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 Markazi

Main Townships: Arak, Ashtian, Khomein, Mahalat, Saveh, Tafresh Main Attractions: Chahar Fasl (Four Season) Bath, Imam Khomeini House, Khorheh Solooki Temple, Saveh Jame' Mosque, Teimareh Epigraph, etc.


Markazi

Townships, Markazi

Arak

The township of Arak is to the southwest of the province. It is cold in winters and moderate in summers. Arak is the capital of the province and is 295 km. from Tehran. This city is one of the industrial centers of the country. The Tehran - Khuzestan railroad crosses this city. The city of Arak was established during the reign of Fathali Shah Qajar. At first this city was called "Qaleh Soltan Abad". In 1216 AH. its name was changed to Arak.

Since its establishment till date Arak faced several changes. Until the early 1270 AH., Arak was a military city and the base for generals. But from the time of Mirza Hassan Khan, the military status of the city reduced and gradually became a commercial and industrial city. Once the World War I broke out and the Qajar dynasty cracked down, Russian forces occupied Saveh, Soltan Abad, and the nearby regions. When the World War I and the political changes of the country ended, Soltan Abad also faced the changes of that time, and its physical appearance changed immensely. This process continued to the next decades. Presently, Arak is one of the important industrial cities of Iran.

Ashtian

The township of Ashtian is located to the northeast of Arak. It is one of the ancient regions of the province. The people of this region were Zoroastrian before Islam. Their most important fire-temple was the Verd fire-temple. Today, Ashtian is one of the developing regions in Markazi province. Ashtian is 270 km. from Tehran.

Delijan

The township of Delijan is to the south east of the province, and at an intersecting point. It is located en route the Esfahan - Tehran Road, and is 409 km. from Tehran. In the past Delijan was a very big city with four gates on four sides. It is said that it extended almost to Khorheh. Historical relics such as earthenware, ditches, and beautiful bricks confirm its greatness and antiquity. Due to its geographical position, Delijan has gradually developed and in 1980 was changed to a township. The famous caves of Chal Nakhjir and Kahak are near this township.

Khomein (Kamareh)

The town of Khomein is located to the south of the province, in a fertile plain. The climate of Khomein is a moderate mountainous inclining to a semi-desert one. Winters are cold and summers are moderate. This city lies at a distance of 323 km. from Tehran. The name of Khomein was primarily mentioned in a book named "The History of Prophets and Kings". Subterranean canals (qanats), sewers and its famous fire-temple can be named as some pre-Islamic relics. This town was called the center of Kamareh 200 years ago.

Presently, this town is famous because of the leader of the Islamic Revolution. This town is the birthplace of the leader of the Islamic Revolution. His father's house has become an important historical monument.

Mahalat

The township of Mahalat is located to the southeast of the province, and is among the plains in the mountains. It is surrounded by heights and has a mountainous climate. Mahalat is 362 km. from Tehran, and is on the skirts of the heights. The same is one of the ancient regions of settlement in the country. In the historical books Mahalat has been called Sayer Al Bolouk (other regions), because according to the maps of that time it was not one of the territories of Qom and Kashan. The exact date of nomination of Mahalat is not known but according to the regional informants it was named during Afghan (Azad Khan) invasion to Iran.

During the Safavid era, Mahalat had its major commercial interactions with Esfahan. In the Qajar era, Mahalat was the base of the Esmaili sect. In the meantime, the governor of Mahalat (Mirza Mohammad Khan) was appointed by Zel-al-Soltan (the shadow of God) coinciding with the time that Golpayegan, Khansar, Mahalat and Khomein together formed a province, the center of which was Golpayegan. In 1937, according to the new law of the divisions of the country, the region of Qom, that Mahalat was a part of which, was changed to a new township. In the new divisions the Khorheh Village and Nimvar city have an older history than that of Mahalat and have several historical relics.

Nimvar, is one of the important religious centers of ancient times. The Khorheh village is one of the most ancient villages. Its antiquity goes back to the Seleucidian era. Flower cultivation has been common in Mahalat since the past 50 years. Nowadays Mahalat is a very beautiful city.

Sarband (Shazand)

It is located to the southwest of the province, in a mountainous region. Its center is Shazand which is 330 km. from Tehran, and was called Sarband. This town was a village named "Edris Abad" in old times and since the railroad has crossed it, its name changed to Shazand. Presently, this town is a township of the central province and is developing and flourishing city.

Saveh

The township of Saveh is located to the east of the province. Its climate is moderate to warm. Saveh is the center of this township and is 140 km. from Tehran. Saveh is one of the archaeological cities and ancient regions, i.e., a remnant of the Sassanide period. In the Parthian era, Saveh was named "Savakineh" and was one of the most important points concerning roads. In the 7th century BC., it was one of the forts and bases in the Medes era. The arrival of Hazrat Ma'soomeh (AS) in Saveh was the first event that has been mentioned in the Islamic history of this city. The city and region of Saveh was always the winter quarters for Saljuqi and Deylami Monarches.

During the Saljuqi period Saveh reached the most flourishing period of its existence, and became the center for the chief of Saljuqi tribes, who were called "Atabak". During the disastrous attack of Mongols in the 7th century AH., Saveh was inflicted with great damages. But in the Ilkhanan era, these were rebuilt. In Teimoorid and the Qoyonloo era, Saveh was inflicted with great damages because of the looting and rivalry among princes. In the Safavid era Saveh became the settlements for the tribes related to Safavids such as Qezelbashs and Shahsavans, and the city started flourishing. In the Zandieh era, there was an attempt to revive the city commercially, but when Tehran became capital, Saveh lost its importance. In the mid Qajar dynasty era, the habitants of Saveh started to immigrate to Tehran. Presently, Saveh is one of cities of Markazi province.

Tafresh

Tafresh is located in an arduous mountainous region. Its climate is mountainous and moderate. In the past Tafresh was called "Tabress" or "Gabresh", and later on it became Tafresh. It is 282 km. from Tehran. This township is an ancient one. Farahan is one of its districts. The Azargoshasb Fire Temple was located in the Farahan Village. Muster Hillock was also reputedly known as one of the 13 regions of "Qubad" the Sassanid. Furthermore, Farahan is the birthplace of many famous and historic Iranian poets and scholars.

Old Public Baths, Markazi

Chahar Fasl (Four Seasons) Bath, Arak

The said bath dates back to the Qajar period, and had two separate sections for ladies and gents. The tile-work of the clock room and spinal designed columns of this area, including the layout of the bath are interesting features. The said structure was renovated into a museum after undergoing necessary repairs.

Other Baths and Water Reservoirs, Markazi

Other ancient baths and water reservoirs of the province that are generally located in Saveh are:

The Kalb Ali Khan bath, related to the Zandieh era; the Chahar Sooq water reservoir; the Haj Mirza Hassan Ameli water reservoir and the Jame' mosque water reservoir related to the Safavid period.

Old Mosques, Markazi

Khomein Jame' Mosque, Khomein

The antiquity of the above mentioned mosque is about one century and is located in a low-lying area alongside the bazaar. The nocturnal area has 28 columns with a barrel shaped ceiling. This structure has certain architectural characteristics which have been preserved to date. The nocturnal area is 400 square meters in area which has been recently renovated in a beautiful manner, and is being utilized. In the renovation process of painting, the original and archaic effects of the nocturnal area have been vanished, and have lost their former splendor.

Mahalat Jame' Mosque, Mahalat

The said mosque is in the old network of the city, and is also known as the Friday Mosque. It dates back to the Ottoman period. The mosque has a porch and courtyard surrounded by chambers in two storeys which are beautifully adorned. The nocturnal area is adorned with beautiful columns and its ceiling is covered by wood engraved with sacred verses.

Before the mosque was renovated, religious ceremonies were used to be held here. In the year 1990, a tombstone of a woman with an Islamic name was discovered in this vicinity and experts determine its date to 1200 years ago.

Maidan ( Qermez) Mosque, Saveh

This mosque which is also known as the Red Mosque, is located to the north of the old square of Saveh. It has been named as such because of its adornments and epigraphs. This structure is a remnant of the Saljuqi period, and comprises of a simple brick dome, a minaret, three porticos and a few porches. It has a beautiful and valuable altar adorned with plasterwork and vaulted inscriptions. This altar has three inscriptions in the 'Kufic' script and 'Tholth' script. One of the 'Kufic' inscriptions, is white and the other is maroon in color. Its brick minarets date back to the 5th century AH. and the date 453 can be observed here.

Nimvar Jame' Mosque, Mahalat

The same is one of the archaic mosques of the province, but its date of origin is not specifically known. Due to repeated repairs, it has lost its original architectural effects. But it still retains its plaster work engravings which are in the Arabic script on one of its internal walls.

Saveh Jame' Mosque, Saveh

The Jame' Mosque of Saveh is one of the valuable relics of the Saljuqi period. This was constructed in the 6th century AH., coinciding with the establishment of the city itself. This structure is a treasure in the aspect of art, its tile and plasterwork are spectacular. This majestic mosque comprises of a courtyard, porch, minarets, a few nocturnal areas, dome and two archaic altars with inscription in Kufic script. Two altars dating to the Safavid era are adorned with inscriptions in 'Tholth' script. There are also other inscriptions, inscribed with sacred verses, in 'Kufic' and 'Tholth' script. There is an elevated porch between two nocturnal areas in the western front, that in its either sides there are chambers.

The dome of the Jame' mosque is 14 m. in diamiter and 16 m. high. Internally the dome has been adorned with tiles. The minaret is to an elevation of 14 m. This structure is on national record.

Other Old Mosques, Markazi

Sepahdari Mosque in Arak and Tafresh Jame' Mosque in Tafresh.