Qazvin Things to Do

  • Statue - Qazvin
    Statue - Qazvin
    by suvanki
  • Imamzadeh-ye Hossein
    Imamzadeh-ye Hossein
    by Sambawalk
  • Imamzadeh-ye Hossein
    Imamzadeh-ye Hossein
    by Sambawalk

Most Recent Things to Do in Qazvin

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    Rah - Kushk Gate

    by suvanki Updated Jun 24, 2009

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    Rah Kushk Gate Qazvin
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    This is one of 2 remaining tiled gates, that formed part of Qazvins city walls. Its' north wall is covered with a variety of colourful tiles.

    I recognised the Iranian symbol (Pre- Revolution) of the lion, sword and sun (pic 2), from my previous days visit to the Golestan Palace in Tehran.
    .
    The columns of the gate were covered in black rectangular tiles against white tiles, which formed the kufic style of writing. This was the style used prior to the more ornate calligraphy, and was pre - Koran!(pic 3 and 4)

    The tiles spell out the name of Ali, who is recognised by Shiite Muslims (Shiite originates from Shiat Ali, meaning Partisans of Ali) as the first imam (leader) of 12. He was the Prophet Mohammeds son in law and cousin, and succeeded as the 4th Caliph in 656.
    Following his assasination 5 years later, his son Hussein would have been the 5th Caliph, but abdicated the role. Husseins death at the Battle of Karbala in 680, resulted in the permanant divide amongst Muslims to the Sunnis, who folowed the Umayyad Caliphate, and the Shiites.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only Shiite Muslim regime in the world. 99% of Iranians are Muslim , with 89% Shiite and 10% Sunni followers.
    Christian, Zoroastrian, Jewish and Baha'i are the minority religions.

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Omar Khayyam Statue - or not!

    by suvanki Updated Jun 24, 2009

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    Statue - Qazvin

    I was attracted by this statue on the roundabout near to the Rah Kushk gate. (it became a part of my trip spotting the statues, sculptures etc that appear as you enter each town - some where quite strange, others such as in Tabriz and Hammadan were great pieces of craftsmanship)

    Majid, my guide explained that it was Omar Khayyam (1047 - 1123), Who was a great mathematician, astronomer and historian. He was also known for his poetry, some of his work being translated into English including 'The Rubaiyat'. He is buried in a mausoleum near Mashad

    I was later to find out how seriously Iranians of all ages, take their poets, as I listened to cd's during our journeys, that contained much of the works of Sa'di and Hafez - (whose mausoleums I would later visit in Shiraz). in traditional and modern songs.

    UPDATE -I've been informed by someone recently, who lived in Qazvin, that this statue isn't Omer Khayyam and "is in fact Mir Emad Qazvini a very famous calligrapher of the country from Safavid era".

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    Museum of Calligraphy

    by Behi Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Chehel(40) Soton & Museum of Calligraphy
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    The second floor of chehel soton is now used as a museum of Calligraphy.
    They hold collection of exquisite Calligraphy.

    Chehel Soton is the only edifice left from the royal palaces of Shah Tahmasb I times.
    The wall paintings of the first floor are a typical work of Qazvin Painting School.

    It’s open from 8 am to 1pm and from 5 to 8 pm daily except Monday.
    Admission is IR2.000 (86/2007)

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    Qazvin Museum (1)

    by Behi Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Sumerian Man, 3rd. mill. Bc - Qazvin Museum
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    First Established in Chehel Soton in 1968,
    & moved to new place in 2004.

    Holds ceramics, woodcarvings, Gold ornament, Painting & .... objects from 6th mill. BC until Qajar You won't find some of such object like those in other museums in Iran

    It’s open from 8 am to 1pm and from 5 to 8 pm daily except Monday.
    Admission is IR2.000 (86/2007)

    about pix:
    1.
    I think it's most significant object that they hold
    Sumerian Man,
    Khark, Marble, 3rd. mill. Bc

    2.
    Earthen Spindle Whorl
    Tape Zaghe, 6th. mill. Bc

    3.
    Ceramic Rhyton, decorated by button relief
    1st. mill. Bc

    4.
    Ceramic Rhyton
    1st. mill. Bc

    5.
    Ceramic Rhyton
    1st. mill. Bc

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  • Sambawalk's Profile Photo

    Chehel Sotun

    by Sambawalk Updated Aug 10, 2008
    Chehel Sotun - Day view
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    Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavid era, when it was capital of Persia. Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Chehelsotoon (Kolah Farangi) mansion, today a museum in central Qazvin. See more pic for night view.

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    Al-Nabi Mosque

    by Sambawalk Updated Jul 24, 2008
    Al-Nabi Mosque
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    The al-Nabi mosque (Masjed al-Nabi in Persian) also known as Masjed e Soltani is a famous mosque in Qazvin. Inscriptions indicate Fath Ali Shah of the Qajar dynasty to be the founder of the mosque, however sources indicate the mosque to have been existing since the Safavid period. In particular, it is now believed that the architect of the structure was Ustad Mirza Shirazi with the date 1787 as date of construction.

    It's double layered dome measures 15m in inner-diameter, with the top of the inner layer positioned at 20.83m above ground level, while the external apex is 23.25m high.

    There formerly used to be an elevated minaret flanking the dome to which the French explorer Madame Dieulafoy has written of. The mosque has four iwans in its courtyard.

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    Masjid Jami - Qazvin

    by Sambawalk Updated Jul 24, 2008
    Masjid Jami - Qazvin
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    The Masjid Jami is one of the oldest mosques in Iran. The oldest part of the mosque is said to have been constructed by the orders of Harun al-Rashid in 807CE. Later additions were made, the last being during the late Safavid era. The double layered main dome of the mosque is from the Seljuk era, and is locked to the public. It houses some precious examples of relief calligraphy from medieval times. Renovations have also been carried out on many sections of the mosque.

    The foundation of the mosque is laid on a Zoroastrian fire temple. In spite of the devastating Mongol invasion, the mosque still stands today in its full glory. It is still in use. Parts of the mosque have been turned into a public library. The mosque also contains a Shabestan and Ab anbar, both now under the protection of Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization.

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    Imamzadeh -ye- Hossein Shrine- chadors

    by suvanki Updated Jun 14, 2008

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    Chadors -put one on before entering the shrine

    Before entering the shrine, I had to put on a chador.

    Prior to my trip I was well aware that I wasn't required to wear a chador during my travels in Iran, but while visiting some Shrines and Mosques etc, this might be expected.
    I knew that if ever there was a rack of chadors at a place I was visiting, I was expected to wear one.

    I was expecting to attire myself in the all -encompassing black tent! Chador translates as tent in Farsi.
    So, I was surprised to find large, floral pastel coloured rectangular pieces of nylon material

    Majid selected one for me - a fetching nylon lilac flowered creation. He then instructed me how to wear it- to cover my head and body - easier said than done when you're a 1.57 metre shortie, with a daysac over one shoulder. He pointed me in the direction of the womens entrance, and I was off, tripping over my chador at every step!

    The chador had an unpleasant odour - a mix of stale urine and joss sticks! I later found out during my trip, that all 'borrowed' chadors smell the same!!)

    I was trying so hard not to fall over, or become uncovered, that this was my memory of visiting the shrine, rather than the actual sight of the tomb.

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Imamzadeh -ye- Hossein - Mirrored 'pavillion'

    by suvanki Written Jun 13, 2008

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    Imamzadeh -ye- Hossein - Mirrored 'pavillion'
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    This was the place that for me was quite impressive - I tried to imagine how the craftsmen ever fitted each mirrored tile, how long did it take, how did they do it. Was there men who cut the pieces, then others who painstakingly placed the pieces exactly, and others who'd worked out the design- also others who'd made the glass, and Who nowadays polished this masterpiece, and how!

    I had the chance to see this 'pavillion', initially from the courtyard, then closer, as I entered the shrine of Imamzadeh -ye- Hossein. I took my photos before entering, but was told there was no photography allowed inside.

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    Imamzadeh -ye Mausoleum - courtyard

    by suvanki Written Jun 13, 2008

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    Imamzadeh -ye Mausoleum - courtyard
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    Entering the mausoleums interior courtyard, I wasn't expecting the optical overload of mirrored and ceramic tiles, along with the tiled dome -My jaw literally dropped!

    The mausoleum had the typical courtyard with an ablutions fountain, surrounded by 4 walls of buildings. One of these contained the mirrored iwan, that led to the shrine of Imamzadeh.

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    Imamzadeh -ye Hossein Mausoleum

    by suvanki Written Jun 13, 2008

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    Imamzadeh -ye Hossein Mausoleum
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    This 16th Century Mausoleum was probably my favourite place that I visited in Qazvin.

    Normally my thoughts are that 'less is more' - this place challenged my idea. Blingtastic was the only word I could think of to describe the mirrored spectacle I came across inside.

    From the outside, I was greeted by the sight of a tiled Faberge egg like dome, fronted by a tiled facade with 6 thin tiled minarets.

    This is the resting place of Imamzadeh Hossein (aka Shahzadeh Hossein) the direct descendant of the 8th imam.
    There are 2 stories as to how he met his death - One is that a roof fell onto him, after performing a miracle, the other is that he fell ill and died, whilst accompanying his father to Khorassan and was then buried in Qazvin. Whichever of these, or any other reason, his shrine is a place of pilgrimage. The tomb and shrine were erected by an order of his daughter Zainab Begum, which is inscribed on a tile.

    The octagonal domed building above the tomb dates back to the time when Qazvin was the capital of Iran, under the rule of Shaf Tahmasp (1524 - 76)
    Apparently, there is a cemetery, containing a martyrs graveyard and an aged fighter plane behind this shrine, but I didn't see it - again, another reason to return to Qazvin one day!

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    Chehel Sotun

    by suvanki Written Jun 13, 2008

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    Chehel Sotun
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    This was the former palace of Shah Tahmasp, during Qazvins spell as Irans capital. At the time of my visit it was closed, Majid said that it been closed the last time he'd visited 3 years ago. I'm not sure if it was not the normal opening times, or if there was 'renovation work in progress'

    I was getting quite hungry by now, so wasn't too disappointed that I didn't get the chance for a longer look -and it's another reason to return to Qazvin one day!-( Insallah)

    Apparently, it looks very impressive at night, when the lights glow through the windows, and it is floodlit from the outside. Inside is a small museum, which was created in 1965, and some of the original paintwork can still be seen on the walls and ceilings

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    Ali Qapu Portal

    by suvanki Updated Jun 13, 2008

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    Ali Qapu Portal
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    We drove past this impressive gateway, which I thought was the entrance to a mosque. Majid pulled up, so I could have a look, and take a photo

    This was the gateway that led into a 'hidden' 16th Century palace. It was later copied (and elaborated on) by architects in Esfahan.

    The original gateway was much more impressive apparently, all that is left is this portal and some blue tile work. There is an inscription by Ali Reza Abbassi, a famous calligrapher of his time.

    The 2 side rooms flanking the large central vestibule served as guard posts and the drum rooms!

    After I'd visited this sight, and taken my photos, I read in my LP guide, that this gate was now a police post, so photos shouldn't be taken! - Not sure how upto date this info is (my guidebook is the 2003 edition)

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Jameh (Friday) Mosque -Minaret and tiles

    by suvanki Updated Jun 13, 2008

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    Minaret Jameh Mosque Qazvin
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    I was quite impressed by the intricate tilework and variety of colours used in adorning the minaret. Majid pointed out the deep pink / light reddish coloured tiles - apparently this was the first use of the colour in tile making, and so was very unusual.

    There are 2 minarets in this mosque, although my photos only show one. Shiite mosques can usually be identified by having 2 minarets, while Sunni mosques generally have only 1. However this rule doesn't always apply.

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Jameh (Friday) Mosque - Entrance Portal

    by suvanki Written Jun 13, 2008

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    Entrance Portal Friday Mosque Qazvin
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    I thought this covered entrance was one of the gems of the mosque, partly due to its stunning tiles, and also as it led through a winding passage, that slowly opened out to reveal the inner courtyard.

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