The province of Qazvin is 15,491 km2 (5,981 sq mi) in the north-west of the central plateau of Iran; and is bounded on the north by Mazandaran and Gilan, on the west by Hamedan and Zanjan, on the south by Markazi and on the east by Tehran Provinces. Its provincial capital today is Qazvin, that has been a cultural center of mass throughout history.
The climate of the province in the northern parts is cold and snowy in winters and temperate in summers. In the southern parts the climate is mild with comparatively cold winters and warm summers.
The famous mountains of the province are Siälän 4175m and Shäh Alborz 4056m, which are part of the central chain of Alborz.
Archeological findings in the Qazvin plain reveal the existence of urban agricultural settlements as far back as 7000BCE. The name "Qazvin" or "Kasbin" is derived from Cas, an ancient tribe that lived south of the Caspian Sea millennia ago. Qazvin is historically also rendered as "Kazvin", "Kasvin" and "Casbin" in western texts. The Caspian Sea itself in fact derives its name from the same origin. Qazvin geographically connects Tehran, Esfahan, and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian seacoast and Asia Minor, hence its strategic location throughout the ages.
The Qazvin congregational, Jame Atiq mosque, dates back to 807 CE, first built by the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid. Qazvin, Iran.
Qazvin has been a hotbed of historical developments in Iranian history. In the early years of the Islamic era Qazvin served as a base for the Arab invaders. Destroyed by Genghis Khan (13th century), the Safavids monarchs made Qazvin the capital of the Safavid Empire in 1548 only to have it moved to Esfahan in 1598. During the Qajar Dynasty and contemporary period, Qazvin has always been one of the most important governmental centers due to its proximity to Tehran.
Bombed and occupied by Russian forces in both World Wars, Qazvin is also where the famous coup d'etat was launched from that led to the rise of Reza Shah of Pahlavi dynasty in 1921. Qazvin is also situated near Alamut, where the famous Hasan-e Sabbah, founder of the Ismaili order of the Assassins, operated from.
Jame Atigh Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Iran constructed by the orders of Harun al-Rashid in 807 CE. In spite of the devastating Mongol invasion, this mosque still stands today in its full glory.
Another grand attraction in Qazvin Province, is the tombs of two Saljuki era princes, Aboo Saeed Bijar son of Sad and Aboo Mansoor Iltai son of Takin, that are located in two separate towers known as the Kharaghan twin towers. Constructed in 1067, these are the first monuments in Islamic Architecture which include a non-conic two-layered dome. Unfortunately, both towers were severely damaged by a devastating earthquake on March 2003.
Kharaghan twin towers, built 1067 CE, Qazvin province, Iran. Here are the tombs of two Seljukian princes. A devastating earthquake in 2003 severely damaged both towers.
Qazvin actually contains three buildings built by The Russians in the late 19th/early 20th century. Among these are the current Mayor's office (former Ballet Hall), a water reservoir and the Cantor church where a Russian pilot is buried.
In recent decades, Qazvin has faced huge industrial development in the country, primarily due to its preferable location. Qazvin today is a center of textile trade, including cotton, silk and velvet, in addition to leather. It is on the railroad line and the highway between Tehran and Tabriz. Qazvin has one of the largest power plants of the country, the Shahid Raja'i facility, feeding Iran's national electricity needs.
Almost 13000 km2 of Qazvin province is under cultivation, which is 12% of the cultivable lands of the country. These are fed by numerous subterranean canals, deep and semi-deep wells, and a large irrigating canal which originates from the "Sangbän" dam in "Taleghän" and "Ziärän". The agricultural produce of the land is grape, hazelnut, pistachio, almond, walnut, olive, apple, wheat, barely, sugar beet, pomegranate, fig, and cereals. Animal husbandry, aquatic and poultry breeding are developed throughout the province.
* HASC : Hierarchical Administrative Subdivision Codes * ISO : Codes from ISO 3166-2 * Dom : Province Domain codes