Hamedan is a province in west of Iran, with an area of 19,368 square meters. Hamedan Province, is bordered by Zanjan and Qazvin provinces to the north, Lorestan Province to the south, Markazi Province to the east, and Kordestan and Kermanshah provinces to the west.
The provincial capital of Hamedan province is the city of Hamedan. Hamadan is the oldest city in Iran and one of the oldest cities in the world.
It is located at an altitude of 1,741 meters above sea level, and it was one of the capitals of the country at different times of the Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanid, Buyid dynasty, and Seljuq dynasty. The city of Hamedan is also known as the “the capital of history and civilization of Iran’.
Origin of the Name ‘Hamedan’
Different names are mentioned in the history books for this city, such as Hagmatana, Hagmatan, Ekbatan, Amadan, Amadana and so on.
All these names have a common root, though. Since the first government in Iran belonged to the Medes and Hamedan was the capital city of the state, Assyrians called the region as Amadan which means ‘the place of Medes’. The word Hagmatana is also a Persian word meaning ‘gathering place’. Ekbatan is the Greek pronunciation of Hagmatana.
According to the documents obtained, the first time the city was named Amadana in the 11th century BC.
History of Hamedan
As mentioned earlier, Hamadan is the oldest city of Iran and it was the capital of the first state in Iran, the Medes. Inscriptions and monuments found in this city are attributed to the Achaemenid era.
There is disagreement over when this city was founded exactly. Some believe that this city dates back to the second millennium BC, and that it was one of the first settlements of the Kassites. According to other documents, this city was founded by the first king of the Medes.
After the Medes, in the reign of the Achaemenids, Cyrus the Great selected this city as the capital city, due to its moderate climate in summer.
After the fall of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great, Hamedan was invaded by Alexander and most part of the city was ruined.
Many famous people came from Hamadan, including Avicenna (physician and scientist), Baba Tahir (poet and mystic).
Historical Tourist Attractions of Hamadan
Hamadan has various historical tourist attractions including:
Ali-Sadr Cave is one of the most popular tourist caves in Iran, with the longest boating path inside the cave in the world.
Ali-Sadr Cave is one of the lagoon caves in Iran, which is located 70 kilometers northwest of the province of Hamedan in Kabudrahang County. Ali-Sadr Cave lies in Sari Qayah hills, with an altitude of 2,100 meters above sea level.
Based on the rocks inside the cave, the age of this cave is estimated to be approximately 130 to 190 million years, which belongs to the Jurassic period from the second geological period.
Ali-Sadr Cave has a special position among the water caves and lagoon caves in the world because of the very attractive and special boating path inside the cave. There is a lake in the cave, with a depth of up to 14 meters. It should be noted that this cave is not fully explored yet, and some parts of the cave is a secret because of the different corridors and paths in the cave.
Ali-Sadr Cave was first explored by a group of 14 climbers from Hamedan province in 1,963. Until 1,974, when the cave opening was much smaller, this cave was visited by the mountain climbers only. After the size of the cave mouth was increased, it became open to public and is now known as one of the tourist spots in Iran.
It is the first capital of Iran. This place, along with Athens in Greece and Rome in Italy, is among the few ancient cities in the world that still exist.
The Mausoleum of Avicenna, Iranian philosopher, scientist and physician is located in this city. The Mausoleum is a collection of a manuscript library and a museum. Some ancient objects belonging to the millennia BC are displayed in this museum.
Tomb of Baba Tahir
Another historical attraction of Hamedan is the Tomb of Baba Tahir, Iranian philosopher and poet. He was an 11th-century Persian dervish poet who led a mysterious and a very spiritual and stoic lifestyle, so he was not well-known during his life.
Some of the other tourist attractions in Hamedan are:
Morad Beyg Valley
Hamedan Traditional Bazaar
Weather in Hamedan
Hamedan Province is located on the hillside of Mount Alvand and this makes the difference in elevation of its different parts. This region is a mountainous area and the average temperature in this area is 11°C during the year. The minimum temperature recorded in the province is minus 30°C and the maximum temperature is 40°C.
How to reach Hamedan
Hamedan is easily accessible by land, rail and air:
Hamadan airport is the nearest airport to the city and province, although it does not cover international flights and it only hosts domestic flights. Tourists from other countries first reach one of the international airports in Iran and then they travel to the city of Hamedan.
Hamedan also connects to a few cities in Iran through railway.
One of the best land routes from Tehran to Hamedan is:
Tehran, Saveh, Hamedan: about 320 km
The capital of Hamedan province is Hamadan. The province is located in west of Iran in a mountainous region. Hamedan is the oldest city in Iran and one of the oldest cities in the world. The area is 19,368 square kilometers.