Zanjan

Population: 1 million

Zanjan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. Located in Iranian Azerbaijan and the population of Azerbaijanis. Its capital is Zanjan city.Zanjan lies 330 km northwest of Tehran, connected to it by a freeway. Zanjan is the happiest province in Iran. Zanjan city was a major city in pre-historic Azerbaijan. The name of Azerbaijan derives from Atropates, an Iranian satrap of Media under the Achaemenid empire, who later was reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander of Macedonia. Agriculture is the principal occupation, and crops include rice, corn (maize), oilseeds, fruits, and potatoes. Poultry, cattle, and sheep are raised. In the region Zanjan is famous for its seedless grapes. Manufactures include bricks, cement, milled rice, and carpets. Chromium, lead, and copper are mined. Zanjan has a highland climate characterized by cold snowy weather in the mountains and moderate climate in the plains in wintertime. In the summers, the weather is warm. The average maximum temperature of Zanjan is around 27 °C, whereas the average minimum temperature stands at -19 °C.


Katleh Khor cave

  Is located in 165 km southwest Zanjan 5 km north of Garmab in Southern mountains of the province

This region is known as Afshar district or Afshar's winter quarters and it’s residents are people of a tribe known as Afshari Shahsawan. Katleh Khoor cave because of embracing diversities of underground wonderful phenomena is one of the most unique caves of Iran. Length of cave is about 10 km where was identified and investigated by a mountain claimers delegation in spring of 1331S.H. Katleh Khoor cave have been mapped topographically in 2001 by a German spelunker who is named Peter Louman and a Swiss spelunker named Rene Sherrer and that date was the longest lime cave in Iran.

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During recent three years some new parts were discovered inside the cave, where these parts also mapped topographically by Iran society of cave and speology and new developed maps have been added to previous ones. This cave currently with 21 km length is the longest horizontal cave of Iran and Middle East and enlisted in table of 250 long caves of the world. This cave has been developed by washin and erosion of lime and tectonic movement within earth. However, it’s oldness is not known yet. From entrance of cave to 150m inside the cave, it’s floor is covered by soil and ash and it’s a conventional passage way. After this first 150m the height of ceiling increase and branches also are developed in more numbers. This cave is consisted of five storeys where some levels overlaps and some levels are separated and show spaces between them. Many stalactites (Drippings) and stalagmites (Dripped) with heights of 30 to 40m are located at roof and on ceiling of cave and expose a beautiful appearance to visitors. One of stalactites is named Chehlcheragh. Generally it’s one of the very beautiful caves with some features of other caverns. Discovered animal fossils in lower floor walls and skeletons of animals which seem to be dog like ones attracted attention of local and foreign biologist and researchers of Zanjan University are studying discovered species. Up to 2.3km inside cave is cabled and facilities in traffic and lightening are provided. Many guides are serving visitors in this place. Some bridges are developed in difficult to access points where visitors can walk on them. Outside cave in a vast district there are residential, pleasure and services facilities and interested travelers are able to spend more time in this place having necessary convenient. This cave mainly is visited at spring and summer, but access to this place in autumn and winter also possible. An advantage of this cave may be vicinity of Zamjan province to Tehran, Alborz, Qazwin provinces and it located at routes of these regions to Azerbaijan and Gilan provinces. Regarding transportation, this cave has suitable geographical condition and development of facilities and infrastructures help increase of high scores of tourists for Zanjan province. Considering that route to this cave passes through Sultanieh, adaption of attractive nesses can be a much desired planning points of peculiar tourism routs. Sultanieh dome is one of the important attractiveness of Zanjan province.


Angouran protected zone and erosion phenomena

  Is located in 100 km of Zanjan in Zanjan and Dandi road in Angouran village

shape of hoodoo or chimney of demon are present at bottom of mountains. In territories of Dandi city, there are also protected zone of Angouran where a part of that with about 30 hectare area is protected by Iran environment protection organization as wildlife safe zone. Area of protected zone is 91 thousands hectares and it’s a mountainous and also hill and dale region.

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There are Ghazal Ozan, Angouran chai, Halab, kaka and Darband rivers flowing through this region and regarding water the whole region status is desired. Vegetation coverage or flora of this region is intended to be pasture and species such as santonica, amole soap root, milk vetch, plum bagina, tulip, poppy and shrubs such as turp, almond, barberry. Regarding fauna there are ram and Armenian ewe, goat and antelope, brown bear, fox, caracal and birds species of this region are snow cock, chillpartridge, grouse, starling, eagle, large owl, grey goose, tadorna, shelducki, crane, teal and grey heron.


Zanjan traditional bazaar

  Is located in old tissue of city

This covered bazaar is consisted of two parts known as upper and lower bazaars where divided this bazaar into two eastern and western section. This bazaar is one of the longest bazaars in Iran. Zanjan bazaar has an ancient history. Zanjan city because of its proximity to Soleiman Thron has special importance. At Ilkhanian era when soltanieh was their reign’s center Zanjan has significant place in trading and it’s demonstrated in it’s bazaar construction.

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However, different structures inside bazaar complex was in most, built at Qajar or completed in this period of history as seen today construction of this huge structure was started from Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar region one completed in 1324A.H. when carvansarais, hammams and mosques building activities were terminated and this period is contemporary to Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar period. Each passage way with row of shops is named after related activity of that part.


Laundry house building

  Is located in Saadi street of Zanjan and in old region of BabaJamal Chooghhoori

This structure was constructed in 1307S.H. by order of Ali Akbar Toufighi head of city municipality during 15 months. Popularity of laundry nested in the fact that people have washed their clothes and dishes inside this building free of charge. Existance of this place, especially in cold winters of Zanjnwas a blessing for women and an activity of public utility.

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Built area of this building is 850 m2, having traditional architecture where is consisted of Janitor resident, courtyard, water tank and washing spaces. This relic is utilized as anthropology museum recently and after has been repaired and rebuilt partially also currently is opened for public visit.


Mirbahaoldeen bridge

  Is located in south of Zanjan in zanjan and Kordestan road On the Zanjan rood

This bridge is a work of Qajar era in architectural field where was constructed in 1312A.H. at Nasseroldeen Shah Qajar era. Length of this bridge is 106m, it’s width 7m and it’s height is about 11m where made of bricks.

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Bridge has three wide arches where are built by barrel vault technique and middle arch is larger than two other ones. This bridge is the oldest bridge which is built across Zanjan roud river where is constructed b y order of a charitable figures of city whose name was Haj Mirza Bahaoldeen Zanjani and remained under his name. This place is accounted as city’s recreational points and pleasure facilities are available beside bridge.


Archaeology and Saltmen museum

  Is located in Zanjan Sabzeh Meydan

This museum is established in Zolfaghari building where is it self a historical building in Zanjan city. Museum building is belonged to Zolfaghari Family and it’s construction started at Pahlavi era. Zolfaghari family is one of the distinct and official families of Zanjan. This structure has1176 m2 area and has erected in two storeys and it’s architectural form is influenced by western style by considering Iranian traditions in architecture. It’s embellishments include of utilizing stone, gypsum, mosaic and brick.

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This building is registered in Iran’s national relic list and has responded as museum since 1388 S.H. Saltmen division is the most important part of this museum. In this devision the collection of relics which were discovered in Chahrabad salt quarry are preserved. This salt quarry where is located at 70 km northwest off Zanjan city is an ancient quarries and discovered during derivation of salt in this quarry and it was 1372S.H.after that archaelogical excavations started and other mummies together with tools and other items were discovered. According to conducted studies these mummies are belonged to people who had been working in this quarry at Archaemenid and Parthian era.


Shoy waterfall

  Is located in Zanjan Sabzeh Meydan

This museum is established in Zolfaghari building where is it self a historical building in Zanjan city. Museum building is belonged to Zolfaghari Family and it’s construction started at Pahlavi era. Zolfaghari family is one of the distinct and official families of Zanjan. This structure has1176 m2 area and has erected in two storeys and it’s architectural form is influenced by western style by considering Iranian traditions in architecture. It’s embellishments include of utilizing stone, gypsum, mosaic and brick.

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This building is registered in Iran’s national relic list and has responded as museum since 1388 S.H. Saltmen division is the most important part of this museum. In this devision the collection of relics which were discovered in Chahrabad salt quarry are preserved. This salt quarry where is located at 70 km northwest off Zanjan city is an ancient quarries and discovered during derivation of salt in this quarry and it was 1372S.H.after that archaelogical excavations started and other mummies together with tools and other items were discovered. According to conducted studies these mummies are belonged to people who had been working in this quarry at Archaemenid and Parthian era.


Soltanieh dome

  Is located in Soltanie in 35 km of Zanjan

(S.H.) entitled to be world heritage of UNESCO. Soltanieh primarily was used as hunting ground by Ilkhanate governors and then they decided to developed a city at this location. Construction of this citadel began by order of Arghoon Khan and Ghazan Khan where terminated by Oljaitoo. After development of Kingdome citadel and Soltanieh dome, capital city was shifted from Tabriz to Soltanieh from 703 to 713 A.H. and Oljaitoo who had a rectangular form with dimensions of 296 x 314m and width of 3m having 16 towers and two north south gates where is made of lime stones in green color.

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North gate had been formal entrance while south gate was had been formal entrance while south gate was private one. Average height of citadel's barrier is 4m and there had been a fosse with 30 to 40m width around citadel. Soltaneh city where was selected to be capital city at Oljaitoo reign after his demise faced to incline in popularity. Soltanieh dome has been erected inside the citadel. This three storey building is consisted of three parts named house of dome, earth house and celluar.the most important part of citadel is Soltaniyeh dome where is burial location of Soltan Mohammad Khodabandeh is inside this place. This blue color dome has 485m height and it opening internal diameter is 25.5m and lands on a octagonal structure with 17m length of each side. The dominant material in this monument is brick. Innovation of double shell domes in Iran has been implemented for the first time in this structure. Outer shell is covered with mosaic inturquose color. There are embellishments and decorations with mosaic work, painting on gypsum, lattice brick and muqaenas. With plaster and brick, cornices on fabric epigraphs of Quran verses and narratives in this monument. This dome had and points for muazzns at eight sides of dome to send prayer time announcement to all points of city. However, this part of complex has been ruined. All walls of dome has epigraphs which are ornamented by Quran verses and Imam names. Earthhouse is located at southern side and has dimension of 8 x17m. Another part of this complex is cellar which is also located at southern side and beneath earth house. Octagonal structure of this complex is a mistery. Since eight was not like 7 a sacred digit and using eight side in designing this building either is for reinforcement regards or this building was used to determine exact time similar to a sundial. However, this issue needs to be more under investigation. Anyhow this complex is an interesting and complete samples in architecture of Ilkhanate era. Soltanieh dome has been repaired several times at Safavid and Qajar era. Soltanieh dome after Santa Maria church in Florence of Italy (86m) and Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul (56m) is third highest dome in the world. This dome has been influenced world’s ancient monument’s architecture as a sample of Ilkhanate architecture and can be seen this impact in design of Santa Marya Delfioreh (Saint and sacred Mary) in Florence where was constructed 100 years after Soltaniyeh dom. This citadel complex was ruined by Mughal invasion under command of Teimoor Goorkani, but he respected Sultan Mohammad Khodanandeh and keep his tomb intact.


Behestan castle

  Is located in 11 km of Mahneshan in Mahneshan and Zanjan road in Behestan, Behestan IliBelagh and Behestan where near Ili bElagh village is a suitable place for visiting the castle from faraway, there is a brigde under construction so that visitors can visit there easier

There is not any precise information about history about history of this castle but it’s probable belonging to Achaemenid era. Castle was also used at other periods such as fifth and sixth A.H. centuries and having a room with altar suggest that it has been utilized at Islam era. This castle is developed by hand carving on the surface of a mountain. Rooms and passage way of this castle, all were developed by taking out huge volumes of soil and stone from outer surface of a mountain.

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There are places which designed for preserving foodstuff at lower parts of mountain and other points at upper level assigned to rooms. Inner spaces of castle are generally consisted of rooms, connection corridors and stairways. Unfortunatly some portions of stairways were ruined in course of time and access to some upper parts is become limited. This castle needs to be rebuilt by considering it’s oldness and architecture so as a registered relics in national Iran list to be properly visited by interested people.


Khandghlou natural lake

  Is located in 55 km of Mahneshan in Mahneshan and Pari Road near Khandaghloo village

Area of this lake is 70 hectares and is only lake in Zanjan province. This lake is located in a plain and it’s surrounding topography is hill and dale and has semidry climate. Different species of migrating marine birds such as ducks, flamingo, crane, coot, different geese, commorant, bittern, heron and sea swallow are in habitat at this lake.

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Due time to visit this lake is late spring and early summer. There is not any tourism facilities the lake and fishing also is not permitted.


Erosion phenomena of Mahneshan

  Is located in 35 km south east of Shoosh in Khozestan

A beautiful scene of erosion effects in sand structures and stone structures in shape of hoodoo and chimney, demon club and demon thron. These columns where usually a rock or portion of a geological layer was remained is called hoodoo or demon thron. In Mahneshen region, there are a collection of these columns in different shapes and dimensions. These phenomena also are found in other regions, but diversity and quality of them in Mahneshan district is very numerous. In native language, people call these stone shapes Dashi Adam or stone Adam.

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This place is a very capable point in geotourism regards and interested people to geology and in particularly tourism of geology may visit this place. One of the very beautiful roads in this region is mountainous route of Mahnwshan to Mashempa where has a great diversity in colors and scenes in it’s surrounding mountains.

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