Qazvin; also Romanized as Qazvin, Caspin, Qazwin, or Ghazvin 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.
Located in 150 km (93 mi) northwest of Tehran, in the Qazvin Province, it is at an altitude of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft) above sea level. The climate is cold but dry, due to its position south of the rugged Alborz range called KTS Atabakiya The 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 happy), when he built a fortification there to control regional tensions.
Qazvin has sometimes been of central importance at important moments of Iranian history. Captured by Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavid era, dating to the period in which it was capital of Persia.
Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Chehelsotoon (Kolah Farangi) mansion, today a museum in central Qazvin.
After Islam, the popularity of mystics (tasawwuf), as well as the prominence of tradition (Hadith), religious jurisprudence (fiqh), and philosophy in Qazvin, led to the emergence of many mosques and religious schools. They include:
Jame’ Atiq Mosque of Qazvin Heydarieh mosque Masjed Al-nabi (Soltani Mosque): With an area of 14000 m2, this mosque is one of the most glorious mosques of antiquity, built in the Safavieh’s monarchy era.
Sanjideh Mosque: Another mosque of Qazvin dating back to pre-Islamic Iran; a former fire temple. Its present day form is attributed to the Seljukian era.
Panjeh Ali Mosque: A former place of worship for royal harem members in the Safavid period.
Peighambarieh School-Mosque: Founded 1644 according to inscription.
Peighambarieh Shrine: Where four Jewish saints who foretold the coming of Christ, are buried.
Molla Verdikhani School-Mosque: Founded in 1648.
Salehieh Madrasa and Mosque: Founded in 1817 by Mulla Muhammad Salih Baraghani.
Sheikhol Islam School-Mosque: Renovated in 1903.
Eltefatieh School: Dating back to the Il-Khanid period.
Sardar School- Mosque: Made by two brothers Hossein Khan and Hassan Khan Sardar in 1815, as a fulfillment of their promise if they came back victorious from a battle against the Russians.
Shazdeh Hosein Shrine, a c.15C CE shrine to a c.9C CE Shiite saint.
About 100 km) south-west of Qazvin are the tombs of two Saljuki era princes — Abu Saeed Bijar, son of Sa’d, and Abu Mansur Iltai, son of Takin — located in two separate towers known as the Kharraqan twin towers. Constructed in 1067 CE, these were the first monuments in Islamic architecture to include a non-conic two-layered dome. Both towers were severely damaged by a devastating earthquake in March 2003.
Qazvin has three buildings built by Russians in the late 19th/early 20th century. Among these is the current Mayor’s office (former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir, and the Cantor church, where a Russian pilot is buried.
invading Arabs (644 AD) and destroyed by Hulagu Khan (13th century), 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.
In 1920 Qazvin was used as a base for the British Norperforce. It was from here that the 1921 Persian coup d’etat that led to the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty was launched. And it became State in 2001.
Main Slights Qazvin contains several archeological excavations.
And in the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal’eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.