Malayer is the largest city in the province of Hamedan in size, after the city of Hamedan, and covers 3210 km2.
Malayer is the largest city in the province of Hamedan in size, after the city of Hamedan, and covers 3210 km2. According to the 2016 census, it has about 282,000 inhabitants in nearly 88,000 families, the whole agglomeration with more than 350,000 inhabitants. Located at 1780 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Zagros Mountains, it enjoys a continental climate.
Various interpretations have been put forward about the origin of Malayer's name: according to a first hypothesis, it was born from the contraction of the words "mal" and "aryer" meaning respectively "country" and "Aryan"; Malayer would therefore mean "Aryan country". Others believe that the first name of the city being "Malaguer" (male + elder, meaning in the dialect "lori" "the land of fire", because of the existence of the fire temple in Noushidjan), this name then evolved into "Malayer".
With a significant proportion of green space per capita, the city offers travelers an atmosphere of tranquility and charm. Its surroundings also present magnificent landscapes, where are more than 200 villages. In the book Nader Shah Afshar, it is written that from Malayer to Nahavand, the forests were so dense that we rarely saw the sun.
Agriculture is the engine of the economy of this region. The main products are grapes, nuts, almonds, plums, apricots, and cherries. With a production of nearly 250,000 tons of grapes a year, Malayer is one of the largest producers of this fruit in Iran.
According to the remains and according to Herodotus, Ecbatana (former name of Hamedan) was the capital of Media. By extension, Malayer and the surrounding areas have enjoyed great importance. Filled with history, the city of Malayer is endowed with numerous historical monuments which testify to the richness of the past of the region. It has several tourist attractions, the main ones being:
This piece of greenery is a beautiful old park. Located northeast of the city, at the foot of Mount Kouhgarmeh, it was built in 1925 at the request of Seyf-od-Dowleh, nephew of Fath Ali Shah, second ruler of the Qajar dynasty, by Italian architects. Although constructed in a style inspired by Italian architecture, this park bears traces of the influence of both pre-Safavid and Qajjar architecture. It is part of the National Works of Iran since 2005. This vast garden of 10 hectares is an ideal place for family walks, with plane trees, statues of stone, an artificial lake on which pedal boats, fountains ... The park also houses the tomb of Seyf-od-Dowleh and a building that was his residence.
The Bam-e Malayer complex
From the northern hills of the park begins Bam-e Malayer ("Melayer's roof"), the highest point of the city. This place offers a superb view of the city. Bam-e Malayer, Djaddeh-ye Salamat (the Road of Health), as well as the Mini-World form a leisure complex, a large tourist project that is being built in an area of 460 hectares. The Mini-Monde presents reproductions of 138 famous monuments of the world and Iran such as the Eiffel tower, the tower of Pisa, the Niagara falls, Persepolis ...
The traditional bazaar
The city center has a covered traditional bazaar, built in 1846 by Sheikh-ol-Molouk (son of Fath Ali Shah Qadjar), then developed by Mehr Ali Khan, Abolqassem Khan and Mir Fattah. It includes a main bazaar, two secondary bazaars and a few timtchehs (economic complex often covered by a roof) and serai (a two-storey complex located around an uncovered courtyard, often with a garden and a pond). The main bazaar is composed of two rāsteh (main street) which intersect with the chāhārsuq, and narrow streets lined with shops and workshops full of perfumes and colors. Each alley is devoted to different products: crafts, rugs, dishes, clothes, jewelry, spices ... There are also two caravanserais in the great rasteh: Mir Fattah and Sheikh-ol-Molouk. The architecture of this bazaar is inspired by that of Safavid bazaars and zands, such as the Bazaar Vakil Shiraz. The traditional bazaar of Malayer was inscribed in the National Works of Iran in 1976.
The ancient underground city of Samen
Discovered accidentally in 2005 during the laying of cables, this city is under the small town of Samen, located 15km from Malayer. This area of more than 3 hectares at a depth varying from 3 to 6 meters from the terrestrial surface, and includes about sixty parts connected by tunnels. Archaeologists believe that this city, dating from Mithridates I (135-195 BC), was initially a place of worship hidden. The analysis of the exhumed skeletons shows that this place was then, in the Arsacid period, a place of burial.
The archaeological site of Noushidjan, 20 km north-west of Malayer, is on a hill about 37 meters high. Considered as one of the first examples of Iranian architecture, the elements of this site constitute an important archaeological remains of the country. According to archaeologists, its construction dates back to the Iron Age and the beginning of the installation of the Medes on the Iranian plateau. After six seasons of archaeological excavations carried out from 1346 to 1356 (1967-1977) by the British Institute of Persian Studies, the researchers eventually identified three periods: Mede, Achaemenid and Arsacid. The remains found on this site include:
- a temple of fire;
- a central temple or second temple of fire;
- a hypostyle room or Apaddna;
- bedrooms and a storage room
- a citadel
The existence of two temples proves that this site, besides its military function, fulfilled a religious function.
Yakhchal ("cooler") by Mir Fattah
It is a domed building, built at the time Qajar by Mir Fattah, located 2 km south of Malayer, which was used to store ice in summer. From a height of 12 m (from the ground to the top of the dome), from a depth of 4 m (from the surface to the ice reservoir), and with a diameter of 12 m, this cooler has two doors: one used to turn the ice, and the other was the front door, connected via a staircase to the tank. This ingenious structure is composed of building materials such as uncut stones, and terracotta bricks, which insulated the interior. Mir Fattah's Yakhchaal was recorded in the National Works of Iran in 2000.
The traditional house of Lotfalian
It is located in Shahid Mostafa Khomeini Street, Malayer. Taking advantage of his family relations with Fath Ali Shah Qadjar, Mosek-ol-Mamalj, his first owner, called upon the best architects of the time to build a beautiful house composed of four parts: stable, andaruni (private part), birouni (public part) and hosseynieh (place of prayer and religious ceremonies of Ashoura and Tassou'a). The latter was later converted into a house by Morteza Khan Lotfalian who bought the house. The outer facade of the building, covered with mud, is devoid of ornaments and windows, characteristic of Qajar architecture, to preserve the intimacy of the family and reduce the risk of intrusion. The interior facade is equipped with so-called orossi windows, a decorative element of Qajjar architecture, with multicolored stained-glass windows that, through which light flows, project beautiful colors into the interior of the house. The entrance to the octagonal-shaped house is connected by a long corridor to the roof, the stable and a small square courtyard. The building has two floors; the ceiling of the ground floor is vaulted and brick, while that of the upper floor is flat and wooden. There is also a basement called "howz-khaneh", a space 5 m wide and 9 m long supported by six thick brick columns. It is home to two stone basins and a qanat (underground canal), which makes the air cooler, making the howz-khaneh an ideal resting and relaxing place in summer.
Acquired by the Cultural Heritage Organization in 2009, Lotfalian's house was restored and transformed into a museum.
To this list we can add the Kossar Park, the traditional Mansuri house, the mausoleum of Baba-Hossein, the ancient tower of Samen, the fortress of Damoun, the fortress of Gourab, the hill of Pari, the protected area of Lachegar, or the pond of Agh-gol.