Before going into a description of the historical monuments of Hamadan, and regarding the town's rather prolonged history, the reader is reminded of two hills on which some of the most ancient remains can be seen even today, however not that much interesting: I) Hagmatana Hill, with ruins of the walls and ramparts of the Median and Achaemenian periods. Located in Ekbatan Street (north of Ekbatan Square), which is presently under archaeological excavations (see below); and 2) Mosalla Hill (now a park), situated in the east of Ayatollah Mofatteh Avenue, which is said to be the ancient site of Anahita Temple. According to some archaeologists, the site had been a Parthian stronghold, the remains of which could be seen until a few years ago, with parts of its ramparts visible even today.
The ruins of ancient Hagmatana, on the site of which the present Hamadan stands, date from the period of Median monarchs (7th and early 6th centuries BC) who had made that city their capital. Hagmatana was further developed under the Achaemenian and Parthian rulers and was known as the first capital of the ancient Persian Empire. Scientific excavations and accidental diggings for construction works have resulted in the discovery of numerous objects, including some gold and silver tablets, in the region. This indicates that the treasury of the Achaemenian monarchs was kept in Hagmatana and that the present Hamadan has been constructed upon apart of the site of the ancient city. In the old Sar Qal'eh, Qal'eh Shah, and Darab quarters, one could see the remains of a thick wall that once enclosed the Achaemenian Darius' palace (521-486 BC). Some traces of the Haft Hissar Palace and the historic ancient rampart, sparsely found in the old citadel of Hagmatana bear witness to the grandeur of this capital of the Median and the Achaemenian periods. However, an adequate appreciation of this grandeur will only be possible when systematic scientific excavations are carried out in this area.
Located in the eastern part of the city, the Borj-e Qorban (Qorban Dome) is a twelve- sided brick tower and a place of pilgrimage, and said to contain the grave of Hafez Abol Ala of Hamadan ( 12th century AD). The tombstone inside the dome is from the Safavid period, but the building itself with its pyramidal cupola cannot be attributed to periods later than the 13th century.
Apparently, there is no relation between the tombstone and the main building that is a plain brick structure without any inscriptions. stuccoes and adornments.
Gonbad-e Alavian (or Masjid-e Alavian) is a four-sided interesting 12th century mausoleum belonging to the late Seljuk period. On the exterior, it resembles the Gonbad-e Sorkh of Maragheh. Inside this Dervish Monastery, taken over by the powerful Alavi Family ruling Ramadan for two centuries, is decorated by the same type of gypsum moldings of Reydarieh Mosque of Qazvin. The Alavi Family tombs (two in all) are in the crypt and can be reached by a spiral staircase inside the tower. As regards its architectural merits the stucco ornamentation of its mihrab with intricate geometric designs and whirling floral. motifs on the exterior walls and several inscriptions in Kuffic and Thulth styles, this monument ranks among the most beautiful in its kind in Iran.
The most noteworthy monument in Hamadan, the dome may at one time have been intended as a mosque. It is notable for the outstanding quality of its stucco ornamentation, with whirling floral motifs on the exterior walls and intricate geometric designs on its mihrab. The shrine stands in the vicinity of Eyn ol-Qozat Square.
The 20th century Mausoleum of Baba Taher (another modernist atrocity), situated near the northern entrance of the city from Tehran Highway and at the end of Baba Taher Street in a square named after him, is a rocket-like monument to a mystic poet contemporary of Avicenna, Baba Taher, who died in 1019 AD. The mausoleum was reconstructed in 1970. Baba Taher, living in the first half of the 11th century AD, was one of the great gnostics of Ahl-e Haq (Dervish or Follower of Truth) sect to which the gnostic order of mountainous Iran belonged. Baba Taher's songs and maxims were originally read in Fahlavi, Lurish, Kurdish and Hamadani dialects, taking their present form in the course of time.
At least more interesting than the monument are the magnificent flowers and winding paths that surround it at the center of a rather large hilltop square.
Shrine of Esther and Mardocai
Mausoleum of Esther and Mardocai in a small walled garden on Shari'ati Street 200 m west of Imam Khomeini Square, is traditionally believed to be the place where
Esther, the Jewish Queen of Susa and Xerxes' wife, and Mardocai, her uncl, have been buried. It is considered as the most important Jewish pilgrimage site in Iran, and used to be visited by Jewish pilgrims fromallover the world. Inside the brick dome and upon the plaster work of the walls there are some Hebrew inscription. The experts now say Esther was in fact buried in Susa, and this tomb probably belongs to another Jewish Queen, the wife of Sassanian king Yazdgird 1(339- 420 AD), Shushan Dokht.
There has been a Jewish colony at Hamadan according to Herzfeld sincethe latter's time. The simple brick building, constructed in the 13th century on the site of an earlier (probably a 5th-century tomb), is entered through a rough stone door, which swings open into a large assembly room, a vestibule, an elevation, and a Shah Neshin.
Avicenna's Mausoleum and Museum
Hamadan has been the land of great heroes and scientists: Cyrus the Great grew up here, Pharaortes was executed here, and after thousands of years the vestiges of the mythological walls surrounding the beautiful town of Daiakku (Deioces), the Medes' King, still can be seen there. The world-famous Iranian scientist, philosopher, and physician Abu Ali Sina known 1o the West as Avicenna, a prodigy who knew Koran by heart, lived in Hamadan for several years. He died in 1307. A large mausoleum built over his tomb in 1952, together with a library (which contains approximately 8,000 volumes of books) and a small museum devoted to his works are visited by most local and foreign tourists. A magnificent view of the city and the Mount Alvand can be seen from the roof of this museum.
Avicenna was above all a mathematician whose theories were taught in Europe until the 19th century. Today he would have been called a "pluridiscjplinary" scientist. His works as a poet and philosopher are still studied by Iranians and Orientalists.
On the left side gallery of the mausoleum there is a grave which is attributed to Abu Sa'id Dakhdukh, The grave of Aref-e Qazvini a famous early-twentieth century Iranian poet is also situated in an open yard close to the entrance of the building,
Actually., mausoleums are the best historical monuments of Hamadan for a tourist to visit, Like the whole city, the exterior of historic sites and mausoleums have been renewed in most cases by constructions inspired by spindle-shaped structure of Mongol towers, to the exclusion of all other features of these towers,
Visiting Hours everyday 08:00 am to 13:00 PM and 14:00-16'00 PM