Hamedan is a province in northwestern Iran, whose capital is the city of the same name. A predominantly mountainous region, it lies at the foot of Mount Alvand, at 1741 meters above sea level.


The province of Hamedan, a cradle of history and a mosaic of peoples in northwestern Iran

 


Hamedan is a province in northwestern Iran, whose capital is the city of the same name. A predominantly mountainous region, it lies at the foot of Mount Alvand, at 1741 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by the provinces of Zandjan and Qazvin in the north, Lorestan in the south and Markazi in the east. and Kurdistan and Kermanshah in the west. It comprises 9 departments, 25 districts, 27 medium-sized towns and nearly 1120 villages. It is the 14th largest province in terms of population and 23rd in terms of area. From a climatic point of view, Hamedan is one of the cold regions of Iran. It is under the influence of air masses from the west of the country, and enjoys significant rainfall.

According to the last census conducted in 2011, the population of this province was 1,758,268, of whom 58% live in urban areas and 42% in rural areas.

 

Remains of Hegmataneh Historic Site

Several dialects are spoken in the province, and if Persian remains the official language of the country, it is spoken with the specific dialect of Hamedan. Due to the proximity of Hamedan with Zandjan, Qazvin, Lorestan, Kermanshah and Kurdistan, some of its inhabitants also speak Turkish, Lori and Kurdish. Due to the historical antiquity of this province, the dialect of Hamedan has been enriched with Arabic words following the Arab invasion of Persia. Moreover, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, at the time of the domination of the Turks in Iran and especially during the reign of the Seljuks, the Turkish words have entered the dialect of Hamedan. The languages ​​and dialects spoken in the province of Hamedan are divided into four main groups: the Persian language, spoken and understood by almost the entire population of the province; the Turkish language, spoken mainly north and north-west; the lori and the laki, spoken by the inhabitants of Nahavan, Malayer, and Samen; and Kurdish, spoken by the inhabitants of towns and villages close to Kermanshah and Kurdistan.
The capital of the province is one of the oldest cities in Iran and even in the world. It was previously known as Hegmataneh, and the Greeks called it Ecbatane. In the eleventh century, the Seljuks transferred their capital from Baghdad to Hamedan, which remains the capital for 50 years. As a result of the Mongol invasion, it was largely destroyed, to be rebuilt in the Safavid era. The fact that this region is on the Silk Road and communication routes of western Iran has helped to make it a center of trade and exchange in the course of history.

Hamedan's economy is based on agriculture, livestock and mining. Agricultural production in this region is mainly wheat, barley, nuts, potatoes and sugar beets.

In addition, because of the favorable climate and extensive grassland in this region, livestock is of paramount importance and is rather in a traditional form.

 

General view of the city of Malayer since
Garmkouh summit



Besides the capital Hamedan, other important cities of the province are Malayer and Nahavand. Malayer is one of the oldest cities in the region. It is located south of the province and 80 kilometers from Hamedan. Malayer means "land of fire" or "land of the Aryans", depending on the version. Its inhabitants speak Persian with the dialect of Malayer. The main tourist attraction of the city is an underground city built under the domination of the Parthians. Its anthropological museum as well as the Sifieh and Yakhtchale Mir Fatah parks are also worth a visit.
After Hamedan and Malayer, Nahavand is the third city of this province in terms of inhabitants, and is located southwest of Hamedan. It is endowed with a great historical importance because it is especially in this region, during the Arab invasion of Iran, that took place the last defensive battle of the Sassanides before the Arabs conquered the country. This battle is called "Fath-ol-Fotouh" or "The Battle of Nahavand". The inhabitants of the city speak a dialect that belongs to the family of loris dialects.

In addition, because of its geographical location, Nahavand enjoys significant rainfall, and it is in this city that the largest river in Iran, Karkheh, has its source. Its main attractions are the Zaramine Sofla Bridge, the Hadj Agha Torab Hammam and the Giyan Mirage.

Hammam Hadj Agha Torab, Nahavand

 

Exterior view of the Anthropological Museum of Malayer


The region of Hamedan is famous for its traditional pastries, including nan-e komadj, bread made from flour, sugar, nuts and cinnamon.
Hamedan is also an important place for making handicrafts, including carpets, pottery and ceramics. The very city of Hamedan is a center of trade of carpets that are produced in the towns and villages of the surroundings. The most beautiful of them are marketed under the name of their place of weaving, as the Nahavand, Tuiserkan, Malayer or Hosseinabad. The simpler carpets of the region are grouped under the generic name of Hamedan.