Karimkhan Citadel (Arg) is located in Karim Khan Zand Street at the Municipality Square. Karim Khan was influenced by the architecture of Safavid during the establishment of his government in Shiraz. After visiting Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, he decided to create a large area in north of old Shiraz.
The citadel was constructed between 1766 and 1767 and Karim Khan used the best architects to build it. He also completed the construction with the best materials from inside and outside the country. This building was used during the Zandieh period as a place of government and in the Qajar period as a place of local governors. Abdul Hussein Mirza, the governor of Fars, ordered to rebuild the miniatures painted in this building. All buildings in Shiraz were built during the 14-year reign of Karimkhan Zand.
The citadel is a combination of two residential and military architectures. The inner part of the citadel is arranged with ivans and painted rooms, waterfalls and gardens. The three sides of the north, south and west each have an ivan and six living rooms on both sides. The oriental side includes private bath and some facilities.
The tower and quadruple rocks, along with the ditch that was previously dug it, also played the defensive role for the building. The walls in basic are in 3 meters wide and at a height of 2.8 meters. The height of the towers is 15 meters and is made of bricks.
One of the four towers of this citadel like Pisa Tower, has been crooked and is considered as one of the tourist attractions in Shiraz. The process of stopping the crook of the tower is important in terms of engineering.
The inner Citadel
The inner citadel was the royal palace of Karim Khan and his family. In four corners of the citadel, there are four rounded towers in three floors, with a height of 14 meters, and the height of the citadel walls is 12 meters. When watching the citadel, it looks like a violent appearance without any kind of adornment. The architecture of the citadel is style of Esfahani, which is an intrinsic architecture, with the presence of elegant and beautiful interior decoration. Most of the materials used in the building is made of stone and brick.
At the top of the main entrance, there is a seven-color cavity consists of the battle of Rostam and the white demon designed during Qajar period. It is located at the entrance to the inner Hashti part. In the northern part, there are a backyard and a few small rooms which are separated from other rooms of the citadel. In the southeastern corner, there is the exclusive bathroom of Karim Khan. In the four corners of the building, next to the towers, there are four backyards with ponds in the center, which probably had some facilities such as service and kitchen.
The residential areas are located on three northern, southern and western parts. In the center of each part, there is a porch with two stone pillars. During Qajar period, the main columns of the south and west ivans were removed, and wooden columns with spiral shapes were replaced.
The halls are covered with wooden windows and colored glass. The halls are covered with two ceilings, one is decorated with gypsum mantle roof in its interior, and another is false ceiling. The interior main ceiling of the halls are decorated with paintings and beautiful illuminated paintings inspired by Safavid dynasty. In drawing these paintings, the materials such as gold, mercury, sorghum, deer and other minerals have been used.