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8 Top Attractions in Hamadan

Hamadan, a multicultural city, is believed to be among the oldest cities in the world that enjoys several ancient tourism sites.

 

History of Hamadan

Hamadan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world.This ancient city is cold from September to May, with a lot of snow in the higher regions. Hamadan province is multicultural, populated with more religion of Kurds, Lors and Turks than Persians. According to one legend, Hamadan was founded by the mythical King Jamshid.

The ancient city of Hekmataneh

This city has been inhabited since at least the 2nd millennium BC. Under Cyrus the Great, it became the Median capital in the 6th century BC, when the city was known as Ecbatana or Hegmataneh ('meeting place'). When it reached the height of its glory as the summer capital of the Aebtiemenian Empire (559-330 BC), Hamadan-was described as one of the most opulent cities, with splendid palaces, building: plated with precious metals and seven layers of town walls, the inner two of which were coated in gold and silver.

Bu Ali Sina Avicenna

The great Bu Ali Sina was born in 980 and revered during his lifetime as a philosopher and physician. He is more commonly known in the west as Avicenna, the name under which his widely respected medical encyclopedia was published in Europe. He died in Hamadan in 1037.

Ester's Tomb

The most important Jewish pilgrimage site in Iran, this is believed to contain the bodies of Esther, the Jewish wife of Xerxes I, who is credited with organizing the first Jewish emigration to Persist in the 5th century, and her uncle Mordecai.

Given the great historical link between Persian and Jewish history, modern-day Persian Jews are called "Esther's Children". A building venerated as be the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is located in Hamadan, Iran.

Alavian Dome

This well-preserved 12th century mausoleum of the Alavi family - the pre-eminent family in the town during most of the Seljuq period (1051-1220) is probably the most noteworthy monument in Hamadan it is interesting for the outstanding quality or its stucco ornamentation, with whirling floral motifs on the exterior- walls and intricate geometric designs on its Mehrab, the tombs are in the crypt, reached by a spiral staircase.

Lion Stone

This famous l4th century stone lion in the square of the same name in south-east Hamadan is the only distinct, visible monument of the ancient city, Ecbatana. It originally guarded a city gate and may have been carved at the behest of Alexander the Great.

The stone lion -one part of the 'Lions Gate'- sits on a hill where a Parthian era cemetery is said to have been located. When first built, this statue had a twin counterpart for which they both constituted the old gate of the city.

Alisadr Caves

Alisadr Caves, discovered only 40 years ago by a local shepherd looking for a lost goat, are up to 40m high and contain several huge lakes with clear water up to 8m deep. Nothing lives in the water - surprisingly bats don't even find it worth hanging around here and there is no signs of any inhabitants from past centuries. These caves are the longest watery caves of the world.

Old mausoleum of Baba Tahir

Baba Tahir is known as one of the most revered and respectable early poets in Persian literature. Most of his life is clouded in mystery. He was born and lived in Hamadan. He was known by the name of Baba Taher-e Oryan (The Naked), which suggests that he may have been a wandering dervish. Legend tells that the poet, an illiterate woodcutter, attended lectures at a religious school, where he was not welcomed by his fellow-students. The dates of his birth and death are unknown.

Ganjnameh

Ganjnameh is an ancient inscription, 5 kilometers southwest of Hamedan, into a rock face on the side of Alvand Mountain in Hamedan province. It sits along the ancient Imperial Road, connecting the Achaemenid capital Ecbatana to Babylonia. It was thus a safe and frequently traveled road and had much visibility during the Achaemenian period. The inscriptions were first studied in detail by the French painter and archaeologist Eugene Flandin during the 19th century. Subsequently, Sir Henry Rawlinson, a British explorer, used the inscriptions to decipher the cuneiform characters of the era. This ancient site is in the vicinity of a natural waterfall, adding to the beauty of the scene.

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