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Photographer's Note

The south-east tower of the Arg-é Karim Khani (Citadel of Karim Khan), which occupies a full city block in the middle of Shiraz, is often referred to by the locals as the “Leaning Tower of Shiraz”.

The tower is leaning at quite a pronounced angle. Some reports that I have read say that it was caused by earthquakes (of which Iran has more than its fair share), others by an underground river and one said it was caused by water seeping from the toilets in this corner of the citadel. Perhaps some of our Iranian TrekEarthers may be able to shed some light on this?

The imposing structure was built during the reign of Karim Khan Zand (1747 - 1779) when Shiraz was the capital of Persia, and on a information board inside the citadel it is described thus:

“The exalted stature of the Karim-Khan’s Citadel, amuses every new traveler for a long time, who arrives in Shiraz. The four reached high to sky ramparts and towers, which are impossible to be conquered, was Karim-Khan Zand’s house”.

Not the best English – but I got the drift!

Wikipedia provides an interesting account about Karim Khan:

“Karim Khan Zand, (Persian: کریم خان زند), (c. 1705- 1779), was a Shah of Persia who reigned from 1760 until 1779. He founded the Zand dynasty. Karim Khan was one of the generals of Nadir Shah. After Nadir Shah's death in 1747, Persia fell into a state of civil war. At that time, Karim Khan, Abdolfath Khan and Ali Mardan Khan reached an agreement to divide the country among themselves and give the throne to Ismail III. However, the cooperation ended after Ali Mardan Khan invaded Isfahan and killed Abdolfath Khan. Subsequently, Karim Khan killed Ali Mardan Khan and invaded all Iran except Khorasan, respecting Shah Rukh, grandson of Nadir Shah. Nevertheless, he did not adopt the title of Shah for himself, preferring the title, Vakil ar-Ra'aayaa (The Peasants' Regent). During his reign, relations with Britain were restored, and he allowed the East India Company to have a trading post in southern Iran. He made Shiraz his capital and ordered the construction of several architectural projects there. Following Karim Khan's death, civil war broke out once more, and none of his descendants were able to rule the country as effectively as he had, until Agha Mohammad Khan and the Qajar dynasty came to power. To this day, he has a reputation as one of the few just rulers in Iranian history. Whether this is merely in contrast to the infamous Nadir Shah, known for his atrocities, or based on fact is debatable. Nevertheless, a wealth of tales and anecdotes portray Karim Khan as a compassionate ruler, genuinely concerned with the welfare of his subjects.”

This was the best POV that I could find to show the leaning structure, and includes one of the other towers in the background which does not have a lean. PP: Adjusted levels, contrast + 8, saturation +8, USM at 350% (0.4).

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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