making a wish and throwing a coin in the pool in front of the monument or the underground fishpond.
More About Tomb of Saadi Shirazi
pring and summer: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Other seasons: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
All days except some public holidays.
The Nearby Attractions
This site is a little far from Shiraz’s other attraction. But visiting Delgosha Garden after your visit will be great.
Where to Eat Near Tomb of Saadi
Refreshments are available at the Fishpond Chamber at the Tomb of Saadi. The ice cream parlors across from the entrance are also popular for their traditional ice cream and Faloodeh (a cold Iranian dessert).
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