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  Zanjan

Main Townships: Abhar, Zanjan, etc. Main Attractions: Dash Kasan Caves, Soltanieh Dome, anjan Anthropology Museum, etc.


Zanjan

Townships, Zanjan

Abhar

Abhar or 'Abhar Chay' as is colloquially known is one of the most ancient regions of Iran. Existing evidences reveal that this area thrived and flourished in the 2nd millennium BC., the Medes were responsible for unifying various tribes then existing. It was during the Ilkhanan era that this region also saw progress in the way of communications due to the fact that Soltaniyeh was selected as the capital during the said reign. Communication-wise this importance can be said to exist even today.

The name of this city is derived from the Pahlavi language, a word pronounced as 'Oher'- meaning a place for 'blocking waters'. The original location of this city is known as 'Tappeh Qaleh' and stands on the right bank of the Abhar River. The said area is one of the ancient places of human settlement in Zanjan province, from the very beginning of the 4th millennium BC. The famous Abhar river flows across this region which enjoys a mountainous climate with cold snowy winters and moderate summers.

Khoda Bandeh

This township is located in the south-eastern part of Zanjan, experiences a mountainous climate with cold, snowy winters and moderate summers. One of the earliest human settlements dating back to the 4th and early 5th millennium BC. can be recorded here. Tribes such as Khoda Bandehloo and Afshar mingled with the natives of the area, bringing for the renounced Zanjan race. This township includes two cities named as Shoravard and Sajas, to make special mention of a great personality such as Shahabedin Sohravardi who grew up here.

Khoram Dareh

Khoram Dareh is located east of the Zanjan province, in the neighborhood of Qazvin. It experiences a moderate, mountainous climate with cold, snowy winters and moderate summers. Local air currents such as Sardmeh and the warm air current known as Shareh Taake have a share in influencing climate conditions here. Such that these air currents play an important role in agriculture too. The center of this township is the city of Khoram Dareh located between Tehran and Zanjan.

Mah Neshan

This town is located to the north west of Zanjan province. To its west it has common borders with the province of West Azarbayjan, to the north it is in the neighborhood of East Azarbayjan and to the south stands the province of Kurdestan. Part of this area is mountainous being in the skirts of the Zagross Mountain Ranges, and another part of which is located along the banks of the Qezel Ozan River.

Climate wise this area experiences cold and mountainous weather, with cold, snowy winters specially in the heights and moderate summers. The center of this township is the city of Mah Neshan.

Tarom

This township is situated in the north east of the province and is the neighborhood of Gilan province. Tarom is a vast, level and somewhat deep valley, situated in the lower basin of the Qezel Ozan River, ending in Manjeel basin of 'Sefid Rood' Lake Dam. This valley is situated between the two mountain ranges of Tarom in northern Zanjan and the slopes of the south eastern mountain ranges of Talesh. In spite of its natural beauty, Tarom is unfortunately an earthquake prone area, and the earthquake in the month of Khordad 1990. proved devastating.

Due to the environment, that is mountain ranges and high summits this region is devoid of rain bearing winds; in the lower regions and along the banks of the Qezel Ozan River, dry and semi-arid conditions prevail, but in the higher regions a moderate and mountainous type of climate exists.

Zanjan

The township of Zanjan is composed of two large valleys known as 'Zanjan Rood' and 'Sefid Rood'. In between which the Qanavol and Angooran Mountains lie. Zanjan has moderate summers and cold winters. The distance between Zanjan and Tehran is 328 km. Zanjan was founded during the reign of Ardeshir Babakan and was then called Shahin or Shahan. With the passage of time, this name changed to Zangan and later came to be called Zanjan. In the book named "Hoddodol Aalam" or "limits of the world", (372 AH.), Zanjan has been described as a thriving, flourishing city with strong ramparts. In the 6th century AH. the Ilkhanans gained power in this territory and the city of Soltanieh was erected and thence known to be the capital of Oljaito.

After the decline of the Ilkhanans, Amir Teimoor attacked Iran and reduced this city to Shambles in the year 786 AH. During the reign of Tahmasb Shah Safavid I in the year 930-984 AH. Soltanieh witnessed further decline. But during the reign of Fathali Shah (the Qajar King) built a summer palace in this city. Today, because of its strategic position both politically and commercially, this city has attracted many immigrants and hereby the increase of population has caused development and increase of city limits.

Tombs, Zanjan

Molla Hassan Kashi Mausoleum, Abhar

This mausoleum is 2.5 km south of Soltanieh city. The facade of this structure is octagonal, but internally it is square in shape. It has porticos on four sides on the ground floor, leading to elaborate halls connected to each other. Smaller porticos, are connected to the larger ones on the ground floor by stair cases. The dome is supported by nucleus axis in the center. Internally this mausoleum has been artistically finished in the way of arched or vaulted plaster, (relating to the Qajar era during the reign of Fathali Shah).

On the two sides of the entrance, are quarters for sentries and door keepers. The walls of the chambers have been embossed with such sacred words and phrases such as Allah, Mohammad, Ali, in the Kific script and on the fringes are the words 'La Ellaha Elallah'.

Peer Ahmad Zahrnoush Mausoleum, Abhar

This mausoleum stands at the end of the 17th Shahrivar Avenue of Abhar. This structure houses remnants from the Ilkhanan Dynasty (6th century). It is the mausoleum of 'Mowlana Qotbeddin Ahmad Abhar (500-575 AH.) reputedly known as Peer Ahmad' and famous as Zahrnoush. He was one of the renowned mystics, it is narrated that the said mystic would drink poison as if he were having a refreshment and then would burst into verse.

Qeidar Nabi Mausoleum, Abhar

This mausoleum is that of Qeydar Ben Esmail Ben Ebrahim one of the prophets of the Bani Israili clan. The construction of this structure dates back to 719 AH. and the dome of which was built in the year 751 AH. and its plaster molding was carried out in the 11th century AH. The so to speak encasing around the grave or shrine is an artistic and delicate carving of wood such as geometrical designs, flowers and paisley design can be observed in the carvings.

There is also a special area for pilgrims around the shrine. In the courtyard of this mausoleum are chambers to be utilized by pilgrims who visit the shrine. On the sides of the southern entrance two flowers can be noted.

Soltanieh Dome Tomb, Abhar

The said lies south west of the Cohan Dej (Royal citadel). It was constructed during the reign of Soltan Mohammad Khoda Bandeh (Oljaito) in the years 704-712 AH. This structure has 8 elevated porticos and about 50 chambers, including an area which is also similar to a chamber. The dome of this construction weighs 200 tons and is situated on pillars, bearing an area of 50 sq.m. each if separated or cut across. This structure is made of a mixture of gypsum and to a lesser proportion limestone. Gonbad Soltanieh is erected in three floors which are defined as follows. The ground floor consists of the eight portions. The first floor comprises of the halls which run throughout this floor.

On the third floor is the foundation column of the dome and the octagonal pillars supporting the minarets. The entrance to the cellar is from the southern portico. The layout or plan of this cellar is a complex one, consisting of 7 segregated sections, each part independent of the other. The principle factors regarding the artistic effects revealed in Gonbad Soltanieh are the inlayed brick-work, plaster moldings, engravings and tile works. All these together create harmony that is worth appreciation and artistic value. For example, the spectacular engraving here that stands 360 cm. high in which a verse from the Holy Qoran (Sureh Fath) has been inscribed in the beautiful script of 'tholth'.

On the upper or second floor of this structure engravings can also be observed, one of these inscribed with the (Ayeh 125 Sureh Mobarakeh Baqareh) from the Holy Qoran inscribed in the "Kufic' script.