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Qazvin

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About Qazvin:

A Look at History Archaeological findings and excavations of Qazvin plain approve the existence of settled societies (permanent-residence) and agriculture as well as show that its inhabitants have enjoyed primary industries and social order in the 7th millennium B.C. All of the residential quarters, temples, industrial workshops, ornamental objects, statues, warehouses of grains etc. found in Qazvin show the civilization of the people of this land in thousands years ago. In the old writings of Europeans, Qazvin has been called ‘Arsas’or ‘Arsasia’ and it has got the name of ‘Ragia’ in the Greek writings as well. Being on the way of Silk Road should be an important factor by which Qazvin has been entangled with sorrowful and joyous ups and downs. The Caspian region which has, from early days been a populous and highly cultivated land, became extremely flouri shed and prosperous in Sassanid period, and simultaneously along with the construction of Shapouri township, also called Shad Shapour, apparently changed and also owing to its special position, the region became the focus of military forces and bold warriors and incidentally some firm castles, ramparts, and forts were made. The process of urbanization and development of housing in Qazvin after the spread of Islam over the city in 644 AD. was so intensified that after a while the city was named as Babel Janat or the gate of paradise. At the time of Mogul invasion, the extent of the city was so vast that, according tohistorians, more than one million people had been living there. Qazvin regained its prosperity after a short period of recession in Llkhanid period and according to tourists in Teimouri period it had been the most cultivated and largest city after Samarghand in Iran. Selecting Qazvin as the Safavid throne sitting (Capital) in the 16th century A.D. in addition to magnifying the importance of the city, brought about an excellent period of urban development which is observable in the writings of western ambassadors and merchants. The design and construction of the first street in Iran, Chنhar Baghs (four gardens), squares, palaces, schools, mosques, parks, etc. which became a model of urbanization throughout the country from that time on, began from this city. Throughout the Qajar period Qazvin was a self-ruled region connected to the Capital and in spite of its slight recession in economy and culture in that period, it was one of the active and flourishing centers of the country. The heroic resistance of the people of this part of the country against the invasion of the savage and murderous Mogul troops as well as against devastating raid of Teimour, especially imposing the first defeat on Afghan invaders in Qazvin after the fall of Isfahan, demonstrate the undeniable role of the people of Qazvin in the history of the country. Natural Attractions The nature of province which is affected by its special topography along with its proximity to the north and west heights resulted in Alpine system and finally due to the central and hot climate of the country, has got various aspects so that it has created such a noticeable life diversity in plants and animals that it is always attractive and fascinating for ecotourists and nature-lovers. As meeting the lovely and roaring fountainheads of Ninehrood and Kharood in Roudbar e Shahretan creates a surge of joy and happiness in the hearts of tourists and tmvelers, the fiery and aflame deserts of Boom Zahra, joins eyes with the unattainable horizons. The sensational cataracts of Garmarood e Alamout, Mansour e Avaj, and Mahin e Tarom embody the magnificence of modesty and humility, and finally the sky-high rocks of Bozkash and Darband Andej excite the pride and honor in the hearts. The blue expanse of Dariabak ponds in the north of Qazvin, Roodak in Boom Zahra, and Dariabak in Avaj present the passers-by with a full portrait of the sky. Golden eagle of Alamout, bustard of Ala Abad plain, swift antelope (gazelle) of Bashgol, swift- footed wild goat (ibex) of Khashchal, violet ouzel of Abyek, leopard of Roudbنr e Shahrestan, along with other living creatures spell out the life and proclaim the right to live. Arshia hydrotherapy complex in Abgarm e Kharaghan, mineral water springs in Soltan Bolagh, Abtorsh, Ablarzan, Keshabad, Asbmard, Haft Cheslimeh e Zavflrak, Haft Cheshmeh e Avaj, Kasan Baghin, Abgaim e Yaleh Gonbad etc. cleanse the souls of pain and offer health to the bodies. As the beautiful perspectives of Shahrood valley, Feshkaldareh in Abyek, Souga valley in Roudbar e Sharestan, Darband of Kolaj Throm, Koochcnan valley in Alamout etc. along with the aged gardens, the rice—fields of Shنhrood banks, rich vineyards in Takestan, and the plain, twisted hazelnut trees in Roudbar e Shahrestan, the aged cypresses and planes around which a sacred halo is observable, and the virgin slopes of Kharaghan and Rنmand, depict the sincerity of the nature, hearts are invited to see The most unspotted and pure natural landscapes of the place. Caves of the Province Nowadays one of the most important tourist attractions is the nice and charming phenomenon of the caves which is also known as wonder land, lost paradise, or the mysterious world. Those who step into caves to see the absolute wonder and beauty perceive an impressive sense of the natural attraction which has never been experienced before during the routine environment of life. In the middle of mountains of Alborz, Kharaghfln, and Ramand in Qazvin province, there are glorious caves which form a noticeable part of Iran’s precious natural heritage. The caves of Vali, Sefidab,Icy of Angol,Abbas Abad,Qaleh Kord, Soltlln Bolagh, Agh Baba, Shahr Bنz, Kol, Qareh Qortan, Alabar Bflghlari, Shakin, Qezel Qaleh, Chehel Dokhtar, Altin Kash, Borouj, Mahin, Malekshah, Oskoul, Ghar Palang, etc. are among the caves of high importance in the province. Bash gol Wild Life Reserve Bashgol zone with an area of 27000 hectares is so widely spread out in the west of Takestan in which many different species of animals under the management of ecological protection live and breed. This region with its hills and high grounds is a safe shelter for ram, ewe, and local or migratory gazelles which emigrate from adjoining provinces. Ancient and llistorical Monuments The abundance and spread of the historical monuments have changed Qazvin province into a big and valuable museum. Some of these monuments are briefly introduced below. Jame e Atigh Mosque This mosque is one of the oldest and nonpareil mosques in Iran in which orders of architecture along with the art of different periods are greatly noticeable. Made in 807A.D. by Haroonal Rashid, the Aaron arch or the old celia is the oldest part of the mosque It is said that the foundation of the mosque is laid on a fire-temple. From four directions of a 4000m2 yard there are four elevated verandas which a long portico is built on both sides of them. Made by Amir Khomllrtash in the years between 1106-1115 A.D. the two-layered brick dome and the south nave contain five valuable plaster-work inscriptions in Sols, Nastلligh and Kufic calligraphy which are masterpieces of Iranian Art. In spite of the ruinous Mogul invasion and its devastating effects, this mosque is still in all its glory. Although the north veranda and fine tiled minarets of the mosque were made in Shah Tahmasb times, the south veranda was linked up with the entrance of Khomنrtllsh celia and finally the west veranda was founded by Safavid Shah Soleiman. In addition to these distinguished features, there are also other eight large naves on four sides of the yard, and one underground nave in the southwest of the mosque which its building was completed by Sadol Saltaneli in Qajar period. There are so many old mosques throughout the city of Qazvin (believers’ city). Some of these mosques are indicated below: Heidarieh Mosque, Masjed Alnabi ( Soltani Mosque ),Sanjideh Mosque, Panjeh Ali Mosqu,Sookhteh Chenar mosque, tomb of Davoud Ibn Soleiman Ghazi (one of the comrades of Imam Reza AS), Agha Mir Abdol Samad Mosque, Aghن Masoom Mosque, Shahid Mosque(where Shahid Sales was stabbed in the back in mihrab of its underground nave), Khنjeh ShohadaMosque, Sabz Mosque, Moharnmadieh Mosque, Allah Mosque, Rah Chaman Mosque, AhmadiehMosque, and Maghbareh Mosque which are in Qazvin, and Masjed e Jame in Tنrom. Sardar School- Mosque The most beautiful school in Qazvin has been made in Qajar period by two brothers who were in command of the military and showed their merit and bravery during Iran and Russia wars. Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar by making this complex in 1815 AD. have created an architectural and artistic masterpiece in Qajar period. Some of the historical schools are mentioned as below: Eltefatieh School, Sheikhol Islam School, Peighambarieh, Molla Verdikhani School,Ebrahimieh School, Salehieh School Peighanibarieh Adjacent to a school-mosque belonging to the Safavid period and in the western part of the cultural garden of Chehel Sotun, there is a tomb that the religious clergies and the common consider it as the grave of four of the Jewish prophets: Sohuli, Salam, Alghia, and Saloum called Chahar Anbia. It is said that they are the prophets who brought the tidings of Christ’s birth from Jerusalem to the East.In addition to the foregoing prophets, the grave of Imamzadeh Saleh Ibn Hassan is also thought of being in this place. Imamzadeh llossein The sacred mausoleum of Shahzadeh Hossein, the immediate son of Imam Reza (AS)- (death 8l6A.D.) has always been a religious place for pilgrims since the third century on, so that many of the scientists, eloquent speakers and great men of the city are buried there. The narration of Abdol Jalil Qazvini in the 13th century AD. shows the respect of the people of this region for this tomb. It says “People of Qazvin both Sunnites and Shiites go on a pilgrinnge in favor of Aboo Abdollah Al Hossein Ibn Reza.” The glorious building of the mausoleum was totally damaged in Mogul invasion and conflicts of the Safavid era. After that the place was renovated again and except the precious wooden shrine- that is a masterpiece of inlaid works and reticular Gerehchini left from 1403 AD. -the rest of the building is left from Safavid period (Shah Tahmasb and Shah Safi) and Qajar period (Naseroldin Shah). The special pattern of the portal of the main veranda and high quality of the ornaments of the internal spaces-specially the ceiling- Rasmibandi decoration of the internal space of the dome-house and its plaster works along with the mirror works, the elevation of the upper shell of the dome in tile-work decorations to catch the sight and to manifest itself better at the distance, the preciousness of the doors and shrine are all the significant characteristics of the mausoleum of Shahzadeh Hossein. Cheliel Sotun Museum-Palace Chehel Sotun is one of the most important monuments of Safavid era which is located at the center of a large garden. It is the only edifice left from the royal palaces of Shah Tahmasb times, This octagonal monument which with an area about 500m2 is built on the basis of a Turk architect’s plan in two storyes, contains some small chambers and halls in each storey. The wall paintings or murals of the first floor are a typical work of Qazvin Painting School which is famous worldwide, The large hall of the upstairs with five-span sash windows in four directions, connects with the ambulatory which is topped with a highly counter decorated roof The monument is now used as a museum. It is said that the edifice of Hasht Behesht (eight heavens) in Isfahan is made in imitation of Chehl Sotun. Hamdollah Mostowfi’s Tomb The mausoleum of Hamfdollah Mostowfi —the famous historian and writer in the 128 1-I 349A.D. and author of The Selected Histcny (Tari/ch Gozideh,), Nozhatol Qoloub and Zafar Nameh, belongs to the Ilkhanid period. The tomb located in Qazvin’s Malak Abad quarter is in a cellar on which a square monument that is converted into an octagon before the dome, is constituted. This octagon is surrounded by vaulted paintings as well. The turquoise conic dome and its inscription in Sols calligraphy in which Mostowfi’s family tree and his works are introduced are the features that distinguish the tomb from other historical monuments of the city. Imnm Ahmad Ghazali’s Tomb The famous Iranian Gnostic, Imam Ahmad Ghazali after residing in Qazvin for many years died in 1126 A.D.. his tomb up to the end of the 16th century A.D. became the pilgrimage place for the mystical sects. Following Shah Tahmasb’ s stubborn policies against philosophers and mystics and destroying Ghazali’s tomb, a group of his disciples took the remains of his body to the present place and constructed a new mausoleum for him. The monument was destroyed again in Mohammad Shah’s period but following a lot of ups and downs it is presently known as Alimadieh mosque which has been constmcted by Majdol Islam Qazvini in 1910 A.D. Beside Ghazali’s tomb there is another tomb belonging to Soltan Seyed Mohammad Vali which dates back to l625A.D. Kharaghan Twin Towers Beside the village Hessar - 30km to Abgarm city, tombs of two of the greats in Saljukid era (Aboo Saeed Bijar son of Sad and Aboo Mansoor Iltai son of Takin) lie which manifest themselves in two glorious brick towers at intervals of 29m away from each other. Built on a monolith, the eastern tower, which with. a diameter of I Sm is approximately 11 m high, has got an octagonal design along with circular columns around. The walls of the tower which are 60cm in thickness have formed a decorative cover with thickness of 21cm on the plain lower bricks. Two spiral staircases arranged on the circular columns at the corners, are connected with an ambulatory between two layers of the dome. The dome-stem contains a wide tape of decorative brick designs in different geometrical patterns on all sides under which a narrow inscription in Kufic calligraphy containing some verses of the 59th Surah of the Holy Koran, manifests itself. On all eight sides of the octagon, there are two circular and decorative small columns stuck to the large circular columns which are continued up to the half of each side on which a peak arch is finally elevated. The internal decorative paneling of the wall-arcades of the octagon separately contains special patterns which are all different from each other. The entrance of the portal has got two decorative inscriptions as well. Also the inside of the mausoleum is octagonal in which a wall-arcade along with a peak arch is elevated in the middle of each side. All around the remains of the mausoleum, a platform which is 30cm high can be apparently seen. There are some precious paintings of objects like peacock, octahedral and hexahedral stars, rosettes, bird and pomegranate tree in a stylized method left from Saljukid period on walls, practices and under the internal dome which are matchless in the kind. This tower made in 1067 A.D. is the first monument in Islamic Architecture which includes a non-conic two-layered dome. Although the construction, design and plan of the west tower which is made in 1093 A.D. are the same as the older one’s, the latter tower contains a spiral staircase and regarding the dimensions of the former one, it seems 55cm higher and a bit elongated. The arrangement and combination of different plans in these monuments-about 30 designs- like the art used in laying the appropriate foundation of the monument are to be counted as the apex of the brick-work art. These towers were severely damaged by the devastating earthquake that struck Avaj on March 2003. Cheliel Sotun Museum-Palace Chehel Sotun is one of the most important monuments of Safavid era which is located at the center of a large garden. It is the only edifice left from the royal palaces of Shah Tahmasb times, This octagonal monument which with an area about 500m2 is built on the basis of a Turk architect’s plan in two storyes, contains some small chambers and halls in each storey. The wall paintings or murals of the first floor are a typical work of Qazvin Painting School which is famous worldwide, The large hall of the upstairs with five-span sash windows in four directions, connects with the ambulatory which is topped with a highly counter decorated roof The monument is now used as a museum. It is said that the edifice of Hasht Behesht (eight heavens) in Isfahan is made in imitation of Chehl Sotun. llosseinieh Aminiha This place is a part of an extensive and interconnected building which was made in two storeys in 1858 AD. by the late Mohammad I{eza Amini. Hosseinieh contains two north and south yards along with three halls, which are in a parallel direction with each other, laid east and west so that five movable lattice- doors divide them. The middle hall which is larger than two other ones is lSm long and Sm wide. The length and width of other halls are lOin and Sm respectively. The beautiful and appropriate combination of the plaster molding, wood paintings, and mirror works on ceiling, niches, recesses and partitions are all extraordinary and somehow unprecedented. Two north-south rooms are also in the east and west of the halls which are not noticeably decorated. The cellar, kitchen, warehouse, and serveries (butler’s pantry) are located in the upstairs of the monument. Water Reservoirs Qazvin must be somehow considered as the city of water reservoirs. Constructing and endowing more than one thousand expensive and special buildings for pious purposes to storewater in the city that is widely known for shortage of’ water-more than one thousand house reservoirs- depict the high ambition of beneficent people of Qazvin. At the time of refilling these reservoirs that usually takes place in the middle of winter, besides the hygienic conditions that are highly controlled, the users are provided with a great deal of ice in summer. Mas]ed Jame Water Reservoir, Molla Verdikhani Water Reservoir, Sardar Water Reservoir (the great one), Sardar Water Reservoir (the small one), Bazaar Water Reservoir, Agha Water Reservoir, Hadj Kazem Water Reservoir ,Ivlakim Reservoir, Bazaars and Commercial Warehouses (sarays) The excellent geographical situation of Qazvin which is a link between north to south points and east to west points of the country, has created prosperity and development in trade and commerce for the city. Accordingly this position requires the city to be provided with special facilities and amenities. Thus we see that along with the different commercial centers, many other cultural and religious foci like mosques and schools as well as public service centers such as water reservoirs and baths emerge that all together constitute a harmonious complex. Assigning each part of bazaar to a certain trade center that is still in existence as a tourist attraction, and Naser Khosrow’s admiration of prosperity and development of Qazvin and also Chardin’s description of Qazvin’s bazaar in Safavid times demonstrate the abundance of trade centers and commercial buildings in the city. Although most parts of these centers (bazaars) have been destroyed without anything left, there are somne strong and beautiful complexes throughout the province that remind us of the long past prosperous days. Sadol Saltaneh Complex, Qeisarieh, Saray e Vazir, Saray e Razavi (Shah), Saray e Had] Reza, Sadieh BazaarOolshan, Zarabkhaneh, Panbeh, Oolshan e Molavi, South Sadol Saltaneh,Open Timcheh, Roofed Timcheh, Dallan Daraz Caravanserai, Saray e Had] Naghd Ali, Had] Mohammad etc. On-way Caravanserais Special geographical features, being capital of Iran for a century, and permanent economic prosperity etc, are some important reasons which have made so many caravans travel to Qazvin from all over the country. Accordingly and in order to meet the necessities of travelers, some transport centers of public services and amenities were made on the paths towards the city. Some of these centers are discussed below: Shah Abbasi Caravanserai of Ava] ,Shah Abbasi Caravanserai of Mohammad Abad ,Hajib Shah Abbasi Caravanserai (Keikhosro), Arasan] Caravanserai in the road of l3ooin Zahra, Kharzan Caravanserai, Qaqazan Caravanserai on the way of Qazvin-Rasht, and Pich Bon Caravanserai on the way of Qazvin-Alamout-Takestan are other transport caravanserais to be mentioned. The Land of Castles In addition to the strategic position of Qazvin region, many other natural barriers such as high mountains, deep valleys, roaring rivers, vast plains etc, are factors which made this land equip itself with defensive fortifications and strong castles. According to historians the fortresses of this land have always been famous for their invincibility and resistance, and this fame became worldwide after the settlement of I-Iassan Sabbah and his successors. Now from among more than fifty castles which have been destroyed by Holakoo’s ruinous invasion, the ruins and remains of towers, rooms, vestibules, and walls which manifest the great ambition of the castle-dwellers are observable. Desire to visiting the mysterious and glorious castles of Hassan in Oazerkhan, Lambesar in Razmian, Bidellan in Shirkouh, Navizar Shah in Garmarood, Shemiran, Ferdows, Omara, Oghlan Qez Qaleh in Tarom, Gabr Qaleh in Ava], Ilan, Sefid Dar, Farandaj, Shams Kelayeh, Qestin Lar, Sepoohin,Vartavan, l3azargah, Joladeh, Tiandasht, Qaladoosh, Rashkin, etc, attract many tourists from inside and outside of the country to this region. Meeting with the land of castles leads us to the deepest points of the history and reflects the resistance and stability of faith against weapons also confrontation with the deep points of the history of this land reminds us of the memories of the influential wars of Hassan’ s companions against the long siege of Saljukians. Although there is left a bit little of the glory and legendary power of these places, the slight remaining parts connect us with the vacillating history of our country and uncover our honorable past to us. Ceremonies and Traditions The brilliant cultural background, gay and satirical spirit of the people of Qazvin, immigrant attractions of the region, and the variety of ethnics groups and tribes like Lors, Kurds, Tats, Azeris etc, all over the city have created lovely, deep and excellent kinds of permanent and durable social traditions in this part of our country which are a thorough picture of Iranian manner in mourning and celebrations. Some of these ceremonies are briefly discussed below. Chaharshanbeh Souri, Noroozi Khani and Kouseh Oalin, Samanoo Pazan(Cooking Samanoo), Grape Festival, Pomegranate Festival, Pan]ah Bedar, Wheat Festival ,Hazehnut Festival, Wife finding formalities, its preliminary and subsequent operations such as Baleh Boroon, Aghd Konan, Hana Bandan, Jahaz Baran, Astaneh Boosan, Aroosi (wedding) Sarbandan, .lomeh e Aval (the first Friday after marriage) etc, still call the attention of people. These ceremonies on the basis of family, tribal relationships or financial capabilities are differently held. Families still confine themselves to do these traditions. Souvenirs of Qazvin The travelers and tourists, who visit the beautiful and ancient province of Qazvin, take souvenirs of artifacts with themselves to immortalize their reminiscences. Handicrafts,Embroidery (needle work) ,Braid Works,Silk Works,Fihigree Works, Mirror Works, Engraving and Chasing, Short-Napped Coarse Carpet and Loose-Carpet & Bed-Cloth Wrapper, Carpet, Pottery,Woodwork. Confectionary Two different kinds of Baghlava(lozenge and twisty), different kinds of pastry( Nan Berengi, Saffron Nan Berengi, Cocoa Nan Berengi, Nan Nokhodi, Nan Ghandi, Nan Chaii, Nan Charkhi, Almond Nan, Walnut Nan, Coconut Nan), different kinds of cookies (Atabaki, Saffron, pistachio, Hadj Karimi, Valiahdi, Padarazi, Almond, Labpich) and other kinds of sweets like Beheshti, Kermanshahi, Qottab, Pan] erehee etc. Garden Products Almond, pistachio, hazelnut, grape, currant, Sanagan pomegranate, apple, apricot, cherry, sour cherry, dogberry, Saffron, barberry, olive, cowslips are among the souvenirs of Qazvin. Thank you. Safa (contributed by Safa Hashemian , Rock Climber Of Iran.)

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With Replies About QAZVIN safaclimber 1 Mar 26 2009, 9:47 AM