Cities of Iran

Kermanshah
The capital of Kermanshahan province


Tekieh Moaven ol-Molk, 18th century
Kermanshah is situated in 47 4 east longitude and 34 18 north latitude located in the middle of the western part of Iran and is the center of Kermanshahan Province. As it is situated between two cold and warm regions enjoys a moderate climate. Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. It rains most in winter and is moderately warm in summer. The annual rainfall is 300-500 mm. The average temperature in the hottest months is above 22 C.

Because of the natural circumstances, this city is situated on the slopes of Koh-e Sefid, which is the most famous mountain in the suburb of Kemanshah. The length of this city is more than 10 km. Which runs alongside Sarab Rive and Valley. The height of Kermanshah city is 1420 m. above sea level.

The distance between Kermanshah and Tehran is 525 km. It is the trade center of rich agricultural region that produces grain, rice, vegetable, fruits, and oilseeds, and there are so many industrial centers, oil and sugar refineries, and cement, textile and flour factories, etc. The airport is located in north east of the city and the distance from Tehran is 413 km. by air.

Kermanshah is one of the ancient cities of Iran and it is said that, "Tahmores Divband", a mythical ruler of the Pishdadian had constructed it. Some attribute its constructions to Bahram of Sassanid dynasty, 4th century CE. During the reign of Qobad I and Anoushirvan Sassanid, Kermanshah was at the peak of its glory. And then became the secondary royal residence.

Darius' inscription at Bisotoun, 6th century BCE
Evidence indicated that this province has been the home of man since the Paleolithic and Neolithic age. Considering the historical monuments found in Kermanshah, it was very glorious in the Achaemenid and Sassanid eras and was highly regarded by the kings of those times. But in the Arab invasion suffered great damage. In the Safavid period, it made great progress. Concurrent with the Afghan attack and the fall of Esfahan, Kermanshah was destroyed due to the Ottoman invasion. Kurds, Lors, Arabs, and Turks are peoples living in this province. In addition to the inhabitants of the town and villages, there are nomadic societies through out the province. The predominant language is Farsi, but Kurdi and other languages are also spoken. From the Paleolithic time to the present, this district has been the home of many peoples.

The monuments belong to the Sassanian era as well as caravansary and bridge from Safavid period, indicate the high importance of this district in different ages.

Darius I the Great's inscription at Bisotoun (6th century BCE): At a site some 1300 meter high in the mountains, one of the most famous sites in Near Eastern archeology has been attracting passersby since time Immemorial. It was, here that Sir Henry Rawlison copied the trilingual inscription of Darius I of Achaemenids, caved in 522 BCE. In old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian, an important step in the eventual decipherment of cuneiform in the mid 19th century. The Bisotoun relief above the inscription depicts Darius facing the nine rebel kings, whom the Achaemenid rulers uppercased when he came to power.

At the foot of the hill there are three Parthian relief believed to be the oldest Parthian reliefs, badly damaged by ravages of time and land endowment carved by Sheik Ali Khan Zanganeh, the premier of Safavid king Shah Soleiman.

Tagh-e Bostan, Sassanids era, 224-651 CE
Tagh-e Bostan, Sassanid Reliefs (224-651 BCE): The Sassanid kings chose a sensational setting for their rock reliefs Taghe-e-Bostan, four miles north-East of Kermanshah. A sacred spring gushes forth from a mountain cliff and empties into a large reflecting pool. In writer the entire scene is shrouded in mist and clouds.

One of the most impressive reliefs, inside the largest grotto or "ivan" is the gigantic equestrian of Sassanid king, Khosrow II (591-628 CE) mounted on his favorite charger, Shabdiz. Both horse and rider are arrayed in full battle armor. There are two hunting scenes on opposite side of the ivan, one depicts the imperial boar hunt and the other in a similar spirit shows the king stalking deer. Elephants flush out the feeling boar from a marshy lake for the king who stands poised with bow and arrow in hand serenaded by female musicians following in other boats. These royal hunting scenes are among the most vivid of all rock reliefs, true narrative murals in stone, Jumping 1300 years in time the upper relief shows the 19th century Qajar king Fath-Ali shah holding court.

Temple of Anahita, 3rd century BCE
The temple of Anahita (200 BCE) in Kangavar: Kangavar is a small town of great antiquity lying halfway between Hamadan and Kermanshah (90 km. East of Kermanshah). In about 200 BC during the seleucid Greek occupation of Kangavar, a major sanctuary was erected to the mother Goddess Anahita who was worshipped in ancient Persia along with Ahura-Mazda and Mithras.

This vast temple was built of enormous blocks of dressed stone with an imposing entrance of opposed staircases which may have been inspired by the Apadana in Persepolis.

Kurds form the majority of population of Kermanshah. It has a population of 822,435 (2001 estimate).