The Shiraz Vakil Complex, which includes the Vakil Bazaar, the Vakil Mosque and the Vakil Hamam (Bathhouse) actually forms a major part of Shiraz’s historical monuments.
It was built by Karim Khan Zand during the Zandiyeh period. This bath is located in the center of Shiraz city and close to other Zandiyeh era monuments, such as the Vakil Bazaar and Vakil Mosque.
One of the spectacular parts of this bath is the “Shah-Neshin” which was specifically used by the King. This monument, located on the west of Vakil Mosque, was built based on the most advanced architectural principles of its time.
The Sarbine of this bath (the changing room) is an octagon hall with eight beautiful stone columns located in the middle of the dome roof. As you enter the bathhouse, you will see a huge vestibule (Hashti) with a gentle slope.
Underneath the pavements, there are narrow underground canals where warm air and water vapor flow which makes the bath gets warmer. The Vakil bath includes unique Persian miniature and paintings and the amazing Ahak-bory or Sarouj-bory (the art of engraving relief on the limestone) that make the roof of the bathroom even more beautiful. The Vakil Bath- Museum Complex contains many wax sculptures which show different stages of bathing, depicting Iranian culture, clothing, and customs during Zandiyeh era.
Next to the Jame Vakil mosque is a great bazaar, built by the order of Karim Khan Zand (the greatest Zandiyeh king), right in the middle of the city of Shiraz, after the Shahrdari square, near the Arg of Karim Khan. The Vakil Bazaar is one of the most famous traditional and historical markets of Iran.
All the business work, the financial trading, buying and selling of domestic and foreign goods and so on were all done in this market and in fact the Vakil Bazaar was like the real financial heart of Shiraz.
Like all the traditional bazaars in Middle East, different sections of the Shiraz Vakil Bazaar were named after specific occupations in each market segment, such as the market for jewelers, swordsmiths, crystal merchants, tailors, and more. The Vakil Bazaar is made of plaster, brick and lime, and the carved stone columns make it one of the strongest well-built monuments of its time. The most spectacular part of Vakil Bazaar is the eautiful “Chahar-Sough” located right in the center of it at the intersection of the two strands of the market. The main hallmark of this “Chahar-Sough” is the beautiful great vaulted ceiling.
This bazaar will take you hundreds of years ago deep into the heart of history, as if you are traveling through the old tales and legends.
The Vakil Mosque or Soltani Mosque, belonging to the Zandiyeh period, is located to the west of the Vakil Bazaar. This beautiful mansion is relatively huge and because of its unique architecture, it is one of the favorite tourist attractions of Shiraz.
The entrance door opens to an octangle corridor consisting of a beautiful ceiling adorned with elegant colorful tiles with images of flowers and paisley pattern and the beautiful expression of “La Elah ela Allah” in the Kufic script. One of the architectural wonders of this monument which has attracted the attention of others is the 48 beautiful and stunning columns, which is skillfully designed and constructed.
This amazing monument consists of several parts such as the entrance door, the corridor, the courtyard, the great Shabestan (part of great mosques with roof and columns), the winter Shabestan, the altar, the marble minbar, backyard, two Iwans (a rectangular hall or porche), a vaulted arch and the pearl vault (an important vault on the north side of the mosque with carved stones and seven-colored tiles) and various other sections.