Zanjan is the capital of the Iranian province of the same name. Zanjan has a predominantly Azeri population. In Iran the Azeris are also the main ethnic group in Western Azerbaijan province, with its capital in Orumiyeh, Eastern Azerbaijan province, with its capital in Tabriz and Ardebil, whose capital is also called Ardebil. There are important Azeri communities in and around Hamadan, in Tehran, around Qom and Saveh, Khorasan province, and are scattered throughout many other parts of Iran.
The city of Zanjan is located 320 km northwest of Tehran, it lies on an open valley about halfway along the main road and railway to Tabriz. There are good bus connections to Tehran as well as regular flights. With a present day population of 300.000, the construction of the city is attributed to Ardeshir Babakan. Zanjan is administratively divided into three parts: the central part (the city itself), and two districts outside the city called Mahanshan and Tarom-e-olya.
Zanjan probably dates back to the Sassanid period. Conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century, obliterated by the Mongols and by Tamerlane in the 13 th and 14 th centuries, and having a vivid record in civilization, culture, arts and sciences, Zanjan has experienced both glory and hardship. The city is know for the Zanjan upheaval, resulting in what was by far the largest of the battles between the members of the Bahai movement and Persian troops during the late 1840s and early 1850s, involving perhaps three thousand Bahais and thirty thousand government troops and irregulars. Prior to the Iranian Revolution, the city witnessed fighting between the local people and the Iranian army in 1978.
The city is the centre of an agricultural zone with abundant grain harvests. Industries produce milled rice and flour, hand-woven cloth, metal ware, and coarse carpets
Zanjan is well worth exploring, its most interesting historical buildings are:.
The Bazaar – This late 18th century building (Qajar period) is the place to truly feel Zanjan’s pulse. Divided into the upper and lower bazaar, its statistics will make jealous many modern shopping centre managers: 150.000 square metres, 940 shops, 56 entrances, two baths (Bollori and Moini) and even a Mosque
The Caravanserai Sangi – the ancient inn for caravans travelling from Asia to Europe, built in the 16th century, during the Safavid dynasty, is the oldest building in Zanzan city. During recent times it has fallen into disrepair, and it’s current appearance doesn’t make justice to its former glories.
The Friday (Jame) Mosque – The Mosque and adjoining Islamic school date from the Qajar period. The building has delicate and intricate decoration in tilework, providing an exceptional visual effect, and the architecture with tall arches and ample verandas make it most elegant.
The Mirzayee Mosque – This is the oldest religious building in the city, dating to the end of the Safavid era (early 18th century), it its strategically located inside the lower bazaar,
The washing house (Rakhat Shooy Khane) – Located in the old part of the city (Sadi st.) this beautifully designed public building was traditionally used by Zanjan’s inhabitants to wash their clothes and linen.
The Zolfaghari building – This 18th century building shows a unique combination of Gothic and Persian architecture, with gabled roofs and stained glass. It’s located in the centre of the old town.
The Zanjan province has an area of 25382 square Kilometers. Besides Azeri, Farsi Kurdish and Tati are the main languages spoken. Being generally mountainous and hilly, it is divided into three regions with different climates. Takht-e-soleyman, Taleghan, Alamout, and Kooh-e-Rostam are the most important mountains in the province. South of village of Garmab, 140 km south-west of Zanjan city, lies the cave of Katlekhor. The rivers Ghezel Ozan, Abhar Rood and shah Rood flowing from the mountains through the province, supporting abundant vegetation. Among the natural resources of this province, there are six hot springs and four mineral springs in with medicinal value, attracting large numbers of visitors.
The vegetation of the province varies from one area to another, but it is generally made up of forests and pastures. The forests are mainly located in the mountainous regions adjacent to Gilan province. Different climates have created an animal life rich in variety. Various species of wild animals, native and migratory birds , and aquatic animals attract many tourists in the seasons during which hunting is allowed.
Due to numerous rivers and underground streams, as well as many pastures, agriculture and animal-husbandery enjoy considerable prosperity. There are many mines in Zanjan province, providing raw materials for many home factories. kaolin, silver, gold, copper, iron, manganese, feldspat and silica mines are some of the mines, among others, in the province. Zanjan province is one of the country’s important industrial centres, throughout which there are several industrial satellite towns and metal, food, chemical, wood, weaving, construction and mining industries. Of the local industries of the province, particularly of Zanjan city, cutlery has a reputation for products of which are unique in delicacy and solidity. The area is famous for its carpets, filigree work and “Charoghs” sandals
Situated in the north – west of Iran, Zanjan province has an area of 21841 square Kilometers . Being generally mountainous and hilly, it is divided into three regions with different climates Takht – e – soleyman, Taleghan, and Kooh – e – Rostam are the most important mountains in the province . At a distance of 140 Km from the south – west of Zanjan city, in the south of Garmab village, lies a very sightly cave called Katie Khor. The rivers such as Ghezel Qwzan, Abhar Rood and Shah Rood flowing from the mountains through the province, create lush vegetation. Among the natural resources of this province there are six hot springs and four mineral springs in which tourists are highly interested Because of medicinal value these springs attract a large number of people each year. The vegetation of the province varies from one area to another but it is generally made up of forests and pastures.