If you read knowledgeable magazines, you have probably heard of the first street in Iran. The first designed street in our country, which was very different from traditional passages and old roads, is Sepah Qazvin Street. This street was built during the Safavid period and the capital of Qazvin; For this reason, there were important historical monuments around it.
Of course, some of these works have been destroyed and only documents in historical books and sometimes some old photos of them remain. In this article from Alibaba Tourism Magazine , we will put our magnifying glass on Sepah Qazvin Street to get more detailed information.
Where is Sepah Qazvin Street?
This street is located in area one of Qazvin city, between the high gate of Qapo and the railway station.
Why is this street famous?
Sepah Qazvin Street is the first street built in Iran. This street was built during the Safavid period and over time kings of different governments made changes in it.
What are the sights on this street?
From the sights of this street and from the sights of Qazvin, you can go to Qapo High Gate, Sheikh Al-Islam Mosque and School, Qazvin Bazaar, Omid School, Chehelston Palace, Ab Anbar Grand Mosque and Qazvin Grand Hotel Pointed out.
Introduction of Sepah Street
In the southern part of Qazvin city and in area one of this city, you can see a street that is very famous in the history of our country. This street was built during the Safavid dynasty over Iran. At that time, Qazvin was the capital of Iran for some time; For this reason, there were various facilities and services in it. The construction of the first street in Iran is also one of the facilities of Qazvin at that time. Before, all the streets and alleys of the city were naturally created. The Safavid kings decided to order the construction of a street that was designed with engineering principles and techniques and to pay attention to all the details in its structure. With the introduction of Sepah Street as the first street in Iran in 2008 and its registration in the list of national monuments, more tourists went to Qazvin to visit and tour the street in this part of the city.
Construction of Sepah Street from the past to the present
Historians estimate that Shah Tahmasb Safavid ordered the construction of Sepah Street in Qazvin. At that time, historical monuments and green space around it had given indescribable glory to Sepah Qazvin Street. Safavid kings used this street to greet ambassadors of foreign governments. In 1307, Reza Khan made changes in Sepah Street and paved it so that the citizens would be more comfortable.
This street has undergone major changes since its construction. In each historical period, various buildings have been built or destroyed on Sepah Street. Early in the construction of the street, Shah Tahmasb ordered the construction of various buildings around it. The East and West Gardens, the Government House and the Harem are just a few examples of these important mansions and buildings.
The Qajar kings also attached great importance to this street and expanded it. Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar ordered the construction of large and luxurious guest houses around Sepah Street. Several telegraph centers and printing houses were also built on this street. In 1310 AD, the printing press and guest houses were destroyed to build a field greenery in that place.
What is the name of Sepah Street
The name of Sepah Street goes back to Shah Tahmasb Safavid’s war with the Uzbeks. The young Shah Tahmasb, who was only 16 years old at the time of the war, left for Khorasan and the city of Herat with his army. He wanted to protect the region from Uzbek invasion. During this war, Shah Tahmasb became more familiar with street design. Shah Javan stayed for a while in a neighborhood of Herat called Behnam Street to organize his army to fight the Uzbeks. The result of this war was in favor of the Iranian corps; Thanks to this victory, Shah Tahmasb renamed that neighborhood Herat on the first street of Iran. Years later, the people called the neighborhood around Sepah a street neighborhood.
Geographical location of Sepah Street
Sepah Street, in front of the entrance of Aali Qapo Mansion, starts from Sights of Qazvin . Parts of this entrance still remain. The Safavid royal citadel and the Forty Pillars Palace were located in the northern part of this street.
This street leads from the southern part to the Old Grand Mosque. Later, they expanded Sepah Street and continued it to the old cemetery of Qazvin or the same old cemetery. Thus, Sepah Street became longer and reached the shrine of Prince Hussein. Changes have been made to the naming of city thoroughfares over time. Now, to visit Sepah Qazvin Street, you must find the intersection of Shahid Ansari and Peyghambaryeh streets. Sepah Street is marked on the map with the name of Shohada Street. On both sides of this street, there are shops that have given them a solid and old brick look.
In the southern part of this street you will find most shops that work in the field of food industry. Nut shops, restaurants, pizzas, grills, vitamins, liver and a few examples of these types of stores. To buy clothes and jewelry, it is better to go to the northern part of Sepah Street.
Sepah Street Sights
Tourists who go to Sepah to see the first street of Iran, in addition to walking around the street, can visit some of the sights of Qazvin in this street. However, many Safavid and Ghajri mansions and gardens on Sepah Street have been destroyed over time; But there are still some spectacular attractions of Qazvin on this street.
The High Gate of Qapo Qazvin was one of the seven great gates that connected the Safavid royal citadel to the passages and passages. Four Safavid kings came to the throne in this citadel. Finally, Shah Abbas I transferred the capital of the Safavid rule from Qazvin to Isfahan. Qapo High Gate is the only surviving gate of this citadel. The entrance is decorated with blue, turquoise and azure tiles. Another of its decorations is the inscription created by Alireza Abbasi, one of the famous Safavid artists and calligraphers.
Shaykh al-Islam Mosque and School
Another mansion built on Sepah Street is the Sheikh al-Islam Mosque and School. One of the Safavid Ghezelbash rulers built this magnificent building. Due to the destruction of this mansion due to the passage of time, it was repaired and rebuilt several times during the Qajar period. In one of these reconstructions, Mirza Massoud Shaykh al-Islam added several other sections to the mansion, such as two backyards. All rooms in this school are formalized and tiled. Of course, the cells in the northern part do not have such decorations. This mansion was built of brick and glazed tiles were used to decorate it. You can see the nave of Shaykh al-Islam or Masoudiyah Mosque in the southwest of the mansion. The large size of this mansion is one of its most important features. There are 14 old stone pillars in this mosque.
The large and old doors of the mosque open to the people only during the hours of prayer. In other hours, to visit the mosque and school of Shaykh al-Islam, you must talk to its custodian. This mansion is now a place to teach seminary lessons to students and enthusiasts.
Contrary to many tourists’ beliefs, the Amirkabir Grand Mosque, also known as Atiq, is older than the Safavid period. Aaron Abbasi, the contemporary caliph during the Imamate of the Seventh Imam, ordered the construction of this mosque. Although this mosque was the main place of worship in the city; But it had a very small space. There are several inscriptions in the Amirkabir Grand Mosque, each dating to a specific period. On some of the inscriptions he built the year and wrote the name of the ruling king. On some other inscriptions, Quranic phrases and surahs have been written. In 1992, a museum of pottery and stone was opened in the western nave of Amirkabir Mosque.
Ab Anbar Masjid Jame
In front of the Amirkabir Grand Mosque, you can find a reservoir built by order of one of the commanders of Shah Suleiman the Safavid, namely Ali Khan Nami. In this reservoir, there are marble inscriptions on which the description of the building, the year of its construction and its builders are written in good calligraphy. You will find the water reservoir of the Grand Mosque at the intersection of Molavi Street and Sepah Street. Part of the water storage building has been destroyed and there are not many decorations. The roof of this reservoir is designed to do the job of air conditioning well. Architects have installed a separate staircase for dredging in the reservoir. The reservoir of this reservoir has a storage capacity of 1800 cubic meters of water and is connected to the city water network.
Qazvin Grand Hotel
One of the most important reasons for the importance of the great guest house of Qazvin is its modern design and architecture, which is very different from its contemporary buildings. This guest house was built with a view similar to Western mansions; For this reason, it is considered the beginning of the era of hotel management in a new way in Iran. The travelers of this guest house, in addition to ordinary people, were foreigners who went to Qazvin and then to Tehran for business.
Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar emphasized the construction of this large guest house along with four other guest houses in Qazvin. The construction of these guest houses was considered when the Sosheh-Tehran-Qazvin road was built at the request of the Shah. Mr. Baqer Arbab was in charge of the implementation of this project, who is known in historical documents as Saad al-Saltanah.
Most foreign tourists chose this hotel for their stay. There were 18 guest rooms in this two-story hotel. If you look at the building of the Grand Hotel in Qazvin from the street, you will see that it has two floors; While this guest house has a three-story inner courtyard. The services and facilities of this hotel were more similar to European hotels than small Qajar inns.
The rooms of this guest house were all equipped with furniture. There was a currency exchange section at the hotel to make currency exchange easier for foreign travelers. One of the most important features of this guest house is booking a room before staying at the hotel by telegraph. Of course, travelers later got help by phone to book a room at this luxury hotel.
The menu was written in three languages: Persian, English and French. The waiters, however, were slow to provide services; But their professionalism and good manners satisfied the passengers. Ten years after the construction of this hotel, a cinema was established in it, which caught fire twice in history and was rebuilt.
One of the important historical events of this guest house can be considered as the plot of the British coup during the reign of Reza Khan Pahlavi. This guest house is located in Peyghambarieh Street, Qazvin and is being renovated. It has been several years since the reconstruction and restoration project began; But every time the employers have stopped it for different reasons.
Chehel Sotoon palace
After Shah Tahmasb I transferred the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin due to the threat of the Ottomans, he bought the lands of one of his trustees (Mirza Sharaf Jahan) to build a royal citadel from him. At the king’s request, a garden was established in those lands and several mansions were built. Safavid architects, with the help of a map by an Ottoman artist, built several mansions, porches, important halls and a beautiful pond in this garden. The Chehelston Palace mansion was rebuilt during the Qajar period by order of Qazvin Governor Saad al-Saltanah.
One of the most beautiful parts of Chehelston Palace is its murals. These maps are every manifestation of history. A layer of paintings was painted in the Safavid period; In these works, you can see the artistic elements of that period. The next layer indicates the dominance of the Rare over Chehelston. Artists associate the last layer of paintings with the Nasserite period and the rule of Sa’d al-Saltanah.
If you are interested in studying art, you must know the artists who played a role in making Chehelstone. Reza Abbasi, Mirza Ali Naghash and Muzaffar Ali Naghash are among the people who have performed in the creation of this mansion. In the recent past, part of Chehelston Palace was used to display antiquities. The museum is now a place to display the calligraphy of world-renowned artists. This palace is located near Sepah Qazvin Street and in Azadi Square or Sabzeh Square.
Omid Qazvin School
Qazvin Omid School dates back to the Qajar period. This school is one of the first examples of modern education that was established in Qazvin. The school of hope was built during the reign of Saad al-Saltanah and with the collective efforts of the elders of the city. The school was built on the site of an old laundry room.For Omid School, six classrooms, three toilets and a corridor were provided. Judge Ardaghi was one of the elders of Qazvin and the first principal of the school. Several years after the school opened, Judge Ardaghi was killed during a shelling of the parliament. You will find Omid School a short distance from Sepah Street and at the entrance to Aali Qapo. In 1991, the school became the center of national documents and the national library.
Bazaar construction is one of the most important pillars of traditional Iranian urban planning. Qazvin Bazaar was built in accordance with this view in the Safavid era to be part of the capital expansion program. This market has high arches and brick walls. In the view of Qazvin market, there is no news of blue and turquoise tiles; But the precise and engineered design of the space next to the angles of the structures, makes it a spectacular building. In the architecture of this bazaar, one can see the traces of architectural art, which can be seen in the buildings of Isfahan. The most important parts of Qazvin Bazaar are Shah Palace, Shah Mosque, Haj Reza Palace, Saad Al-Saltanah Caravanserai and Wazir Caravanserai.
Sepah Street structure in comparison with the texture of the city
Abdi Bey is a poet in the Safavid period who describes the buildings, mansions, works of art and achievements of this dynasty well in his poems. According to these poems, Sepah Street in Qazvin was so beautiful in the Safavid period that Abdi Bey compares it to paradise. Lush sycamore trees on both sides of the street, running water streams, various plant species of cypress and spruce, engineering design of street corners and floors and… features of Sepah Street. The location of the two royal gates at the beginning and end of Sepah Street adds to its value and importance. Providing a place for people to walk and comfort in this street was another action of Shah Tahmasb Safavid. This street was so important in different periods of history that it was always a part of holding various ceremonies by the people.
For example, we can mention the moment of Muzaffar al-Din Shah’s arrival in Qazvin, where he was greeted with great pomp. In this street there were all the elements to build a part of the city; For this reason, its value and importance have never diminished. Sepah Street was one of the first streets to be paved. This street had more facilities than other urban thoroughfares at the time of its establishment. Of course, at present, Sepah Street in Qazvin has a worn texture and the municipality has plans to revive it.
Current street location for Qazvinis
With the expansion of urban spaces, Sepah Street is located in the southern part of Qazvin. Most of the important centers of the city are available in the central and northern part of the city. However, Sepah Street is still the most important street in the city for the Qazvinis. The people of the city hold national rallies on this street. This street hosts people in national and religious celebrations or mourning ceremonies who reach their city from anywhere.