Qazvin (/kæzˈvn/; Persian: قزوین‎, IPA: [ɢæzˈviːn] (About this soundlisten), also Romanized as Qazvīn, Caspin, Qazwin or Ghazvin) is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin in Iran. Qazvin was a medieval capital of the Safavid dynasty for over forty years (1555-1598) and nowadays is known as the calligraphy capital of Iran. It is famous for its Baghlava, carpet patterns, poets, political newspaper and Pahlavi influence on its accent. At the 2011 census, its population was 381,598.[2]



Caspian, Minoodar, Razhia, Arsas
Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh
Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh
Official seal of Qazvin
Mirror of History & Natural of Iran
Qazvin is located in Iran
Coordinates: 36°16′N 50°00′E / 36.267°N 50.000°E / 36.267; 50.000Coordinates: 36°16′N 50°00′E / 36.267°N 50.000°E / 36.267; 50.000
Country Iran
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • MayorSiavash Taherkhani
 • City64.132 km2 (24.762 sq mi)
1,278 m (4,193 ft)
 (2016 census)
 • Density9,030/km2 (23,400/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IDST)
Area code(s)028

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.


Shah Tahmasp I (1524–1576) made Qazvin the capital of the Safavid empire.
Peighambariyeh, burial place of four Jewish saints: Salam, Solum, al-Qiya, and Sohuli.

The city was a capital of the Persian Empire under Safavids in 1548–1598.[3] It is a provincial capital today that has been an important cultural center throughout history.

Caravanserai-i-Shah, Qazvin by Eugène Flandin.

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.[3]

In 1210 the city was damaged by the forces of Kingdom of Georgia sent by Tamar the Great, as per the retribution for destroying Georgian-controlled Ani by the Muslim forces that left 12,000 Christians dead.[4][5]

In the 19th century Qazin flourished as a center of trade 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. Its bazaars were enlarged.[6] 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.[7]

Salaam'Gaah Street in Qazvin city (Photo credits goes to MKR)

In the second half of the 19th century Qazvin was one of the centers of Russian presence in northern Iran. A detachment of the Persian Cossack Brigade under Russian officers was stationed here. From 1893 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.

In 1920 Qazvin was used as a base for the British Norperforce.[8] The 1921 Persian coup d'état that led to the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty was launched from Qazvin.

Qazvin has been one of the main pivots on which Persia's history has revolved and this is where its reputation as an impenetrable fortress originates. During the fall of the Safavids, Qazvin was the centre of Persians reunion for the liberation of Persian territories invaded by Ottoman, Russian, and Afghan forces in the west, north, and east, respectively. The deployed swordsmen from Qazvin not only retrieved Safavid boundaries, but also contributed to their expansion up to China (east), Nader Shah The Great, Daghestan (north) and Baghdad (west). Similarly, Qazvin hosted the base of Assassins and was the training centre of the Nehzat-e Jangal (The Jungle Movement) revolutionaries.

Qazvin became a state in 1996. In Autumn 2015 portions of Qazvin were struck by a meteorite.[9]


The majority of the people of the city of Qazvin are Persians. The majority language is Persian with a Qazvini accent.[10] Azerbaijanis and Tats are the other ethnic groups of the city of Qazvin.[11] They speak Azerbaijani and Tati.[12]


Qazvin has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa).

Climate data for Qazvin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.2
Average low °C (°F) −4.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.5
Average precipitation days 10.5 10.1 13.3 13.3 12.7 4.5 2.4 2.3 2.0 7.7 7.9 9.7 96.4
Source: World Meteorological Organisation

Main sightsEdit

Qazvin contains several archeological excavations. In the middle of the city lie the ruins of Meimoon Ghal'eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.[citation needed]

Qazvin contains several buildings from the Safavid era, dating to the period in which it was capital of Persia. A well known of the surviving edifices is the Chehel sotoun, Qazvin,[13] 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.[14][15][16]
  • 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.
  • Aminiha Hosseiniyeh
The Russian Church of Qazvin today sits adjacent to the campus of Islamic Azad University of Qazvin.

About 100 km (62 mi) 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.

Sepah Street (خیابان سپه , pronounced "Cepah" referring to ancient Persian army and not the revolutionary guards pronounced "Sipaahe") is known as the first modern street in Iran. This street entirely is carpeted with carved gray stone and is surrounded by craftsmen gift shops (used to be bars or bygone liquorshops, called May'kadeh) and hosts historical places such as Qazvin's Ali Qapu gate, entrance of Jame' Atiq mosque and historical schools.

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) and a water reservoir. St. Nicholas church was built in 1904 by the Russian Company for Roads in Persia which had its headquarter here. The church was in use until being decommissioned in 1984 because the community of Russian emigres in Qazvin did not exist any more. The iconostasis and bell was removed to Tehran and the building handed over to the Iranian government which keeps it available to the public as a historic monument. In front of the church is a 1906 memorial to a Russian road engineer.[17]


A memorial of the many Qazvinis who died during the revolution of Iran and during the Iran–Iraq War.

Qazvin today is a center of textile trade, including cotton, silk and velvet, in addition to leather. It is on the railroad line and the highway between Tehran and Tabriz. Qazvin has one of the largest power plants feeding electricity into Iran's national power grid, the Shahid Raja'i facility, which provides 7% of Iran's electrical power.

Colleges and universitiesEdit

Qazvin has several institutes of higher education:

Modern towersEdit

Some famous residential towers are: Punak (536 units), Aseman, Elahieh, Bademestan (440 units in 17 floors) and Tejarat tower with 28 floors.

Shopping complexesEdit

  • City Star in Khayam Street
  • Ferdowsi in Ferdowsi Street
  • Iranian in Adl Street
  • Narvan in Ferdowsi Street
  • Noor in Felestin Street
  • Meh ro mah Bouali Street
  • Alghadir on South Khayam Street
  • Alavi on Taleghani Street


  • Naderi
  • Molasadra
  • Ertebatat
  • Persian Gulf (Khalij Fars)
  • Abotorabi
  • Nasr
  • Motahari
  • Imam Ali
  • Rajaei

Famous hotelsEdit

  • Alborz
  • Safir
  • Mir Emad
  • Iranian
  • behrouzi historical house
  • Iran
  • Marmar
  • Razhia
  • Ghods(closed)
  • Grand Hotel, Qazvin
  • Noizar
  • Minno
  • Sina (new)

Major parksEdit

  • Shohada
  • Dehkhoda
  • Beheshti
  • Fadak (Barajin)
  • Mellat
  • Al-Ghadir
  • Afarinesh
  • Molla Khalila


  • Proma Hypermarket (closed) HyperKeeper is new Brand .
  • Refah Chain Stores Co
  • Kourosh chain stores in several city blocks
  • Janbo chain stores
  • Ferdowsi supermarket in Adl sq.
  • Haft (7) Chain stores
  • Talaei’yeh Minoudar Supermarket
    • noor shopping mall hyper market * easy to access near city center



Qazvin is a well-known city because of its famous athletes. The city has highly focused on athletic teams along recent years. Techmash is a basketball team which entered Iranian Basketball Super League in 2013.

Notable QazvinisEdit

Qazvin is an ancient city containing fine examples of Iranian architecture from various ages. This is the Shazdeh Hosein Shrine.

There have been an abundance of known people who lived in Qazvin, or came from Qazvin, whose tombs are scattered throughout the cities and villages of the province. These include:

Pre-Modern timeEdit

Modern timeEdit

Notable people buried in QazvinEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

See alsoEdit

Mesjed Koucheek, Qazvin, in 1921. Today this building is referred to as Shazdeh Hosein Shrine.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Qazvin / قزوين (Iran): Province & Cities – Population Statistics in Maps and Charts
  3. ^ a b Iran (5th ed., 2008), by Andrew Burke and Mark Elliott, p. 28 Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Lonely Planet Publications, ISBN 978-1-74104-293-1
  4. ^ Mikaberidze, Alexander (2011). Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO. p. 196. ISBN 978-1598843361.
  5. ^ L. Baker, Patricia; Smith, Hilary; Oleynik, Maria (2014). Iran. London, United Kingdom: Bradt Travel Guides. p. 158. ISBN 978-1841624020.
  6. ^ "Qazvin" in Historic Cities of the Islamic World, p. 435
  7. ^ Baha'i History of Qazvin
  8. ^ Haldane, J. Aylmer L. Sir (2005), The insurrection in Mesopotamia, 1920, London: The Imperial War Museum in association with The Battery Press, ISBN 1904897169, OCLC 60688896, OL 22727753M, 1904897169
  9. ^ Large meteorite impacts Iran causing serious damage to Qazvin, numerous towns affected
  10. ^ The official Media from Qazvin- February 10-2010 Archived November 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Tats of Iran and Caucasus, Ali Abdoli, 2010.
  12. ^ Qazvin
  13. ^ "Architecture of water supply to Chehel Sotoun studied". ISNA. 2018-06-17. Retrieved 2020-03-14.
  14. ^ "Arash Nooraghayee". Archived from the original on 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  15. ^ Nima Kasraie, Qazvin water reservoirs
  16. ^ Peighambarieh Mausoleum in Qazvin: Burial place of Israeli prophets
  17. ^ РУССКАЯ ПРАВОСЛАВНАЯ ЦЕРКОВЬ В ПЕРСИИ – ИРАНЕ (1597–2001 гг.) Игумен Александр (Заркешев) Санкт-Петербург 2002 – Russian Orthodox Church in Persia-Iran 1597–2001, by abbot Alexander Zarkeshev, St Peterburg 2002, pp 70f and 110 Archived December 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine; the church is sometimes referred to as "Kantur" church from the name of the area where it stands
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Raja University". Archived from the original on 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  20. ^ Archived December 12, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Capital of Iran (Persia)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of Safavid dynasty
Succeeded by