Qazvin the second capital of the Safavid dynasty
Qazvin Province is located at the southern foothills of Alborz Mountain Range and is divided into mountains and flat plains. The climate is affected by high-pressure northern wings and moderate Mediterranean winds. The Mediterranean gales bring a lot of rainfall. As a result of these winds, the province enjoys cold weather at the north and southwest. moderate weather at the foothills, arid and semi-arid weather in the central plains and hot humid weather in Tarom and Shahrud Valley.
Qazvin the second capital of the Safavid dynasty
Qazvin Province is located at the southern foothills of Alborz Mountain Range and is divided into mountains and flat plains. The climate is affected by high-pressure northern wings and moderate Mediterranean winds. The Mediterranean gales bring a lot of rainfall. As a result of these winds, the province enjoys cold weather at the north and southwest. moderate weather at the foothills, arid and semi-arid weather in the central plains, and hot humid weather in Tarom and Shahrud Valley.
History Qazvin Province preserves over 2000 architectural and archaeological sites some of them dating back 9000 years ago. Archaeological findings in the Qazvin Plain reveal urban agricultural settlements as far back as 7000 BC.
According to historical records, the history of Qazwin began with the Media Period in the 7th millennium BC. In such early times, the south and southwest mountainous part of Garvin belonged to the Medians and they were often attacked by the Deylamians from Mazandaran The foundation of Qanin city was laid by Shapur the First of Sassanid Period as a stronghold to resist! the invasion of Deslamians and other tribes from the north. The military stronghold gradually became a famous urban center in Iran. After Arab invasion, Qarvin region developed and became known as the gate of paradise The Alamut Fortress, the seat of the Ismaili sect near Qazvin, converted the region to a cultural and political center for two centuries. The Ismaili sect possessed more than 50 strongholds which were in war with the Seljuk government and Alamut was the seat of Hassan Sabah, the founder of the sect, known as Assassins worldwide. In 1220 Sultan Mohammad Kharazmshah fled to Qazvin after being defeated by the Mongols. The Mongols who were chasing him attacked Qazvin and massacred the inhabitants.
Shah Tahmasb, the Safavid king, chose Qazvin as his capital city during the 16th century and contributed greatly to the glory of the city. He was the first ruler who built a city with regular streets, crossroads, orchards, city squares, palaces, seminaries and mosques, and Qazvin became a typical model town to be followed in other parts of the country, The city didn't lose its glory until the end of Afshar Period. Qazvin has been repeatedly devastated by earthquakes and many of its historical buildings have been destroyed. The name “Qazvin” or “Kasbin" is derived from Kassites, an ancient tribe that lived south of the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea itself, in fact, derives its name from Kassite. In ancient records, Qazvin is mentioned as 'Areas Arsasiya, but contemporary archaeologists have named it Caspian. Administrative Divisions The Province is divided into Abyek, Alborz, Avaj, Booyin-Zahra Oazvin, and Takectan counties.
Sardar Mofakham Building, Sepahdar Orchard. Municipality Building, Qajar Bath, Boloor Bath, Alamut, Lambasar and Shemiran forts, Atiq Mosque, Heydariye Seminary, lovely hot springs, many traditional orchards, Kantoor Church, Ali Qapoo portal, Chehel Sotoon Palace, Kushk Gate, and Tehran Gate are some of the important historical monuments in Qazvin city. 23 castles and fortifications from the Ismaili sect have survived in Qazvin Province. Nearly invincible Alamut Castle north of Qazvin is 2100 m above sea level. The Castle, made of a single bloc in 1090 by Hassan Sabah, the founder of Ismaili Sect (aka Assassins) who ruled the region from Khorasan to Syria (1090-1256), was burnt by Holaku Khan in 1256 and changed to prison. It is upon the mountain block with hundreds of stairs climbing it up, with some water reservoirs and rooms underground.
The site is now open to tourists and has a beautiful view of Alamut valley. Lambasar Castle north of Qazvin was another important Ismaili fortress constructed on the top of a mountain and separated by rivers and hills from other regions. Alamut valley and the road itself is a tourist attraction because of the winding road, beautiful landscapes, snowy and green mountains and rural villages, Ovan lake, and the colorful nature. Shemiran Castle built over Kuh Sangi Mountain was the seat of Ale-Jastan government and was accessible from the north only.
Atiq Congregation Mosque, thanks to lofty and glorious minarets and porticoes and exquisite friezes, is an outstanding Islamic monument. The oldest part of the Mosque is the Harooni Arch which was built in the year 807 and the Seljuk dome. Additional parts were built during the Qajar Period. But important sections of the mosque include the northern Iwan with two tiled minarets, western Iwan and southern Iwan, all of which were built during the Safavid Period.
Heydariye Seminary was built during the 12th century AD and it alters is a masterpiece of plasterwork, painting, Kufi scripts, and geometrical forms. Masjed al-Nabi (aka Soltani Mosque), covering an area of 14000 m2, is one of the most glorious mosques of antiquity, built during the Safavid Period.
Sanjideh is another mosque in Qazvin dating back to pre-Islamic Iran and formerly a fire temple. Peighambarieh School and Mosque were constructed in the year 1644 according to its inscription.
Four Jewish saints who predicted the coming of Jesus Christ are buried in Peighambarieh Shrine. Shahzadeh Hussein Shrine is a Safavid monument built in the year 1560. This is a domed octagonal building with minarets and mirrors and inlaid tile decorations and a big courtyard. Raffi Church and School were built during the First Pahlavi Period for the Armenians. It is a brick building which is supported by 40 pillars from inside Kantoor Church or Bell Tower was built by the Russians during the occupation of Iran in the Second World War. Due to its irregular plan, brick facing and enameled bricks, and modern decorations Kantoor Church are completely different compared to other buildings in Qazvin Province. The entrance from the west leads to the bell tower, 11 m high, and the church and the altar Aali Qapoo Portal which opened to the Safavid seat of government was built by Shah Tahmasb and modified during the rule of Shah Abbas the Great. The building consists of a lofty portico and three rows of false arches, two rooms at the sides of the portal. An octagonal vestibule leads to the portico with rooms on the two sides for guards. A staircase rising from the vestibule leads to the second floor where kettledrums were played. Chehel Sotoon Palace is a double story octagonal Safavid palace covering an area of 500 m2 along with a portico with brick columns and semi-circular arches. During its heyday, the palace was decorated with paintings, friezes, tiles, and mirrors. The three-layer paints are from Behzad, Reza Abbasi, and Qajar painters. The second floor of the palace was converted to a museum in 1965. Qazvin used to have eight gates of which only Darb-e Shushk Gate and Tehran Gate) have survived. Darb-e Shushk Gate is the oldest gate of the city which opened towards Alamut, Rudbar, and northern hunting grounds. Qazvin is known as the city of water reservoirs among which Sardar's Water Reservoir is the most famous. Built-in 1812, Sardar's Water Reservoir is the largest domed water reservoir in Iran. The Reservoir is equipped with a very high portal at the two sides of which two three-story buildings are standing. A stone staircase containing 47 steps leads to the water reservoir in the basement.
Qazvin Bazaar with its 1000-year old architecture is one of the interesting sites in Qazvin. Because of being the capital of the Safavid Dynasty and falling between Tehran and the west and the northern part of the country Qazvin was a very important town in these periods. During the Safavid period, the bazaars and malls were expanded and each market was dedicated to a specific guild. Each market contains a mosque, bath, portals, and malls. Qeysariye Market capped by very high brick ceilings and equipped with four gates and is an important part of Qazvin Bazaar. Sa'd-o-Saltaneh is a large caravansary, which was built during the Qajar Period, is one of the best-preserved monuments in the country. The caravansary is built on a square plan and has four Iwans facing the courtyard. The interiors are decorated with Moqarnes and Rasmibandi tiles. The cells for the travelers are set one meter above the courtyard level. The vestibule behind the southern Iwan has the largest dome. The eastern-western axis of the vestibule is known as Qeysariye Vestibule and the northern-southern axis of the vestibule is called Ghahremani Hall. The former is connected to the "Bazaar of Vizier in the city. There are also two smaller courtyards in the east and west of the Caravansary.
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