Hamadan province is in the western part of the country with an area of more than 19000 square kilometers. It is a beautiful highland covered with huge mountains and green slopes, farmlands, pastures, snow-capped peaks and fertile valleys under a blue sky. The highest and the most famous peak in Hamadan is Alvand with a height of 3574 meters and a legendary and historical fame no less than that of Damavand.
Hamadan is a cold province with long winters where there is snow in the mountains for eight months of the year. This gives the province very mild summers and a green natural setting.
Hamadan is one of the oldest cities of not only Iran but of the world. Its historical origins date back to several centuries before Christ. Hamadan, which was the summer capital of the Median and Achaemenid was then called Ekbatan or Hegmataneh; meaning a place of assembly. Hamadan is one of the cradles of Oriental civilization with legendary background.
According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (Seven Walls) which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon Tower.
Hamadan is the homeland of great scholars and men of letters like Baba Taher Orian and Mirzadeh Eshghi; and the tombs of Avicenna and Baba Taher are located in this city.
Outside Hamadan we will have two choices:
Lalejin village: It has always been well known for handicrafts like leather and ceramic work; as well as for its beautiful carpet and the art of carpet weaving is so significant here. The village of Lalejin, famous for its pottery industry; is a palace worth visiting for its potteries. Also the carpets and the rugs of Hamadan are famous for their quality and colors. There are several ceramic workshops and numerous skilful artist that create the most beautiful and colorful ceramic jars in great numbers. Visiting one of these workshops can be one of the best parts of a tour to Hamadan.
Or Ali Sadr Caves: Outside Hamadan one can visit or take a boat tour round the Ali Sadr Caves, an endless network of caves full of clear water with caverns up to 10 meters high and 100 meters wide.
Hamedan province is one of the most ancient parts of Iran and its civilization. Relics of this area confirm this fact. Today's Hamedan is what is left of Ecbatana, The Medes' capital before they formed a union with the Persians. The poet Ferdowsi says that Ecbatana was built by King Jamshid. According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (Seven Walls) which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon Tower.The structures of city are related to Diya Aku, a King of the Medes from 700 BC. According to Greek records, this territory was called 'Ekbatan' and 'Hegmataneh' by this King, thus transformed into a huge capital.
During the Parthian era, Ctesiphon became capital of Persia, and Hamedan became the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamedan as well. In the year 633 when the war of Nahavand took place and Hamedan came into the hands of the invading Arabs, at times it thrived and at times it declined and witnessed hardships. During the Buwayhids, it suffered plenty of damages. In the 11th century, the Seljuks shifted their capital from Baghdad to Hamedan once again.
The city of Hamaden was always at risk during the rise and fall of powers. It was completely destroyed during the Timurid invasion. But during the Safavid era the city thrived once more. In the 18th century, Hamedan surrendered to the Ottomans, but Hamedan was retaken by Nader Shah Afshari, and under the peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans it was returned to Iran. The city of Hamedan lay on the Silk Road and even in recent centuries enjoyed good prospects in commerce and trade being on the main road network in the western region of Iran. According to local Jewish traditions, the City of Hamedan is mentioned in the Bible, as the capital of Ancient Persia in the days of King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther. It was then known as Shushan. The Tombs of Mordecai and Esther are located in modern-day Hamedan.
Abou Ali SIna Shrine0
Hamadan is home to the tomb of Avicenna, the philosopher. The mausoleum of Avicenna is an imitation of the oldest historic building of the Islamic period namely the Ghabus Gonbad.
This mausoleum has been constructed on 12 tall cement pillars. The grave of Sheikh-ul Raeis Avicenna has been placed in the center of the 12 foundations and next to it is the resting place of Sheik Abu Saeid Dakhdook who was Avicenna+s friend and host.
Another poet is honored in Hamadan Baba Taher, who lived during the same period as Ibn Sina. Born in Hamadan, Iran, in the early eleventh century, was considered by his contemporaries as one of the most eminent, erudite mystics and sentimentalists of his time, a reputation he has held in the affection of his countrymen to the present day. Hamadans most curious monument is a Jewish mausoleum reputed to contain the Tombs of Esther and Mordecai. Esther was a young Jewish girl who came to as Xerxes for just treatment and protection for the people of Moses.
Baba Taher Orian
Baba Tahir Oryans mysticism, philosophy, and sentiments are reflected in his Rubaiyyat. Oryan, born in Hamadan, Iran, in the early eleventh century, was considered by his contemporaries as one of the most eminent, erudite mystics and sentimentalists of his time, a reputation he has held in the affection of his countrymen to the present day.
Baba Tahir, living in the first half of the 11th century A.D. was one of the great gnostics of Ahl-e-Haghs Sect [Dervish of follower of the truth]. Songs and maxims of Baba Tahir were originally read in Pahlavi, lurish, kurdish and Hamadanis dialects taken their present form in the course of time.
The Achaemenian Ganjnameh [Treasure Inventory] is a lengthy inscription in cuneiform script, composed in three parts [in Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian] and carved on the face of two rocks of some two meters in height, in the mountain Alvand. These twenty line inscriptions, belonging to Darius and Xerxes, consist of a genealogical account of the Achaemenian monarchs and the adoration of Ahuramazda.
Here is the translation of the text concerning Xerxes:
"The Great God Ahuramazda, greatest of all the gods, who created the earth and the sky and the people; who made Xerxes king, and outstanding king as outstanding ruler among innumerable rulers; I [am] the great king Xerxes, king of kings, king of lands with numerous inhabitants, king of this vast kingdom with far-away territories, son of the Achaemenian monarch Darius."
It is a four-sided interesting 12th century mausoleum belonging to the late Seljuk period. On the exterior, it resembles the Gonbad-e Sorkh of Maragheh. Inside this Dervish Monastery, taken over by the powerful Alavi Family ruling Hamadan for two centuries is decorated by the same type of gypsum moldings of Heydarieh Mosque of Qazvin. The Alavi Family tombs (two in all) are in the crypt and can be reached by a spiral staircase inside the tower. As regards its architectural merits, the stucco ornamentation of its mihrab with intricate geometric designs and whirling floral motifs on the exterior walls and several inscriptions in Kuffic and Thulth styles, this monument ranks among the most beautiful in its kind in Iran.
The Tomb of Esther Mordecai
The present building of this mausoleum, which is visited by Jewish pilgrims from all over the world, has nothing to speak about from the architectural point of view. Under its simple brick dome there are two graves with some Hebrew inscription up on the plaster work of the wall. Two exquisite wooden tomb-boxes are also to be seen, one of which is of an earlier date and bears an inscription in Hebrew.
The original structure dates to the 7th Century A. H. [13th Century A.D.] and it might have been erected over other and more ancient tombs. The exterior form of this mausoleum, built of brick and stone, resembles Islamic constructions, and the monument consists of an entrance, a vestibule, a sanctuary and a Shah-neshin (Kings sitting place). Some believe that the mausoleum is the resting-place of Esther, the Achaemenian Queen and wife of Xerxes (Khashayarshah) and the second tomb belongs to her uncle, Mardocai.
Ali Sadr Cave
The cave is located about 100 kilometers north of Hamedan, western Iran (more accurately at 48°18E 35°18N). The cave walls can extend up to 40 meters high, and it contains several large, deep lakes. It has a river flowing through it and most travel through the cave system is done with a boat. The cave was originally discovered during the reign of Darius I (521-485 BC) which can be verified by an old inscription at the entrance of the tunnel. Youll be surprised by the beauty of the cave because youll see breathtaking sceneries! Inside the cave there is a coffee shop, where you can drink tea or coffee