In this article, we’re going to acquaint you with Qazvin, one of the large historical cities in Iran.
Like other Iranian cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman, Qazvin is also one of the major historical cities in Iran that was the capital city for a while, during the Safavids era.
Due to their great interest in Iranian art, the Safavids built many fantastic monuments wherever they were, most of which have been registered in UNESCO World Heritage list. The city of Qazvin is also home to several beautiful historical monuments since it used to be the capital of Iran during the Safavid era.
It should be noted that Qazvin is also known as a historical Iranian city with the most number of historical monuments.
To get more information about the historical city of Qazvin, read the following article:
Qazvin Attraction, Kolah Farangi Mansion (Chehel Sotoun)
Chehel Sotoun Palace is undoubtedly a familiar name for tourists who are interested in Iran and its historical monuments because there is another palace by the same name in Isfahan which is one of the most splendid monuments in the city. It is worth saying that the Chehel Sotoun Palace in Qazvin is older than the one in Isfahan.
The palace was originally called ‘Kolah Farangi Mansion’ but it has been changed into ‘Chehel Sotoun’.
Kolah Farangi Mansion is an octagon building with an area of over 500 square meters that is located in a large and beautiful garden.
This garden is the only garden from the time of Tahmasp I, and the pavilion that is located in the center of the garden is called Kolah Farangi Mansion.
Kolah Farangi Mansion was rebuilt by the order of Mohammad Bagher Sa’d al-Saltaneh, the governor of Qazvin in Qajar period, but unfortunately, it was damaged seriously in Pahlavi period.
In addition to the numerous monuments in Qazvin, this city is also the cradle of the Iranian art of calligraphy that was flourished by the advent of Islam in Iran. Kolah Farangi Mansion or Chehel Sotoun is now used as the Calligraphy Museum.
Qazvin Attraction, Jameh Mosque of Qazvin
If you have had a glance through the history of Iran and its historical monuments, you will have certainly noticed that mosques are among the historical monuments seen in every city of Iran.
Jameh Mosque of Qazvin is one of the oldest mosques in Iran that was built in the ninth century. This mosque was built over the ruins of a fire temple that belonged to the Sassanids. Since it was one of the most important places in the city of Qazvin, this mosque was attacked roughly by Mongols and was destroyed. It was repaired and reconstructed later, though. The first reconstruction of the mosque was in Seljuk era and the process of reconstruction and restoration continued in subsequent periods.
The interesting thing about the mosque is that the architecture of different periods, including the early ages of Islam, Seljuk, Safavid, Qajar and even Pahlavi, can be seen in different parts of the mosque.
It should be noted that some parts of the mosque that were not damaged in the Mongols invasion are well-preserved and some of its ivans belong to the original construction.
This mosque is also known as ‘the Great Jameh Mosque’ and “Atigh Jame Mosque”.
Qazvin Attraction, Ali Qapu Gate
After selecting Qazvin as the capital of Iran in the Safavid era, Shah Tahmasp I headed to Qazvin for the construction of royal and government buildings. He bought the lands in the area and built Safavids’ Government House and many beautiful buildings in this area.
Ali Qapu Gate, along with Chehel Sotoun Palace, is the only building left from the era of Shah Tahmasp Safavi and it used to be one of seven entrances to the Safavids’ Government House. Magnificent mansions were constructed in this area, which were only available through seven gates one of which was Ali Qapu Gate.
The name ‘Ali Qapu’ is a familiar name to tourists who know Iran too because it is the name of one of the beautiful mansions in Isfahan, in Naqsh-e Jahan Square. In this regard it should be noted that:
After the war with the Ottoman, Safavids transferred their capital city from Tabriz, first to Qazvin and then to Isfahan. Therefore, many beautiful monuments in Isfahan are inspired by the monuments that were built in Qazvin before, including Chehel Sotoun, Ālī Qāpū and Charbagh.
Qazvin Attraction, Safavieh Garden & Historical Complex
Historical Safavieh Garden Complex is an area of over 6 hectares from Ali Qapu Gate to Kolah Farangi Mansion. Several buildings and mansions were set in the complex during the Safavid era, most of which have been destroyed.
One interesting thing about this complex is that there are several buildings from the Safavid, Zand, Afsharid Qajar eras, located next to each other in a distance from this complex.
This complex is known as ‘Saadat Abad Garden’, ‘Cultural Garden of Qazvin’, ‘Safavid Royal Precinct’ or ‘Arg-e Tahmasbi’. Among the structures in this complex are Ali Qapu Gate, Naderi mansion, Grand Hotel, and Qajar Mansion.
Qazvin Attraction, Aminiha House (Hosseiniyeh)
One of the awesome and attractive buildings in the city of Qazvin is Aminiha House. This building was built in about 1859, by a merchant of Qazvin named “Haj Reza Amini”, and it is also called ‘ hosseiniyeh’ because of the religious ceremonies held in this place.
This house has two northern and southern courtyards, as well as three east- west halls built parallel to each other.
The stunning beauties of this building are the splendid, carefully-designed mixture of decorated pargeting, painting on wood and mirror work on the ceiling, walls, niches, impressive wooden frescos which are each a masterpiece.
There are also two northern, southern rooms in either side of the east-west halls that are less decorative.
Another beautiful historical house left from the ancient houses in Qazvin is Shahidi House.
Qazvin Attraction, Cantor Church or Bell tower
In the late era of Naser al‑Din Shah Qajar, the construction of the road from Qazvin to Anzali was assigned to a Russian company. The Russian company built some buildings for their staff in Iran in one of the neighborhoods of Qazvin including Cantor Church. Cantor Church in Qazvin is one of the few Orthodox churches in Iran that is left from World War II. This church is the only Red Church in Iran and it is also known as the smallest Church of Iran. Perhaps it is so small because of the rush to prepare it as soon as possible.
Today, the use of the church has been changed and it has been used as one of the historical attractions of Qazvin.
Qazvin Attraction, Bolour Bathhouse
The historical Bolour bathhouse is one of the rare monuments left from the Safavid and Qajar periods. The bathhouse, with an area of about 1,200 square meters, is located in one of the old neighborhoods of the city of Qazvin. Based on its special shape and also decorations used in this building, especially the paintings and ceramics found in different parts of the bathhouse, it can be attributed to the late Safavid period.
Most part of the bathhouse is located underground. Passing through the entrance door and 13 stairs going downstairs, you will reach the bathhouse. There are four layers of painting on a layer of lime below the dome that indicates the changes happened during different periods.
Qazvin Attraction, Safa Bathhouse
This bathhouse was built in 1843 with an area of over 1100 square meters for the Amini family and it has two separate parts, for men and women. This bathhouse is of great importance for its history and its special architecture like Aminian House.
Most parts of the building are built with polished marble that had made it more beautiful.
Qazvin Attraction, Qajar Bathhouse (Anthropology Museum)
Qajar Bathhouse is the oldest bathhouse in the city of Qazvin that was built in 1647 on the orders of Shah Abbas II, by one of his generals. The bathhouse connects to the sudatorium through a spiral stairway. One of the architectural beauties of this building is the one-piece stones used in the bath. This building is also dome-shaped and there are some chambers around that are used for washing.
Today, the use of this bathhouse has changed and it has become the Museum of Anthropology of the city of Qazvin.
Qazvin Attraction, Sa’d al-Saltaneh Complex
One of the beautiful historical monuments in Qazvin that is seen in photographs taken by tourists is the Sa’d al-Saltaneh Complex. This complex was built in an area of over 2.5 hectares by the Governor of Qazvin, during the reign of Naser al‑Din Shah Qajar. Baqir Khan Sa’d al-Saltaneh, who was the governor of Qazvin at that time, founded the largest indoor caravanserai and the city’s trade center in Qazvin. In fact, the bazaar passes through the caravanserai in this complex.
This complex has several entrances and three yards. The most attractive part of the complex is its Charsogh, in the center of which there is a tiled dome at the junction of some paths. In Charsogh, there are some semi-domes located next to the main dome, through which the light comes into the complex.
To learn more about this complex, you’d better visit it closely.
Qazvin Attraction, Saraye Vazir (Bazaar)
Vazir Bazaar is located south of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Complex and reaches the Saraye Qeysar to the west. This bazaar has two floors and the Iranian architectural elements are well seen in every corner of it.
This place has a courtyard surrounded by chambers built in two floors.
Other places that depict Iranian architecture and you can enjoy visiting in Qazvin are as follows: