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Hamedan, Iran's Oldest City

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Places of Interest

Around Hamedan

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While lacking antique vestiges, Hamedan, has several monuments worthy of interest.

Sang-e Shir:

The only remaining visible monument of old Ecbatana is the Sang-e Shir, or Stone Lion, a statue tentatively dated to the Parthian dynasty. It has been set up in a park in the south-east of town. The statue originally guarded a city gate but has been badly eroded by time.

Sang-e Shir

Sang-e Shir


Tomb of Avicenna

The Tomb of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)

Built in 1952, the tower is composed of a conical roof held up by twelve tall pillars around an empty central space.

Ibn Sina, called Abu Ali Sina by the Persians and Avicenna by the Western world was born in the village of Khormassin around 980 AD and was one of the most influential scholars both in the Islamic world and in the west.
Abu Ali took up Aristotle’s ideas on logic and metaphysics, including the importance of scientific observation and was a famous philosopher, writer and M.D. In Europe, Avicenna is best known for his al-Qanum fit’tibb, or Cannon of Medicine, translated into Latin in the 12th century.

Aramgah-e Baba Taher

Baba Taher, the grandson of Omar Khayyam, was a famous sufi poet who lived between the 10th and 13thcenturies.

The tomb (aramgah) is located in the north of the town. Inside the tomb are marble slabs the colour of parchment with poems written in black calligraphy. Surrounding the marble slabs are borders of translucent stone. The interior of the tower has tile work and a lattice roof: a sharp contrast to the concrete exterior.

Baba Taher Tomb

Baba Taher Tomb

Mausoleum of Esther & Mordechai

Mausoleum of Esther & Mordechai

Mausoleum of Esther & Mordechai

Hamadan's most curious monument is a Jewish mausoleum reputed to contain the Tombs of Esther and Mardochius (Mordechai).

According to tradition, Esther the Jewish wife of the Achaemenian king Xerxes (485-465 BC) emigrated to Persia and succeeded in securing royal protection for the followers of her faith, and with the help of her uncle Mardochius the establishment of Jewish colonies throughout the Persian empire. However, the tomb is also attributed to a Shushan, a much later Jewish Sassanian queen, who is said to have persuaded her husband Yazdgerd I, to allow a Jewish colony at Hamedan in the early 5th century AD.


Alaviyan mausoleum

The Gonbad-e Alaviyan is a 12th century Seljuk mausoleum (the original dome has disappeared, replaced by a modern roof) belonging to the Alavi family. The mehrab as well as the walls inside and out are decorated with geometric and floral designs in carved stucco.

Alaviyan mausoleum

Alaviyan mausoleum

Museum of Natural History

The museum of natural history is located in the Bu Ali Sina University. It boasts the best collection of stuffed animals in the country, as well as an aquarium.


Hamedan, Iran's Oldest City

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Iran's Oldest City
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Copyright© 2003 K. Kianush, Art Arena