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Qazvin is the largest city and capital of the province of Qazvin that has been one of the ancient capitals of Iran dates back to 16th century. It has been chosen as a capital of Safavid dynasty by the 2nd king of this era in order to preserve the country in terms of safety and security of royal family as well as ordinary people due to existence of several tensions between Ottomans and Iranian government.
Archeological findings in the Qazvin declares that 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.
People are of the opinion that Qazvin has been founded by Shapur II the King of Persia in 250 CE, under the name Shad Shapur (shad can be read as ‘happy’), when he built a fortification there to control regional tensions.
Even during invasion of Mongolians, Qazvin was playing an important role for Iran in terms of strategical location and economy of the country.
In 19th century Qazvin flourished as a center of trading because the only all-year accessible road from the Caspian Sea to the Highland started here and with enhanced traffic on the Caspian Sea the trade volume grew. Among people and locals, this city is known as the city of Islamic calligraphy, however, this city is much older than Islamic periods because the name of this city refers to Caucasians or people who were originally Azeri.
During Safavid dynasty, severla palaces had been built as a seat of government such as Chehel Sotoon Palace that it has been mostly used by Tahmasb shah in 16th century. Later on this city was the 2nd capital of Safavid by order of Shah Abbas I and all his followers.
The bazaar was enlarged as it is called Sa’ad al Saltaneh. In the middle of the century the Babi movement had one of its centers here and the first massacre of Babis occurred in Qazvin in 1847. During the second half of the 19th century Qazvin was one of the centers of Russian presence in northern Iran until 1893 that this was the headquarters of the Russian Company for Road construction in Persia which connected Qazvin by roads to Tehran and Hamadan. The company built a hospital and the St. Nicolas Church.
Apart from ancient history Qazvin is very popular for its local dishes & typical foods such as Qeymeh nesar & Komaj that are both very well-known among all Iranian.
Apparently in most of Azeri cities or those cities that are in vicinity of Azeri tribes, producing Baqlava, is one of the famous and exciting jobs for locals, however, there are several typical sweets in this city that are particularly from this region which are very tasty and available in every single corner.
Traveling to Qazvin enables everyone to experience such beautiful items in old bazaar including handicrafts, sweets as well as nice objects that are all from their own culture. Apparently the most famous one is weaving carpets and rugs by locals which is slightly different than others because of having poems in their patterns.
The majority of the people of the city of Qazvin are Persians, however, there are lots of accents and dialects in this province such as Azeri, Tats and slight range of Turks which is mostly because of Pahlavi influence on its accent.
Things to do:
In terms of having archaeological sites, Qazvin contains several of them in all over the province that are mostly refer to Sassanid such as Meymoon Castle. Although Qazvin for most of locals is a city from Safavid empire that has several building such as Chehel Sotoon, Aali Qapu and Friday mosque, it is famous for Alamut castle that dates back to 14the century that has been founded by Hassan Sabbah and his followers nearby Alamkouh.
It is possible to reach to this castle in a day trip however it looks like nothing that much left but there are still some point for those who are interested in history which can gives us change to dig more info.