Home > Iran > Articles
Qazvin

Qazvin

05/23/13

Geography and History

The province of Qazvin, geographically is like a bridge connecting the capital of the country to the northern and western parts. In recent decades, Qazvin has become one of the significant developing poles of the country. Qazvin province was established in 1996. The same comprises of the township of Qazvin, which was formerly a part of the province of Tehran, and the township of Takestan, which was a part of the province of Zanjan. The townships of the province are Qazvin, Takestan and Bo’inn Zahra. In 2006 the population of Qazvin province was about 1,143,200 out of which 68.05% lived in the urban areas and 31.94% in the rural regions.With regards to natural geography, this province is divided into two mountainous and plain areas. The mountain regions are located in the north of the province, while the valleys of the Alborz Mountains lie in its southern skirts.

Climate

The climate of the province in the northern parts is cold and snowy in winters and temperate in summers. In the southern parts the climate is mild with comparatively cold winters and warm summers.

History and Culture

Qazvin’s historical background dates back to the Medes era, the 9th century BC. At that time, Qazvin was frequently attacked by tribes such as the Dialameh of Tabarestan. In the early years of the Islamic era Qazvin served as a base for the Arab forces. In the early Safavid period, Qazvin was selected as the capital. During the Qajar Dynasty and contemporary period, Qazvin has always been one of the most important governmental centers due to its proximity to Tehran. Prominent literary and social figures such as Obeid Zakani, Hamd Ol Lah Mostowfi, Mohamad Qazvini, Alame Qazvini, Alame Dehkhoda and Aref Qazvini (a talented poet of Constitutional Revolution era) and many others, were native residents of Qazvin.

Qazvin Province Townships

Bo’inn Zahra, Qazvin, Takestan.

Bo’inn Zahra

Formerly this township itself was a part of the township of Qazvin. It is located in the south of Qazvin province and bounded on the east by the province of Tehran, on the west by the township of Takestan and the province of Zanjan, being located to its west. This township is bounded by Markazi province in south. The center of the township is the city of Bo’inn Zahra which is located on the road connecting Shahriar to Takestan. In 1963 an earthquake occurred which was one of the most disastrous earthquakes in the history of Iran, killing thousands of people. Bo’inn Zahra is a suitable area for agricultural activities and small industries.

Qazvin

The township of Qazvin is bounded by Mazandaran and Gilan provinces on the north, the township of Takestan to the west, and to Bo’inn Zahra in the south, whereas the province of Tehran is to its east. The northern region of township is occupied by the Alborz Mountains but its southern parts are in even and fertile plains. The center of the township is the city of Qazvin located 144 km. to the west of Tehran.There is a strong possibility that the city of Qazvin was primarily founded by Shapour Sassanide I, (known as Shad Shapour). He founded the city in order to confront the attacks of the Dialameh. After which it gradually developed into the city of Qazvin.During the Arab conquests, one of the Arab famous commanders known as Bara Ebne Azeb surrounded the city in the year 24 AH. In the early Islamic era Qazvin served as a basement for the Arab military operations. The Jame’ mosque of the city was built during Omavi Dynasty. This has always been one of the most important mosques of the city right till the reign of Haroon-Ol Rashid. In 176 AH. another city or castle was built opposite the old city of Qazvin. This was known as Madineh Mobarakeh. Here a mosque and a rampart, was founded by Haroon-Ol  Rashid. From the late 5th century AH. till the attack of Holakoo to Esmaili castles, Qazvin was subject to many events resulting from the Hassan Sabbah movement and that of his successors.However in the Safavid reign Qazvin became capital and many buildings were built there. When the Qajars took the power in their hands, and made Tehran their capital, the importance of the city increased. Qazvin was located en route from Tehran to Europe and Russia. Today Qazvin has become one of the industrial cities in the country.

Takestan

The township of Takestan is bounded from north to the province of Gilan, from east to Qazvin township, and from west and south to Zanjan province. The center of the township is the city of Takestan which is located on the main route of Tehran – Europe and the Tehran western route. Takestan has also a railway station on Tehran – Azarbayjan route. Takestan which in past was called Siadeh enjoys a long historical background. In the Sassanid period, Takestan was a thriving city with an excellent position amongst other cities. Some fascinating Sassanian plasterwork belonging to the Sassanide period has been excavated from Kandoo hill in the northeast of Takestan. The township of Takestan today is an agricultural axis of this province.

Historical Monuments  

Alamoot Castle, Qazvin

The said structure is situated in the heights, surrounding by gigantic precipices and deep crevices. The only means of access to this castle is by a narrow trail to its north. The Alamoot Castle has an eastern and western sector, each of which comprises of two segments again. These are the lower and upper castles. The length of the structure is approximately 120m. and its width ranges from 10-25 m. in certain areas.The eastern rampart of the upper castle is constructed of stone and gypsum, and is about 10m. in length and 5m. in height. To the northwestern front of the upper castle, two chambers have been excavated in the rocks of the mountains in one of which is a small pool of water. At the foot of this chamber, and at a lower level than the structure, is the northern rampart with a length of 12 m. and width of 1 m. The same ending in a steep precipice. To the eastern section of the castle the guards and their dependants resided. The western rampart of this sector is still standing to an elevation of 2 m. Here there are three water reservoirs excavated in the breast of the mountains.
Between the upper and the lower castles is an area surrounded by ramparts, that divides the sector into two. Three towers in the northern, southern and eastern corners can still be observed. The only entrance and gateway to the castle is in the northeast.
The path leading to the entrance is at the foot of the eastern tower, which is a few meters lower down. The various parts of the castle have been constructed with materials such as stone, mortar, gypsum, brick, tiles and earthenware. To the west of the castle is an ancient cemetery of Asb-e-Kaleh Chal. On an elevation near by, are remnants of a few brick kiln furnaces. According to records in the book Nishat-ol-Qolub by Hamdollah Mostowfi, the Alamoot castle is a construction of the 446 AH., contemporary to the reign of the Abbasi caliph, Al Motevakel.

 

2 

 

Hamdollah Mostowfi Tomb, Qazvin

The said lies in the Panbeh Reeseh locality of Qazvin, and is also reputedly known as the tall dome. Hamdollah Mostowfi who was a honored geographer came from a famed family of Mostowfian dynasty. He was born in the year 680 AH. in the city of Qazvin, and passed away around 750 AH. This tomb is a relic of the Mongol era. The plan of the structure is on a square basis externally, turning into an octagon in the higher section and thence cylindrical. Part of the cylindrical segment has been vaulted.The structure has a conical dome made of brick. The wooden door or entrance is on the western section.

 

3

 

The tomb itself is in the basement or cellar on which a quadrangular chamber has been constructed. The cornices of which are with turquoise colored tiles.Epigraphs with sacred verses surround the base of the dome, these are in the Naskh script and of plaster work. The flooring of this chamber is of stone. Its ceiling is a domed one and is made of brick from the section where the inscriptions can be noted. The entrance is of azure. The vaulted or arched effect around the base of the dome has undergone renovation due to damage. Under this vaulted segment is an azure colored inscription in the Nasta’liq script revealing a brief biography of Hamdollah Mostowfi.

 

4

 

Kharaqan Tomb Towers, Qazvin

These towers are located at a distance of 1 km. from the Hesar Armani village, and within 32 km. of the Qazvin – Hamadan Road. The same are close to one another, though they are located in a vast vicinity. The eastern tower is octagonal with round pillars in the eight corners. The plinth of the tower was repaired in 1968. The entire structure was constructed of bricks and was adorned. The said is the primary structure with a double crusted dome of the 5th century AH.Decorative frameworks of the internal segments of the arches has various designs and paintings. In the entrance of the tower an inscription reveals the date of foundation as well as the architect’s name being “Mohammad Ebne Mokr Zandjani Al Qobba” and in the year 460 AH. The western tower is an octagon too, with round columns, alike the eastern one. The outer part of the dome has a few prominent brick ledges. The upper parts of the stem of the dome are adorned by beautiful geometrical designs. In the lower portion of which is a delicate and narrow inscription stating the date of construction and architect of the tower.

 

5

 

The Brick Work of Kharaqan Tomb Towers shown below:

 

6

 

7

 

Mohammad Abad  Khoreh (Khorheh) Caravansary, Qazvin

The same is located on the Qazvin – Bo’inn Zahra Road and is a remnant from the Safavid age. The structure is a five sided one with two circular towers, and a rectangular courtyard. The structure has been constructed on an angular basis, and between each of the four sides an elevated arch can be observed. The entrance however faces the southern side to the three sides of which are the colossal porches. To each side of the northern porch there are five false arches, whereas, the western and eastern porches reveal six such arches. The structure is made of brick and only the façade of the courtyard and northern corridor reveal an architecture of stone.

 

8

 

Shah Abbasi Bridge, Qazvin

The said bridge lies en route from Qazvin to Bo’inn Zahra. The bridge has three arches, two of which are larger. These arches are pointed. The center of the bridge lies on a higher level than the sides. Its lower segments and base are constructed of stone, mortar and limestone, whereas the upper sections are made of brick.

 

9

 

Soltan Abad Caravansary, Qazvin

The above mentioned is located at a distance of 10 km. from Qazvin, and to the left of the Qazvin -Takestan Road. It is a remnant of the Qajar period. This structure is on a rectangular basis, but has four false arches in each corner. Thus rendering it an appearance of an octagon. Its entrance is to the northern side. One of the attractive characteristics of the structure is its four rectangular yards, at midst each of which are two brick square columns, running alongside the walls behind the chambers. On these columns, in all four directions are arches, and the ceiling is supported by these. The ceilings of all the chambers of this structure are domed shaped. Other Caravansaries in Qazvin are as follows: The Panbeh Caravansary, Razavi Caravansary and the Golshan caravansary in Qazvin.

 

10
Shah Abbasi Carvansary, Qazvin

 

Religious Monuments

Alnabi Mosque, Qazvin

The same is a remnant of the Safavid period, but was renovated during the Qajar era. The courtyard is rectangular with a large pool in the center. To each of the four sides of the structure of the mosque is an elevated porch and two lateral or side chambers, flanked by nocturnal areas. The northern and southern nocturnal areas, each have four false arches, and the eastern and western ones, each of nine false arches. The porches are adorned with enameled tiles, and each porch displays an inscription on azure tiles in the Naskh script.
Above the northern porch is a lofty minaret, and a short, elevate square porch adjoins the southern one. Here its cornices are of stone and its other areas are white washed. The altar of the southern wall and its shortened cornices are of marble. These have been adorned with multi colored enameled tiles. The colossal dome of this is interiorly white washed, whilst its exterior reveals tile work.

 

11

 

12

 

Aminiha Mosque, Qazvin

The said structure is located at the western end of the Qajar Avenue. It comprises of 16 interconnected structures, constructed by a merchant called, Haj Mohammad Reza Amini in the year 1275 AH. The public mourning area or Hosseinieh consists of three parallel halls running in an east to west direction with beautiful wooden sash windows that are inter linked with each other. The southern halls boast of 9 latticed worked sash windows with colored panes. Its ceiling is adorned with painting and mirror works. The center hall has rounded alcoves adorned with mirror and plasterwork that are outstandingly beautiful. This hall is connected to the northern and southern halls by two sets of five doors. On the semi-circular segment over the doors leading to the northern porch fine emblems in connection with the twelve months (of the year) can be noted. The ceiling of this hall is adorned with plaster and mirror, in addition to paintings on wood.

 

13

 

The section under the halls comprises of sectors such as the cellar, basement, store room, and kitchen which have access to the northern and southern courtyard. The north facing wall of the southern courtyard is of stone with innumerable embossments.

 

14 

 

Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Hossein, Qazvin

The said Imamzadeh is located within the city of Qazvin and is the resting abode of Hossein, the offspring of Hazrat Ali Ebne Moosa-Al Reza (AS), who passed away in 201 AH. The primary structure dates back to the Shah Safi era. There is a date of 806 AH. on the extremely valuable wooden sepulchre of the mausoleum which seems to be the earliest date noted here. This structure was renovated in the early 14th century AH.The Imamzadeh comprises of the entrance, courtyard and mausoleum. On its vaulted entrance tile-work in geometrical design can be observed, and on the two sides of the structure are the minarets. The elevated entrance of the structure is majestic and each side of the door has a knocker under which is a phrase in the beautiful Naskh script. The epigraph affixed on the entrance is dated 1307 AH. and has 12 poetical verses inscribed on it. to the both side of the threshold are five chambers along with a porch, and to the three remaining sides are other porches. The threshold leads on to the vestibule which ends up to a vast courtyard.

 

15

 

The walls of this courtyard have false arches, and in the center of the courtyard is a large octagonal structure that is an area where water for consumption is available, on the top of which an inscription has been affixed. The main dome rests amidst the four porches that are on the four sides. The mausoleum itself resembles a castle that overlooks its surroundings from the interior and exterior sides. The Ornaments of Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Hossein shown at these picture below:

 

16

 

17

 

Natural Attractions

Avan Lake, Qazvin

The Avan peak rises to about 3,750 m. and is located in the Alborz Mountain Range in the north of Roodbar.

 

1

 

This summit is also known as Kheshteh Chal. In the south west direction it is connected to the gorge and summit of Sialan, and in northwest direction to the Bazakooh and Parch Kooh mountains. The Azgin, Sefid Ab and Avan rivers originate in the southern highlands whereas the Chalak river originates from north. The beautiful and splendid lake of Avan lies in the southern skirts of the mountain. It gains its water from the springs in the lake.

 

18

 

Culture and Art

Kolah Farangi Pavillion Museum, Qazvin

The above mentioned is related to the Safavid era. But during the Qajar reign, Sa’dol Saltaneh, governor of the times, was responsible for its repairs, and named the same Chehel Sotune. The structure is a double storeyed one, built of brick with cornices of stone. The said structure is currently the venue of the city museum. The structure houses various sections such as the archaeological, anthropological and historical sectors. Relevant effects are exhibited.

 

19

 

Universities

The Governmental universities in Qazvin province

Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Babaee Technical Institute.

The Islamic Azad universities in Qazvin province

Islamic Azad University of Takestan, Islamic Azad University of Qazvin.