Surrounded by Alborz mountains, Qazvin is one of the most historical cities of Iran and once was the capital of Iran from1555-1598 during Safavid Period. Also being located on the Silk road Qazvin was a crossing point for merchants from different countries and merchants. Qazvin is also home to many great Iranian artists such as Mir Emad Qazvini (1554-1615) and in addition to all this, is also a city of delicious dishes and sweets.
As one of the most historical cities of Iran Qazvin's ancient history dates back to the Sassanid period (224–651AD) though there are many prehistorical sites around the city such as Qaleh Kurd cave where the earliest remains of prehistoric humans - a Neanderthal tooth- have been discovered by archaeologists. The name of the city is believed to be derived from the name of an ancient tribe called Caspians who used to be inhabited in the west of the Caspian Sea. Like many other parts of Iran, Qazvin flourished during the Seljuk Empire, but for sure its golden period was later during the second Safavid king, Tahmasb I (r. 1524–76), when the capital of Iran was relocated to Qazvin from Tabriz in 1548.
Qazvin is located 150 km northwest of Tehran with an elevation of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft) above sea level. Qazvin has a cold but dry climate due to its location south of the rugged Alborz mountain range.
There are plenty of monuments to visit in Qazvin including several museums, several churches, bazaars and other historical and religious monuments that Here we introduce some highlights of Qazvin:
This monument is a Safavid palace located in the old town of Qazvin which was constructed by the order of Shah Tahmasb, the Safavid king when he relocated the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin because of the threat of Ottoman Turks. The palace with its glamorous wooden columns and windows is located in the middle of a lovely garden. the Palace was adorned with enchanting Safavid-style miniature paintings.
The Jame mosque of Qazvin was built originally during the 9th century on the ruins of an ancient fire temple. The main sanctuary of the mosques is toped with a double-shelled dome which was built during Seljuk Period and later was adorned by beautiful tile work during the late Safavid period when the mosque was restored and expanded.
This remarkable monument is the mausoleum of Shazdeh Hussein one of the numerous sons of the eighth Shiite Imam, Imam Reza, located in the city center of Qazvin. The shrine was first built in the 13th century and later was expanded during the reign of Safavid kings. The shrine was reconstructed again in the 19th century by the order of the Qajar King of Iran king Naser-e-Din Shah and it was decorated with marvelous mirror decoration.
During the reign of king Naser-e-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty, a Russian company was commissioned to construct a road connecting Tehran to the Anzali Port of Caspian sea through Qazvin. During the road construction project, Russian engineers built a small church in Qazvin, which is noticeable by its red bricks and turquoise dome.
Qazvin has been well-known for its calligraphy and its miniature since olden times. Like many other regions of Iran fantastic rugs are woven in Qazvin. In terms of food, the most famous dish of Qazvin is Gheimeh Nesar which is Made of rice, lamb, onions, saffron, pistachios, and almonds, if you are visiting Qazvin make sure not to forget to try the famous sweet of the town which is Baklava.