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  Qazvin

Main Townships: Qazvin, Takestan. Main Attractions: Alamoot Castle, Alnabi Mosque, Avan Lake, Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Hossein, Kharaqan Towers, etc.


Qazvin

Townships, Qazvin

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.

Old Mosques, Qazvin

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.

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.

with plaster and mirror, in addition to paintings on wood. 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.

Heidarieh Mosque, Qazvin

The same is located in the Panbeh Rees locality of Qazvin, and in the Bollaqe Gorge. Hamdollah Mostowfi and Imam Rafaie have named the same structure as Jame' Asshab. Alike the Kabir Jame' Mosque the above mentioned is adorned with intricate plasterwork. These works of art most probably are the artistic efforts of the same craftsmen. This mosque held its own during the Safavid era but later declined.

In the Qajar period, the porch opposite the nocturnal area and its surrounding chambers were a further addition. These were made of brick with gypsum adjoining them. The altar of the mosque is one of the magnificent ones of the Saljuqi era. Within the altar repetitions of sacred verses in gypsum on a blue background can be noted. The Kufic inscriptions also worked with gypsum are accounted as masterpieces in caligraphy. Around the altar are six epigraphs in the Naskh and Kufic scripts. Regarding other adornments in the structure, we can refer to eight false arches in the corners of the same structure.

Kabir Jame' Mosque, Qazvin

The said mosque is a remnant of the Saljuqi and Safavid periods and is located in the Shohada avenue of Qazvin. The mosque has a large rectangular courtyard with a huge pool in the center. The said vicinity of the mosque is more than 4,000 sq.m. On the four sides of the structure are elevated porches. Flanking the northern porch are two beautiful minarets. On each side of the porches are two lengthy porticos.

The structures are made of brick, and the most ancient segment of the mosque is a small domed structure leading to the corridor of the eastern entrance of the mosque. The said structure is constructed of large sun-baked bricks and clay. This is known as the Harooni arch or the ancient and short structure. The same was constructed in the year 192 AH, under the orders of Haroon-Ol Rashid. The other section of the mosque's structure from the historical aspect is its double cover brick dome, relevant to the Saljuqi era, and its nocturnal areas.

This is considered a masterpiece from the architectural point of view in the 6th century AH.(between the years 500-509 AH.), known as the Khomar Tashi area where there are five epigraphs. This personality, i.e., Amir Khomar Tash was responsible for the addition of two other nocturnal areas to the structure, today these are reputedly known as the fire place.

The porch and elevated platform in front of the domed Saljuqi nocturnal area was built in the year 1069 AH. in the Safavid period. In the corridor of this porch, there are two gigantic columns on which marble tablets are affixed. There is a strong possibility that the western and northern porches including its two minarets are related to the Safavid era. The northern porch and its minarets have repeatedly undergone repairs.

Panjeh Ali Mosque, Qazvin

The same is a relic of the Safavid era and is located in the Peyqambarieh avenue of Qazvin. Within the mosque is a covered area with an arched ceiling constructed of brick. The cornices on the surrounding walls and ten columns in the center are of marble. The cornices in the higher sections are to the width of half a meter, these have been worked with tiles. In the center of the second arch is an altar adorned with sacred names. The altar has been adorned further with vaulted and plasterwork revealing a colored effect.

There is a polished marble slab affixed to the center of the altar. This slab displays the impression of an immense palm, (of the hard) known as Panjeh Ali (AS). The other sections of the mosque are white washed.

Salehiyeh School and Mosque, Qazvin

The same is located in the Mowlavi Avenue of Qazvin. In the southern section of the structure are sash windows overlooking the courtyard of the school. The structure of the mosque is of brick and its ceiling is covered by brick arches, painted white. The school is a two storeyed structure with chambers for the utilization of the novices.

On the upper section of the entrance are adornments of tile work. Poetical verses in the beautiful Nasta'liq script, lemon in color on an azure background come to sight on the entrance. The said mosque and schools are relics of the first half of the13th century AH.

Sanjideh Mosque, Qazvin

This ancient and small mosque is located on the Rey-Qazvin locality. The ceiling of the same is conical and extremely elevated. Within the mosque is of tile worked epigraph denoting hymn or prayers pertaining to Hazrat Ali (AS). In the center of the courtyard is a diamond shaped pool.

Sardar School and Mosque, Qazvin

The above mentioned structure is located in Tabriz Avenue, and is a remnant of the Qajar era, dating back to the year 1231 AH. This cubical shaped structure is of two storeys. The cornices of which are made of stone, though the structure itself has been constructed of brick. Thence adorned with colored tiles. Epigraphs in the Nasa'liq script display the poetical verses of the late Mohtasham-e-Kashani. These inscriptions surround the courtyard of the school.

The chambers are located in the eastern and western sectors of the school. The upper floor is similar to the floor beneath. The only difference being that there are four narrow chambers which form the lateral or side rooms. To the south of the school courtyard is a vast terrace which connects to a mosque, with a ceiling resting on three brick arches. The conical dome is on the centeral arch.

The entrance of the structure is to the center of the northern front. This leads to a large vestibule which from the two sides adjoins the nocturnal area. The entrance of the school is adorned with colored tile work, in addition to poetical verses in the Nasta'liq script that have been carved in a spectacular manner on marble.

Sheikhol Islam (Masoudieh) School and Mosque, Qazvin

The same is situated in the Shohada Avenue of Qazvin. It was constructed under the orders of one of the Turkaman chieftains named as, Amir Aqasi. This structure was renovated in the year 1321 AH. and was converted into a mosque and school. The structure of the latter is made of brick. Its entrance door is to the western sector, besides which is another entrance leading to a small courtyard of the school.

The large entrance of the school displays an arched ceiling. Its courtyard is square in shape with chambers surrounding it. These are utilized as residential areas or tutorial vicinities by the novices of the clergy.

Other Old Mosques, Qazvin

Other ancient mosques in the province are the Bibi Amineh Khatoon Mosque, a relic of the Safavid era; the Zobaideh and Haleemeh Khatoon Mosque; the Sookhteh Chenar Mosque and the Mohammadieh Mosque, a relic of the 13th century AH.

Towers, Qazvin

Barajin Tower, Qazvin

This tower is located in a site 12 km. north of Qazvin, and has a wonderful panorama as well as a pleasant climate. The Barajin Tower is on an elevation. The foundation of the tower rests on an octagonal platform with eight semi circular pillars around it. The same has been constructed with rubble stones, slabs of stone, brick, gypsum and mortar. It is a relic of the 4th or 5th century AH.

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.

Sangi Tower, Qazvin

This tower is located in the rural district of Tarom, and is another example of historical towers of the province.