Vakil Complex: A Cultural Gem in Shiraz

An Architectural Treasure Trove

The Vakil Complex is a renowned tourist destination in Shiraz that boasts stunning architecture and captivates visitors. The complex includes the Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath, and Vakil Bazaar. This magnificent site was constructed during the Zand dynasty under the orders of Karim Khan Zand, who significantly contributed to the economic prosperity of the time. One fascinating aspect of the Vakil Complex is that it has always attracted a large number of foreign and Iranian tourists due to its beautiful landmarks. To provide a better understanding of the complex, let’s explore each section in detail: Vakil Bazaar, Vakil Mosque and Vakil Bath.

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Introducing Vakil Bazaar

Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz, Iran
Vakil Bazaar, Shiraz, Iran

Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz is a renowned and stunning traditional and historical bazaar in Iran, situated at the core of the city. Intriguingly, this bazaar was known as the genuine heart of Shiraz, where all commercial activities took place. For instance, both domestic and foreign goods were bought and sold in this bazaar. Additionally, issuing and receiving bills of exchange occurred in this market.

Ordinary people also purchased their necessities in this bazaar. Furthermore, there was a section in the bazaar dedicated to safekeeping, where merchants could deposit their goods or money in trust. It should be noted that this bazaar has been registered as a national heritage of Iran.

Currently, this bazaar is active, and you can purchase a variety of products such as carpets, kilims, dishes, fabrics, mirrors, and candle holders, handicrafts, spices, herbal medicines, blankets, textiles, clothing, and dried fruits from this market.

Architecture of Vakil Bazaar

Architecture Of Vakil Bazaar In Shiraz
Architecture of Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz

The Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz is a historic marketplace that showcases the exquisite skills of Iranian architecture. It is constructed using materials such as plaster, brick, and lime, which are placed on carved stone slabs. There are 74 tall and well-proportioned arches in the bazaar, creating a unique atmosphere. Additionally, there are chambers with wide platforms on both sides. A four-way street, known as Chahar Suq, is situated in the middle of the bazaar, where it intersects with the sub-bazaars of the western and eastern sides. The ceiling of this Chahar Suq is very high and possesses a unique beauty.

Vakil Bazaar has the tallest arch among all the ancient bazaars, which is an impressive feature. To cater to the comfort of the people and merchants, a bathhouse and a mosque have been built near the bazaar

Now, let’s move on to the introduction of these structures.

Vakil Mosque in Shiraz

Vakil Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Vakil Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

The Vakil Mosque in Shiraz is located on the western side of the bazaar and is considered one of the largest mosques in Iran. Its architectural design is worth exploring, making it a popular tourist attraction. The distance between the mosque, bazaar, and bath is convenient for visitors to access different sections of the Vakil Complex.

Now, let’s delve into the architectural description of this mosque.

Architecture of Vakil Mosque

Architecture Of Vakil Mosque In Shiraz
Architecture of Vakil Mosque in Shiraz

The Vakil Mosque spans around 5,000 square meters and is one of the most stunning two-ayvan (iwans) mosques, featuring two southern and eastern Shabestans (vestibules) adorned with exquisite architectural details.

The mosque’s entrance door is made of wood and is a double-leafed door with a height of 8 meters and a width of 3 meters. Beyond the door lies a hallway adorned with a beautifully decorated arch.

The southern shabestan of the mosque is supported by 48 integrated and spiral stone columns, which bear the weight of its ceiling, representing the traditional Iranian architecture. In the north of the mosque, there is a tall arch called “Morvarid (pearl)” on which one of the surahs of the Qur’an is written in bold script and thuluth calligraphy. The architectural lines and motifs of the mosque are relatively simple, featuring decorative elements such as enamelwork.

The mosque’s pulpit (minbar) is made of marble stone and consists of fourteen steps. Interestingly, these stones were brought from another city called Maragheh to Shiraz.

Introduction to Vakil Bath

Vakil Bath, Shiraz, Iran
Vakil Bath, Shiraz, Iran

Vakil Bath is located close to Vakil Mosque and Vakil Bazaar. Additionally, it is listed as a national heritage in Iran. It’s worth mentioning that this stunning bath has been transformed into an ethnographic museum. When visiting this bath, you can observe wax sculptures engaged in various activities, such as the king and his attendants dining, the king smoking a hookah, prisoners wearing special attire, and ordinary people in special clothes. The bathing utensils used in the past are also on display in this museum.

Subsequently, we delve into the architecture of this historical work.

Architecture of Vakil Bath

Architecture Of Vakil Bath In Shiraz
Architecture of Vakil Bath in Shiraz

Upon entering Vakil Bath, there is a gentle slope that leads to an octagonal entrance. This design helps to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping the interior.

After passing through the entrance, there is an angled hallway that leads to the dressing room. This angle is specifically designed to prevent cold air from entering the bathing area. To keep the floor of the bath warm, small channels are constructed beneath the stone flooring to allow steam to flow through them. This helps to keep the feet of the bathers warm. Interestingly, two large furnaces were also used to heat the bathwater in the past.

One of the most significant sections of this bath is its two royal chambers known as shahneshin, which are specifically designed for the rest and relaxation of the king and courtiers.

The bath’s ceiling features a high dome adorned with attractive decorations. These decorations depict myths and ancient stories.


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Wrap it up

When visiting Iran, it is recommended that you include the city of Shiraz in your travel itinerary so that you can enjoy its numerous attractions. We recommend that you select spring or fall to visit Shiraz for the enjoyment of its favorable weather conditions.
We look forward to welcoming you.


What does the Vakil complex consist of?

The Vakil complex in Shiraz consists of Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath, and Vakil Bazaar.

What are the important architectural features of Vakil Bazaar?

The materials used in Vakil Bazaar include plaster, bricks, and lime. It has 74 tall arches, and its chambers have wide platforms. The bazaar has A four-way street, known as Chahar Suq. It has the tallest ceiling among the bazaars in Iran.

What are the important architectural features of Vakil Mosque?

Vakil Mosque has two iwans (vaulted halls) with southern and eastern vestibules. The entrance door is 8 meters high. The southern vestibule is supported by 48 integrated and spiral stone columns. In the north of the mosque, there is a tall arch called “Morvarid (pearl)” on which one of the surahs of the Qur’an is written in bold script and thuluth calligraphy.  The mosque’s pulpit is made of marble and has fourteen steps.

What are the important architectural features of Vakil Bath?

To preserve warmth inside, Vakil Bath has a gentle slope in its entrances. The angular design of the hallway prevents cold air from entering. The bath’s floor has small channels to allow steam to flow. There are also two royal chambers known as Shahneshin in the bath.

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Zeinab Khadivi

Hello, I'm Zizi Khadiv. I love traveling and socializing with people, and I really enjoy introducing the beauties of my country and the hospitable people of Iran to people from other countries. That's why I love being a tour guide.

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