Hamedan province is situated in the middle of western Iran. It has long and severe winters from September to May
with a great deal of snow; however, in summer its pleasant climate offers visitors
a welcome break from the soaring temperatures elsewhere. The province
is famous for its raisins (1500 hectares of vineyards) and in the Persian rug trade ranks second
only to Kerman.
Hamedan, ancient Ecbatana, is one of the oldest cities in the world, and according to legend (Ferdowsi), Hamedan was founded by the mythical King Jamshid.
It occupies a key site on the road, which even in antiquity, linked
Mesopotamia to the Iranian plateau. It was here that the first Median
capital, Ecbatana (Place of Assembly), was founded in 673 BC
The glorious riches naturally attracted hoards of invading armies and after Alexander's conquest (331 BC), Ecbatana lost much of its former importance, although it remained a staging post between the plateau and Mesopotamia.
In the 12th century, Hamedan briefly became the capital of the Seljuk Dynasty, but it was destroyed a century later during the Mongol invasion, and again by Tamerlane's armies in 1386. Because of its position, Hamedan was also severely hit by the wars between the Ottoman and Safavid empires. The successive sackings have spared few of Hamedan's ancient monuments; however, some valuable finds from the ancient town have come to light, and much remains unexplored.
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Copyright © 2003 K. Kianush, Art Arena