The city of Shiraz is full of gardens and the tomb of Saadi is a place that should not be missed while visiting.
Back in March 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama quoted Saadi’s Gulistan in a videotaped Nowruz (New Year’s) greeting to the Iranian people in March 2009:
“There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: ‘The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.'”
He lived in the days where his homeland and surrounding regions were getting sacked by both the Mongols and the Crusaders. He traveled the once lively Silk Road and lived in refugee camps populated with both bandits and Imams who had previously been wealthy landholders. They were all ordinary people and his works drew inspiration from his late night discussions he had with farmers, preachers, former leaders of great armies and vagrants. He wandered around for 30 years through present day Turkey, Syria, India and Central Asia and later returned to Shiraz as an elderly man. He was welcomed by the ruler Atabak Abubakr Sa’d ibn Zangy and later praised him in his most famous works called Bustan.
Today, Saadi was laid to rest in his garden and his tomb lies next to artesian well and surrounded by beautiful gardens. It is a place of pilgrimage for lovers of Saadi’s poetry and literature written hundreds of years ago.
The current grounds and mausoleum was originally renovated in 1808 AD by Karim Khan Zand. The present tomb was rebuilt in the early 50’s. The porch with its tall columns of pinkish marble is a traditional feature of Iranian architecture. The visiting hours are from 08:00-17:00 and the entrance Fee, 3000 Rials or 27 cents. It’s a great way to see Iran through it’s people since many of it’s visitors have probably traveled some distance to visit. Take a little time and enjoy an icecream while people watching in the area around the well. It’s a great place to meet other travelers and pay homage to Saadi.