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Qazvin

Trip Planner Middle East  /  Iran  /  Qazvin Province  /  Qazvin
(4/5 based on 75+ reviews for 8 attractions)
Things to do: museums, sightseeing, religious sites
Qazvin is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin in Iran. Qazvin was an ancient capital in the Persian Empire and nowadays is known as the calligraphy capital of Iran. It is famous for its Baghlava, carpet patterns, poets, political newspaper and pahlavi (Middle Persian) influence on its accent. At the 2011 census, its population was 381,598.Located in 150km northwest of Tehran, in the Qazvin Province, it is at an altitude of about 1800m above sea level. The climate is cold but dry, due to its position south of the rugged Alborz range called KTS Atabakiya.HistoryThe city was a former capital of the Persian Empire under Safavids. It is a provincial capital today that has been an important cultural center throughout history.Archeological findings in the Qazvin plain reveal urban agricultural settlements for at least nine millennia. Qazvin geographically connects Tehran, Isfahan, and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian seacoast and Asia Minor, hence its strategic location throughout the ages.The city today known as Qazvin is thought to have been founded by Shapur II, King of Persia in 250 CE, under the name Shad Shahpur (shad can be read as 'happy'), when he built a fortification there to control regional tensions.Qazvin has sometimes been of central importance at major moments of Iranian history. It was captured by invading Arabs (644 AD) and destroyed by Hulagu Khan (13th century). After the Ottoman capture of Tabriz, Shah Tahmasp (1524–1576) made Qazvin the capital of the Safavid empire (founded in 1501 AD), a status that Qazvin retained for half a century until Shah Abbas I moved the capital to Isfahan.
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