The Silk Road Crossing In Iran

Case Study: Qazvin

Textbook, 2014

66 Pages, Grade: Ph.D

Free online reading

Table of Contents

Prof Naser Takmil Homayoon’s Introduction

Prof Mohammad Hassan Ganji’s Note


Chapter I The Importance of the Roads and the History of the Silk Road Routes
1-The Road and its Importance
2-The Road Formation in Iran in the Past
3-Types of Important Historical Roads
Royal Road (Rāh-e Shāhi —راه شاهی)
The Route of Alexander’s Military Campaign
The Tea Road
The Spice Route
4-The Silk Roads
5- The History and the Routes of the Silk Road
The History of the Silk Road from the Beginning to the Advent of Islam
The History of the Silk Road after the Advent of Islam
The Main and the Secondary Routes of the Silk Road
The Silk Road and the Communication Situation of Qazvin

Chapter II The Physical and the Human Geography of Qazvin Province
The Physical Geography of Qazvin
Qazvin, an Important Region in Iranian Plateau
The Social and the Cultural Geography of Qazvin
A Historical Description of the Water and the Agricultural Products Resources of Qazvin
The Population and the divisions of Qazvin Province
Religion and Culture of Qazvin
Tourism Capabilities of Qazvin

Chapter III Caravansaries in the Course of the Roads of Iran
The History of Caravansaries
The Word Caravansary
The Historical Background of Caravansaries
The Architecture of Caravansaries
The Functions of Caravansaries
Caravansaries in the Course of the Silk Road
Caravansaries of Qazvin

Chapter IV The Historical Geography of Qazvin Territory
Qazvin in the History of Iran
The Founder
The Name and its Ancient Root
The History of Qazvin Territory and City
Old Roads of Qazvin in Historical Documents
Qazvin Territory in European and Ottoman Travelogues
Qazvin in Modern Researches

Chapter V Guest Houses
The Words Guest and Hospitality in Dictionaries and Persian Literature and Culture and Islamic Hadith
Types of the Guests
Hospitality in the Historical Culture of Iran
Traditional Guest Houses
Caravansaries and Guest Houses
The Grand Guest House of Qazvin and the Tehran-Qazvin Gravel Road
The Situation of the Guest House of Qazvin and the Travelers Descriptions
The Destruction of the Grand Guest House of Qazvin
Qazvin Grand Hotel

Chapter VI Tourism Planning in the Routes of the Silk Road in Qazvin
Historical Routes and Limits of Qazvin Territory
A Suggestion to Revive the Silk Road in Qazvin
Tehran-Robaat Karim-Eshtehaard-Booeenzaharaa-Qazvin Route
Tehran-Karaj-Saavojbolaagh Plain-Qazvin Route
Tourism Routes of Qazvin Province
Qazvin-Taakestaan Route
Qazvin-Booeenzahraa-Aavaj Route
Qazvin-Alamoot Route
Qazvin-Taaromsoflaa Route
Concluding Words

Prof Naser Takmil Homayoon’s Introduction

[1] Until the first half of the 20th century, the researchers interested in studying about Qazvin History (social and cultural) could only refer to valuable old references such as, Attadvin,Akhbarol Ebad, Asarol Belad, Noz’hatol Gholoob and other such books to Mer’atol Baladan in Qajar Period; or could use the general and local geography books and the explorers’travelogues. But with the publication of the valuable book, Minoo Dar, or Baboljannah-e Qazvin by the late Colonel Mohammad Ali Golriz, an impressive development took place regarding the research about Qazvin. And the scientific works of the late Dr. Parviz Varjavand and the valuable researches of Dr. Seyad Mohammad Dabirseyaghi more developments occurred in such a way that considering the valuable books Qazvin researchers, specially the interested young ones have published during the recent decades, without any exaggerations, the volume of the researches about Qazvin has become as much as the volume of the researches about other big cities like, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz and Mashhad. These attempts are in fact the first steps toward more extensive researches in future.

I think the young researches have the necessary capabilities and talents to make more advances in this regard in near future and I hope this historical and cultural city would find its real position in Iran.

The present book bearing the title: “The Silk Road Crossing the Qazvin Territory”, written by Dr. Rossana Heshmatipour, is a new research on Qazvin. She has had his studies at BA level in artistic, cultural and social geography which has close links with archeology of Qazvin. I was her supervisor in her MA studies and she had her thesis with the title of: “A Study of the Silk Road in Qazvin Territory and Recreating it through Tourism”. She got an A in her MA research. Then the desire to continue her education took her to India. She entered one of the best universities of India, Aligarh Muslim University, with an excellent library and knowledgeable professors. Indian professors have been very skilful in some of the humanities such as statistics and geography, especially human geography. Professor Salahuddin Qureshi, one of the most famous professors of Aligarh Muslim University, happened to be Ms. Heshmatipour’s supervisor. The title of her PhD dissertation was: “Potential of Medieval Culture and Architecture in Tourism Planning and Promotion in the Golden Triangle of India (A geographical Analysis)". She got an A in her PhD dissertation too. The present book is a summary of her various studies and I hope in near future she will be able to publish other comprehensive books based on the researches she has done so far.

This book is going to be published on the occasion of the International Meeting on the Silk Road in Qazvin and contains six chapters as follows:

The Importance of the Roads and the History of the Silk Road Routes

The Physical and the Human Geography of Qazvin Province Caravansaries in the Course of the Roads of Iran

The Historical Geography of Qazvin Territory

Guest Houses

Tourism Planning in the Routes of the Silk Road in Qazvin.

I hope the respectable participants and the dear guests of the meeting would find the book useful and stimulating.

Prof Mohammad Hassan Ganji’s Note

[2] From the very ancient times till the beginning of the 20th century, animals like camels, donkeys, mules and horses, and more than the others, camels were used as means of transportation and all these animals were able to walk through narrow pathways in the mountainous regions in a line, and thus forming a caravan which consisted of some animals linked together in a line.

Caravan routes which probably contained all 8000 kilometers of the Silk Road, used to cross many mountain passes and peaks with steep slopes. But at the beginning of the 20thcentury, motor vehicles replaced the camels and caravans in the Asian part of the Silk Road and since motor vehicles were not able to pass the steep slopes of the high mountain passes and peaks, they tried to bypass the old routes of the Silk Road. The increasing motor vehicles and disappearing the animals who served the mankind for thousands of years, many wide roads for motor vehicles were made on flat parts and away from any villages in recent years. So because of the negative impact of civilization, the old routes and roads may be totally forgotten and swept away in future.

Mohammad Hassan Ganji, 6/10/2010

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The late professor Ganji in his 100th birthday party


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Prof Mohammad Hassan Ganji’s handwriting, 6/10/2010

“From Researcher’s Document”

Preface by Author

The formation of the most primitive mankind groups in the pre-historic period and establishing social and economic relationships among them, and the emergence of disagreements and differences among them, caused the natural-historical phenomenon of road and its maintenance to be constructed and developed throughout the world on the land and in the sea and based on the societies qualities and the historical stages of their life, there were changes in it. The roads, along with the evolution in social life and passing by the pre-historic stages, also changed from their primitive shapes and in harmony with other social institutions, they developed and evolved. So one can state that the roads, short and long, were used to exchange a variety of goods among different tribes and residents of different regions. In other words, “district roads changed into regional ones and these roads other historical stages were linked to some new trans-regional roads among which there was one road ¼ of the earth circumference long linking many parts of Asia (east) to many parts of Europe (west), and from the late 19th century was called worldwide the Silk Road by European scholars and other researchers from other parts of the world gradually recognized it.” (Takmil Homayoon, 1997, pp. 77-78)

Towards the end of the 19th century, Ferdinand Von Ricthofen, the German geographer and geologist (1833-1905), while describing the commercial roads between China, Central Asia and Europe, used the term, Silk Road, for the first time. From then on, researchers found out that this concept contains much more complex realities; and this road that is made of a complete network of the roads linked together, after many years has continued from Asia to Europe, and has regulated a variety of political, social, cultural, artistic and religious functions.

“This road begins form Xian city in China, when some secondary roads are joined together, and continues for 8000 kilometers passing some impracticable rough roads in mountainous regions and 3000-meter-high Karakoram walls, with a variety of weather conditions, sometimes terrible and in some seasons pleasant, finally enters Constantinople, Venice and Geneva. This road also passes from Qazvin” (Takmil Homayoon, 2008, p. 797) which the explanation and description of its situation and also the particular importance of Qazvin were one of the motivations of conducting this research.

Qazvin territory on the course of the Silk Road forms the main cultural and commercial intersection which holds the richest and the greatest human heritage. These live and historical heritages have created unique capacities of cultural varieties and tourist attractions in the region.

The late Dr. Parviz Varjavand in the introduction to his valuable and comprehensive book (three volumes) called “The History and Culture Visage of Qazvin” which is the result of many years of research, states, “I was asked to choose a city to offer my intended pattern. I finally chose Qazvin to work on. The main reason was its geographical situation which was in the center of one of the most important linking nodes and roads network and the influences could be seen much better in it.” (Varjavand, 1998, p. 5)

Studying the 8000-kilometer Silk Road started about one hundred years ago, and many different articles and books have been published so far; and many specialized seminars and conferences, regarding the Silk Road, have been held in many countries. The results of some of these studies and researches have been translated into Farsi and some Iranian scholars and researchers have also written different books and articles in this regard. UNESCO in 1994, in a common program with Tourism World Organization started in Samarkand, confirming the great value of intercultural dialogs and civilization exchanges, announced that the basis of the UNESCO program is to fill the ideological gaps, and diminish historical ups and downs, prejudice and power struggle. UNESCO Director-General in the second international meeting on the Silk Road, held in Tehran in 1997 by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, said: “The history of the Silk Road, in fact shows us that Iran has always been present in the Eurasia geographic map and its cultural values, culture and civilization are very great and it has had a profound impact on Eurasia continent civilizations.” (The proceedings of the second international meeting on the Silk Road, 1998, pp. 7-8)

Along this longest commercial route of the world, the cultural importance of which is more prominent and noticeable than its other aspects nowadays, some parts and regions because of their central and particular situations are more important and have more advantages and Qazvin is one of these regions and has witnessed many tourists, explorers, ambassadors and merchants throughout history each of which tried to describe this territory and its routes and today one can notice the historical importance of Qazvin, regarding the Silk Road, by referring to their written descriptions. As Bastani Parizi mentions: “One thousand years ago, the famous Iranian poet, Ferdowsi, used the word, silk, in his poem, and he talks about a kind of cloth the warp of which is made of silk, from China and the weft made of gold, from Rome, and the whole Silk Road is the distance between these two points.” (Bastani Parizi, 1988, p. 304)

Parizi believes that the northern parts of Iran have been the most important silk production centers of Iran in different periods of history: “The main silk production parts of Iran were Gorgan, Mazandaran and Gilan from the earliest times and this position was kept throughout the course of the history. Hodoodolaalam - which was written about one thousand years ago in Farsi – talks about Deylamaan (Rasht and Gilan) as: a region with brooks, streams and rivers, and a place for merchants and warriors. From this region, there comes a kind of soft cloth made of silk.” (ibid, p. 270)

Since Qazvin is next to the northern parts of Iran and has a crossroads situation and the formation of international and national commercial markets and the attraction of merchants, one cannot ignore its major role in the Silk Road. Naturally, because of the special situation of the physical geography of Qazvin, and its placement in the multi-routes of the Silk Road, the main part of the export of the mass production of the silk of the northern parts of Iran to other parts of Iran and other countries, must have done in the magnificent and flourishing trading centers of Qazvin. While it should be remembered that according to many scholars and the historical documents most of the important Silk Road routes were the main silk production centers too, Takmil Homayoon has mentioned, in his lectures, his childhood memories of silkworm breeding and the abundance of white mulberry trees in Qazvin, which is the main food for silkworms, is a sign of enduring process of silk production in this city from the ancient times up to the recent years. Specifying the old routes of the Silk Road, and reviewing the old patterns of communication in these routes, and reviving and restoring the historic fabrics like caravansaries, bridges, reservoirs, gates, historical buildings, ancient hills and considering the native culture and traditional arts of Qazvin territory is not only an efficient step in maintaining this historical road, but also will flourish the Silk Road tourism.

I hope this book, which is the result of many years of research, will shed light on the historical route of the Silk Road and indicate the cultural position of Qazvin.

Rossana Heshmatipour

Chapter I The Importance of the Roads and the History of the Silk Road Routes


From the time that man felt the need to transport the goods he needed, to the use of the animals and the use of the specific routes and roads, and the development of more important roads such as the Silk Road, the Spice Routes, the Royal Road (Rāh-e Shāhi —راه شاهی) and the Route of the Military Campaign of Alexander of Macedon and… Persia was of great and particular importance as a route between the East and the West.

The Silk Road definitely was one of the most important historical roads, a short description of its history and different routes along with some important old roads is examined in this chapter. Many of the important roads of Qazvin, based on the historical documents were placed on the Silk Road. Therefore the information contained in the documents written by geographers, historians and tourists throughout history can be a great and reliable source to revive many of the routes which were used in different periods of history, described in details in Chapter IV.

1-The Road and its Importance

Roads are the first means of connecting people. Economic and social circulation is impossible without the roads, just like the circulation of blood in the body without the veins. In economic terms, roads are the means of transporting the wealth because the agricultural and industrial products can be transported from the fields and factories to the markets via the roads.

In state terms, roads are the means of establishing national unity and a government can govern the whole country via the roads. So roads are effective and useful factors in different fields of life and social stability, so that today the roads are considered as the basis of the development of the civilization because a suitable network of the roads is the only means of developing the factors and traces of civilization in different parts of the society. (Ehteshami, 2002, p. 9)

The first measures taken by man to make the roads, doubtlessly, goes back to the primitive people in search of food and animals. They trampled on the grasses and the weeds, broke the bothering branches, and marked their routes and made many winding tracks and routes.

The formation of the roads has changed in the course of history and in each period, depending on the needs of the societies, specific types of roads have been formed. With the passage of time, the rough and narrow tracks and paths made by primitive people were replaced by the roads suitable for transportation by domestic animals, carriages and so on.

2- The Road Formation in Iran in the Past

In prehistory in Persian central deserts, there had been a sea which gradually dried and its traces still remain as lakes and salt marches.

It seems that during the periods which the internal humidity of the Iranian Plateau was more than that of today, there were pastures and plains all around the deserts in the mouth of the mountainous valleys and caused a kind of pastoral life in these regions, and prehistoric people used to hunt and live in the caves in these mountainous valleys and regions and then they came down and resided in these verdant plains and founded a kind of civilization based on the village life.

The remains of these villages can be seen as ancient hills around the current roads and small towns and villages and it shows that the routes of the great roads have not faced great changes from ancient times up to now. The archeological excavations made in these ancient hills show that thousands of years before Christ these regions used to be resided by a lot of people. The resemblance of the historical objects explored in places far apart from each other along the connecting routes is a sign of commercial and cultural exchanges among human civilizations and it also shows that caravans used to pass from these routes and carry different kinds of goods and exchange social life styles along them.

Other evidences that prove the existence of some historical roads and routes are the traces of wild animals’ pictures which man succeeded to domesticate them and use them in transporting the goods and in conducting military campaigns. Medes occupied the eastern and the central parts of the Zagros Mountains and the regions which was called Persian Iraq after Islam, via Rey – Qazvin and Zanjan, Hamadan – Arak – Qom, Rey – Saveh – Hamadan, Takestan – Hamadan, Abhar – Qazvin – Hamadan and there they faced the power of Assyrian State and some small states resided in the western parts of the Zagros Mountains. (Pirnia, 1991, pp. 17-35)

3-Types of Important Historical Roads

The societies relationship with the great centers of human civilizations has caused the formation of the roads which have been designated based on their functionality and their formation reason. Some of the most important and well-known roads are: Royal Road (Rāh-e Shāhi —راه شاهی), The Route of Alexander’s Military Campaign, Tea Road, Spice Route and the longest of all, the Silk Road.

Royal Road (Rāh-e Shāhi —راه شاهی)

This road was the most important road of the Achaemenids period and there were special stations with safe and pleasant motels along it. According to Herodotus this road extended from Sardis the capital of Lydia to Shush the capital of the Achaemenids and there were 111 caravansaries along it. The caravans took three months to trek the road and from Sardis to Ephesos, the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea was a three-day trip.

Herodotus states that: “There is nothing in the world faster than the Royal Courier, because in each caravansary some swift riders are waiting on their horses for the Royal Couriers to arrive so that they could get the message and take it quickly to the next caravansary and deliver it to other couriers waiting there. Using this method they could travel the 2500- kilometer-long road from Shush to Sardis in just 10 days.” (Herodotus, 1957, p. 117)

Paul Strathern, on the change of the function of the Royal Road during the Alexander’s attack states: “In 331 BC the Royal Road was used for a different function. Alexander, the Great and his army used some parts of it to conquer Asia.” (Strathern, 1997, p. 17)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Royal Road


The Route of Alexander’s Military Campaign

Alexander, after war provisions, entered the Sestos Port next to Hellespont. He after conquering the nearby cities entered Colomes crossing the Practus River. The people of these regions, fearing of death and losing their belongings surrendered. Alexander after successive victories reached the Sardis city and besieged it and then headed for the Milt City which was the base of the Persian garrison. Persian Army and the population of Milt were vanquished by his veteran soldiers. He occupied the Syria Port and waited for Darius III in Issus while arraying his troops. Finally in 333 BC he in Issus, a city next to the Iskenderun Gulf, defeated Darius III. (Ehteshami, 2002, pp. 9-42)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Achaemenid Empire


The Tea Road

This road was the second rival for the Silk Road after the sea routes, and extended between Kwang Tung and Hormuz in Persian Gulf. This road, like the Silk Road, was a land road. It deviated to the north near Merv and then crossing Bukhara and Khiva from the north of Iran extended to Eastern Europe and ended in the coasts of the Black Sea.

The Spice Route

The great Spice Road which began from India after crossing the south parts of Iran joined the Silk Road in Mesopotamia. “I compare the Silk Road and its branches, with the Spice Route as the most important one, with a seven-head dragon which has opened his mouth round Iran, demanding goods and delivering goods, and naturally plays an important role in the politics of Iran and causes many bloody battles between the east and the west, Shias and Sunnis, Portugal, England, India and Iran with Kandahar as its tangled knot. (Bastani Parizi, 1988, p. 266)

4-The Silk Roads

It was a network of the roads which connected the Asian counties together and to Europe and extended from China to the Mediterranean Sea. This road provides a comprehensive picture of the history of the relationship among the human societies and it is in fact the history of the exchanges of civilizations and cultures in itself. Fazian, a Buddhist pilgrim, talks about the terrible situation of the Silk Road while travelling from China to India in the 5th century AD: “Whether in summer or in winter, there is always snow and rain everywhere, there are sand-storms, there are precipices and steep slopes, and the routes are impracticable. It is not a mountain, it is a 3000-meter-high wall One cannot put one’s step on the road confidently.” This road was built for trading the goods and for commercial purposes (Ehteshami, 2002, pp. 9-42) but throughout the history its primary function became less prominent and its social and cultural gained more importance.

Bastani Parizi states in this regard: “…the Silk Road was not just for trading the goods, it also transferred ideas and cultures. This exchange of ideas was not always based on peace and friendship, and the result was sometimes conflict and battle…. Each state, small or big, had an attempt to have a greater share in this road. (Bastani Parizi, 1984, pp. 238-9)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The Silk and Spice Routes from the East to the West of the Earth


5- The History and the Routes of the Silk Road

This unique global phenomenon did not emerged all at once. Based on the needs of every region, nearby networks joined together and the roads became longer and longer. Therefore, the cultures of the far away people, just like the nearby ones, started to exchange and by the emergence of the trans-regional needs the far away networks also joined together gradually and without having any definite plan the Silk Road in the civilization history of mankind came into being. Doubtlessly, the kind of the governments and their policies, and economic enjoyments were effective in the realization of this historical event. (Takmil Homayoon, 1997, p. 84)

A. The History of the Silk Road from the Beginning to the Advent of Islam

In ancient world the cities were only responsible for the local needs because of their limited sizes. Many of the 9th century BC cities such as Babel, Memphis, Nineveh and Tyre had most of the exchanges of goods. But during the reign of the Medes and the Persians that gradually stationed and took office and prevailed upon Assyria Emperor, trading in this part of Tigris flourished too. In 375 BC gold and silver coins began to circulate and in fact the free market economy was established and the economic power was changed into political power. Gradually trading among the countries around the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with Persian cities expanded, from Babel which still had the most population (probably 30000) to Ekbatan cities (Hamadan) and Rey, and trading among the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf started. With the expansion of the commercial exchanges to Rey (or Rey-Qazvin network) and then from Rey to Transoxiana the primary bases of the Silk Road progressed tremendously.

“Darius the Great did not build the military posts along the roads for the first time just for military purposes, and the Royal Road from Shush to Sardis was in fact the continuation of the southern and the eastern roads and not a road which began abruptly and culminated in Sardis. All these activities were for the expansion of the East and West trading and most probably, the silk of the East, was its main merchandise. That Darius the great, took off his armor and put the trading shawl on his shoulders, it is meant that he just like all the powers along the Road, after military dominance, had no way to accept the main objective of the trading expansion and the public income.” (Bastani Parizi, 1988, pp. 210-11)

In the early 3rd century BC after the death of Alexander, his realm was separated. The successors of Seleucus, one of Alexander’s commanders, ruled Iran and Eastern Rome for two centuries. The achievement of the Hellenistic period in the field of trading was an increase in the commercial exchanges. The transportation in the Mediterranean Sea flourished tremendously and cities such as Rome, Athens, Alexandria, Antioch, Seleucia, Rey, Merv and Balkh were changed to commercial centers.

The Silk Road crossed most of the Iranian cities and the Central Asia which was the realm of the Parthia Empire, and culminated in Chinese cities such as the Yashm (Jade) Gate (Hotan). The commercial exchanges from 145 BC expanded between Eastern Rome and China Empire via Iran. (Eivadi, 1985, pp. 139-142)

In 226 AD, the Arsacid Empire following successive defeats from the Eastern Rome and national rebellions began to decline. In this period three new main cities, Antioch, Alexandria and Rome played the main role in the economic and political exchanges scene. The cities of the East were flourishing thanks to the trading and commercial expansions.

The Silk Road crossed the Asia Minor and joined Antioch to China via Rey (the important Rey- Qazvin network). Chinese silk, the main merchandise of the Silk Road, although expensive, was sold in the West quickly. The Silk Road was the monopoly of Parthians (Iran). A slow journey along the longest commercial road of the world and the customs duties that Iranians collected from the merchants caused the cost of the goods passed from Iran to increase and as a result the Romans always accused Iranians of severe injustice. The monsoon was discovered and the Indian trade between the Red Sea and the western coast of India expanded and developed. The Nile to the Red Sea was dredged. The productions exported from China to Iran and Rome were novel and interesting. About 362 AD the separation of the Roman Empire was to the benefit of the East, Persian Empire and China since they were not obliged to pay taxes to Rome. Gradually the Silk Road flourished more and more and the intense encouragement of the Sassanid for urban life caused a general increase in the relationship between Persian Empire and the Eastern Rome. (ibid, pp. 130-247)

B- The History of the Silk Road after the Advent of Islam

In early 7th century AD, the advent of Islam occurred and in 632 AD Muhammad, the Messenger realized the unity of Arabia. The Muslim Arabs in less than one decade conquered Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Tripoli and Tunisia. The victory of the Muslims in Nahavand (642 AD), caused the decline of the Sassanid Empire and Iran was then ruled by the Arab Caliphs.

In this period, Islam could be compared with the Roman Empire regarding the extent of the territory and it brought unity and peace and naturally trade and civilization developed. Islamic cities flourished greatly and commercial exchanges along with the teachings of Islam, were spread through Central Asia, western parts of China and Indian Peninsula. The common border between the Islamic State and the Byzantine Empire, caused many for the Byzantine rulers in the fields of economy, politics and religion. The Silk Road connected the Islamic territories to the north and west of the Europe.

After the 10th century AD, the global commercial center moves to Italian cities such as, Venice, Milan and Geneva. In this side, the Silk Road was still active and most of the commercial and trading exchanges among Islamic cities were done via it.

On the one hand, the wool-cloth trade from England and France to the East drew attentions. In this period Baghdad, as a great Islamic city, and the center of the caliphate, was the most important Islamic period city along the Silk Road and Cairo was considered the main commercial-political city.

In 1220 AD the Mongol Invasion to Iran was followed by the occupation of Transoxiana, Khorasan, Mazandaran, Rey, Hamadan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. During the reign of Hulagu Khan the domination of the Mongols over Iran was completed. “I think the main reason for the Mongol Invasion was the reopening of the Silk Road. It seems that Sultan Mohammad Kharazmshah made the biggest mistake by killing and seizing the goods of the300 Far East merchants.” (Bastani Parizi, 1988, p. 257)

In the early 13th century AD the Ilkhanate State of Iran (the successors of Hulagu Khan) was gradually absorbed in Iranian culture and civilization and among them Ghazan adopted Islam and Öljaitü (Muhammad Khodabandeh) adopted Shiite sect. In Asia following the peace brought by the Mongols, the commercial roads such as the Silk Road flourished more than any other periods. “During the reign of Muhammad Khdabandeh, Soltaniyeh and its social, royal and religious buildings attracted his attention and this city became gradually one of the most important cities of Iran and even the World of Islam…The fame and the majesty of Soltaniyeh during the reign of the Ilkhanate State could be compared with big cities like Tabriz, Maragheh and other cities along the Silk Road and the city with a wall round it and a gate and 16 towers and old fortresses with a length and width of500meters, had many bazaars, caravansaries and many buildings for government offices. The Soltaniyeh historical dome is a prominent and enduring memento and a cultural-architectural complex which still attracts many visitors interested in the world’s architecture, civilization and history from far away countries.” (Takmil Homayoon, 2008, pp. 112-3)

The Mongols’ and Timur’s destructive Invasions caused enormous damages to the East including Iran. But after the end of the invasions the restoration and reconstruction were made quickly. The cultural and economic relations among China, India, Damascus, Egypt, Transoxania, Java, Bengal, Ceylon, Abyssinia and Eden quickened and this process continued into the Safavid period. But the commercial exchanges via the land between Islamic nations and Europe gradually decreased. “With the emergence of the Safavid Dynasty and the return of safety and peace the silkworm breeding and its trade flourished in Iran and in Shah Abbas I Period reached its peak. Shah himself became an important silk merchant, and gained very great income via land and sea trades. In this period, sometimes the raw silk from Iran and other Asian countries was exported to Italy and delicate and rich garments were made there and then these garments were exported to the East via Venice.” (Takmil Homayoon, 2010, p. 104)

After the 16th century the commercial center was transferred from the district of the Mediterranean Sea, and cities such as Constantinople, Naples, Rome and Milan to London and Amsterdam and caused a decrease in the commercial exchanges between the East and the West via the Silk Road.

The commercial activities of the Europeans with Iran via the sea increased. With the defeat of the Safavid Dynasty by Afghans in 1723 AD, and then the emergence of Nader Shah combat and hostility reached its peak in Iran and the lack of security spread all over the country and “during the reign of the Qajars the impotence of Iran against the economic dominance of the European countries increased but because of the importance of the Silk Road the Nooghan (silk) Office during the Persian Constitutional Revolution was established. But the agitation and the confusion of the time and the different diseases of the silkworms did not provide the suitable situation, as it was previously, for the development of this economic affair. (Takmil Homayoon, 2010, p. 108) Finally, all the factors led to the fall of the Silk Road. (Ivadi, 1985, pp. 130-274) At present in some of the provinces of Iran such as Golestan and Mazandaran, silk production companies are active under the support of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad.

The Main and the Secondary Routes of the Silk Road

According to Dr. Takmil Homayoon, the Silk Road can be studied in eight important parts:

“The First Route: Extends from Xi’an, the old capital of China, to Gansu and then to Dun Huany, in the far end of the famous wall which is the end of the civilized world of China, according to Chinese, and from that point the uncivilized world begins. Several temples and caves with pleasant paintings and the statues of Buddha and the Saints are the top aspects of this region.

The Second Route: Starts after crossing the Dun Huany and the Tarim Plateau which is the roughest land of the world (1500 Km. long and 750 Km. wide). In the eastern side of this plateau there is the Gobi Desert in the middle of which is the famous desert, Tak Lamakan, which apparently means, ‘does not come back alive’, and after the Rub' al Khali in Saudi Arabia, is the largest desert in the world. From the Tarim Plateau some 6000-high mountains surround it in the south and the west, and the sandstorms have buried many cities and villages. In this region the temperature varies between -20 degrees centigrade to +40 degrees centigrade and the Silk Road continues in two directions. Along the northern route the historical cities, Hami, Turpan (the center of the Manichaean explorations in Pahlavi) and Kucheh, and along the southern route the city, Hotan (the pasture of the beautiful and odorous musk-deer) and both routes come together in the historical city, which is the religious and political center of the Xinjiang Muslims.

The Third Route: From Kashgar the road is separated and is called Karakoram and goes from Yarkant County towards the Pamir Mountains with the walls of 4500 meters high which are very impracticable. There are many blizzards in this road in winter and the tracks are very narrow and the danger of avalanches and the fall of big rocks always threatened the passers-by.The southern road separated from Kashgar, is in contact with the roads from India, but finally leads to Balkh and the northern road continues towards Samarkand and many other roads are joined to it and a branch of it goes to Bukhara and Kharazm and then to Noysara, Astrakhan, Russia and Constantinople but the main road of this network goes to Marv and Sarakhs and the abovementioned Balkh Road crosses Herat and finally leads to Tus. The receptive of many roads.

The Fourth Route: The Tus Road extends to the ancient city of Rey and in the limits of Beihagh and Jovein is divided into two and in Bastam the two are joined again and the Gorgan Road is added and it is again divided into two in Ghoomes (with a secondary road towards Mazandaran), the main road finally leads to the vast fields of Rey-Qazvin.

The Fifth Route: The ancient Rey-Qazvin Network (which will be explained later).

The Sixth Route: From this point onward (Qazvin) which is called the western roads, one road goes via Soltaniyeh and Zanjan to Azerbaijan and crossing Tabriz and Erzurum leads to the Black Sea and via the sea goes to Istanbul and the second road goes to Bagdad via Hamadan.

The Seventh Route: Begins from the historical city of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sassanid Empire. The Royal Road, which is mentioned by Herodotus, joins the Silk Road in this city.

The Eighth Route: The roads that are divided via Constantinople. It should be said that the Eurasian Steppe Routes and crossing the Tianshan Mountains and Fergana, Khujand and Samarkand in the course of the Syr Darya to the north of Kharazm and the Caspian Sea and from Khiveh and Kharazm in the course of the Amu Darya to the western part of the Kharazm Lake and after crossing the Ural and Volga via the south of the Russia enters the Black Sea and Leads to Constantinople.” (Takmil Homayoon, 2010, p. 42)

The Silk Road and the Communication Situation of Qazvin

Because of the natural conditions and the strategic situation of Qazvin and its location on the way of the main roads connecting the East and the West, throughout history, the roads branched from it have always been considered the most important routes of the Silk Road.

In Islamic Periods this situation was not only kept, but also increased gradually in importance. Qazvin is in the course of a route which connects China and India, on one hand, to the Black Sea and, on the other hand, to the Mediterranean Sea, a historical road which is now called the Silk Road.

The situation of the communication roads of Qazvin in the period of about 50 years when it was the capital of the Safavid Dynasty, was considered more than any other times, and was flourished logically. Most of the main routes were those of the historical ones, and the foreign officials, ambassadors and merchants who came to Iran via different roads such as Mediterranean and Damascus, the Black Sea Route, Bagdad, Russia and Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf had to cross Qazvin. So the technical situation of the roads around and leading to Qazvin became much better and some of them crossing the marshland routes were paved with stones. Including the road constructions during the Safavid Dynasty regarding Qazvin, we can mention the road connecting Deylaman to Qazvin. At Shah Abbas I command, this old road was restored and manipulated and the magnificent and enormous bridge of Anbooh was built on Shahrood River along this road. According the historical documents, all the caravans that used to go from the east or the center of Iran toward the countries in the West or Azerbaijan and Ottoman and all the caravans that used to go from the Western countries, Ottoman and Azerbaijan toward the east or the center of Iran, had to pay the toll in Qazvin toll-gate. During Qajar Dynasty, Qazvin just like before, played its role as an important city and a significant port for the valuable goods in the route of the Silk Road.

Jane Dieulafoy (1851-1916) who travelled to Iran during Qajar period believes that the reason for the development and the progress of Qazvin is: “The main part of the reason for the progress and the development of this city owes to its geographical situation since it is located in a place where the main caravans from the West and the North come together. The Europeans arrive in Tehran via the North sooner because it is shorter and better than the road of Georgia and Armenia in all the seasons of the year. The foreign ambassadors and their staffs always use this road to come to Tehran or go to their own countries.” (Jane Dieulafoy, 1982, p. 104)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Qazvin Branch Location

“Author’s own work”


From the third century BC to the early 15th century AD, the Silk Road had dominance over all other commercial roads and Iran enjoyed global reputation as the center of civilization and the commercial intersection for economic and cultural goods. Europe, till the recent years, never succeeded to find an alternative. In the Middle Ages in spite of the strictness of the Church and Christianity during about three centuries, the Roman Empire gradually began to decline. The advent of Islam in the heart of desert created new obstacles on the way of the development of Christianity and the missionaries who had come to the East. Along with the political weakness of Rome, their commercial exchanges in the Silk Road somewhat began to decline too.

During this period just three cities of the Eastern Roman Empire such as Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria had the ability to exchange commercial goods. Among the western and southern cities of Iran, Rey, Qazvin, Hamadan, Ctesiphon and Istakhr were along the Silk and Spice International Roads. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, having the International Trading Highway, gained more power. The Silk Road with all that magnitude and importance throughout history little by little began to decline; some of the involving factors can be summarized as follows:

“- Emergence and development of the modern industry and technology
- Modern marine explorations and the development of marine transportation from the late 18th century during the British East India Company period
- The development and the flourish of the trading road called the Tea Road[3] which was the rival of the Silk Road after the sea roads
- The foundation and the development of Siberian railway by Russia
- Lack of security for the merchants and the trading caravans along the Silk Road and the political instability in Iran caused the Silk Road to decline in the early 19th century after centuries of flourish and magnitude and not to be able to be used even for local trading exchanges.” (Rahimpour, 1997, pp. 224-225)

Chapter II The Physical and the Human Geography of Qazvin Province


Throughout the history many of the incidents, accidents and changes, doubtlessly, have been attached to the natural environment, climatic conditions and human geography of the regions which have led to new life style and the formation of new environmental models in different parts of the earth.

Most of the important historical events, being affected by climatic conditions and physical geography, have left many ups and downs behind and have finally registered as the most important incident or accident in the history memory.

The most important characteristic of the physical geography of Qazvin in addition to its intersectional situation, is its easy-to-pass roads during all seasons of the year and its ideal climate compared to other cities along the Silk Road which have led to ethnic diversity and specific conditions of human geography.

The Physical Geography of Qazvin

In ‘Geography of the Qazvin Province’ the geographical situation of this province has been described as: “Qazvin province is located in the northern half of Iran and in the geographical situation of between 48° and 45’ to 50° and 50’ eastern length and 35° and 37’ to 36° and 45’ northern width. It has an area of 16000 square kilometers which is nearly 1% of the whole country. The height of the north and the northwest parts is 4000 meters above sea level and the southwest part of the province 2700 meters above the sea level. Qazvin Province is in fact a linking bridge between the central and the northern, the northwest and the western provinces and even the European countries. In short, Qazvin is the linking ring between the central Iranian plateau and the north, northwest and western provinces of Iran.” (Famili et al, 2007, p. 2)

Some of the advantages of the geography of Qazvin are as follows:

Climatic diversity

Potential and current agricultural power

Closeness to the capital (in recent two centuries)

Super communication situation (ideal accessibility to highways, railways and international communication roads)

Suitable position for stationing industries

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The Natural

Scheme and Communication Network of Qazvin Province

“Famili, 2007, p. 335”

Qazvin, an Important Region in Iranian Plateau

The climatic conditions and the physical situation of Iran, have provided some special cultural and historical characteristics. These special geographical conditions, in the course of the history, have acted as a powerful and momentous factor and have caused Iran to be an exceptional country regarding history and geography. Familiarization with Iranian plateau will help to recognize the super situation of Qazvin regarding its geography.

“Iranian plateau is a very large and high territory including Iran, Afghanistan and some parts of Baluchistan which are now parts of Pakistan. It joins to two other high plateaus in the northeast and northwest, i.e. Asia Minor (Anatolia) and Pamir. Iranian plateau was formed in the 3rd geologic period and its geological folds and the folds of the Alps and the Himalayas have been formed simultaneously.” (Tohidi, 2001, p. 22)

Alborz mountain rang in northern Iran is the result of the Iranian plateau folds, which is connected from the east to Khorasan mountains and then to Hindu Kush range and from the northeast to Pamir plateau. The west and the south side of Iranian plateau is covered by Zagros mountain range which has formed an arch in this region. Its continuation has extended to the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and crossing Baluchistan, has joined to the southern parts of the Solomon Mountains. This western part can be considered as a border line between Iranian plateau and the Asia Minor (Anatolia) plateau.

“The Silk Road used to cross Kashgar and Otrar and then join to Jayhoun (Amu Darya) Amol. The main cities along the Silk Road were Samarkand, Bukhara, Merv, Tus, Damghan, Gorgan and Rey. In Qazvin this road was divided into some branches: some extended to Azerbaijan, Aran or Trabzon, some to Hamadan and then to Baghdad or Mosul and in Asia Minor (Anatolia)to Izmir and its secondary branches to Hormuz Island and the road from Siraf to Shiraz and Isfahan, via Tus, Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, Kheibar, Nishapur, Rey, Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman.)Eshraghi, 1997, pp. 147-202)

“Iran with a cohesive and unified geographical visage, has had diverse regions and residing in these regions has provided climatic and multicultural characteristics. One of these regions is Qazvin territory, having a water field. This territory consists of part of more or less, Zanjan, Abhar, and beyond Avaj, Hamadan, Saveh, Rey, Varamin, Ghasran, Savojbolagh, Taleghan,Alamoot and the existing Rudbars and Tarom (Olya and Sofla).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Qazvin Territory Crossroads Position; Part of the Province's Tourism Map; “Documentation Center of Cultural Heritage of Qazvin”

This historical region has had civic challenges. In its fields the signs of civilizations of 6000 years BC (Tepe Zagheh), and 4000 years BC (Sagz Abad), have been studied. In its mountains, the lives of the Deilams, Taboors, Divs and Amards raiders against the civilized residents have been noticeable. This territory, has been called Caspian, from ancient times, and its people have made the greatest closed sea of the world (Caspian Sea) immortal as Bahrol-Qazvin (sea of Qazvin).

The historical city of Qazvin has been formed in the center of this region and its villages and have been in a social and cultural affinity and integration. Qazvin as a social collection in a specific geographical region, was exposed to vulnerability by the central government dependent on the dominance of the foreign powers and the divisions of the country were based on the new system which was based on positive balance, especially regarding the military and the centralization of the administrative system of the country and the connection between the regions and cities was formed based on the colonial wishes and Reza Khan’s autocracy and the new economic program which was a disruption to the previous production based economy and unharmonious to the historical methods was created.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Ancient Hill, Tapeh Zagheh in the Plain of Qazvin, the archaeologists are interested in it due to the first traces of human settlement and a number of scientific excavations have been carried out so far; “ Author’s own work ”

In the first period of the Pahlavi Dynasty, Qazvin was separated from its territory and was placed as the first province, next to Zanjan, Saveh, Arak, Rasht and Shahsavar (Tonkabon) which was not at all reasonable regarding the standards and the situation of the country and was not based on any regional, geographical, ethnic and dialectal principle. In this imprudent division, Tehran as the second province was placed next to Qom, Kashan, Gorgan, Tabriz and Ardebil, which is obviously illogical.” (Takmil Homayoon, 1996, pp. 43-56)

Two main and important factor in the ancient times (and even today) has caused the plain of Qazvin to be important for residing in Iranian plateau. First, this plain has been very fertile and it has been very suitable for residing in the starting period of agriculture in pre-historic and ancient civilizations of Iran. The next important factor is the specific geographical situation of this plain which is placed in the southern lower slopes of Alborz mountains and the northern margins of the central desert of Iran and in ancient times, the commercial exchanges and the communication between the East and the West civilizations was necessarily done through this suitable and habitable region. This plain is also on the way of the only suitable route regarding the northern civilizations and is placed in the Caspian Sea and Iranian plateau district and this connection has been done through Loshan, Manjil, Rudbar and Sefid Rood valley.

The plain of Qazvin was in the intersection of the communication of the ancient East, West, North and South civilizations and had definitely close contact with the art, industry and culture of these civilizations and played an important role in the establishing this communication, progress and evolution of the previous civilizations.

In the historical period, Qazvin had been an important commercial and political center and in Safavids Period was chosen as the capital of the country for a period of time. So it is not surprising that such suitable and important regions could have valuable and important ancient remains from the past.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The existence of many ancient hills in Qazvin Plain, is a sign of its importance from the ancient periods. “Historical Atlas of Iran, Iran's Survey: p.7”

In archaeological studies and excavations done in the plain of Qazvin, it was revealed that there are ancient hills and buildings and cites related to pre-historic, early-historic and Islamic periods. So the plain of Qazvin which contains a vast area from Karaj in the west to Tarom district, on one hand and from the southern low slopes of Alborz mountains to the northern low slopes of the Raman mountain range, on the other hand, was considered a suitable site for archaeological researches of the department of archaeology of the University of Tehran. (Negahban, 1997, p. 315)

The Social and the Cultural Geography of Qazvin

A Historical Description of the Water and the Agricultural Products Resources of Qazvin

Hamdollah Mostofi a famous Iranian historian and geographer who lived about 14th century and most of his life was spent in Qazvin as a tax clerk and his glorious tomb in this city is considered as a valuable historical attraction.

“It (Qazvin) has a mild climate and the water supply of the city is provided through Kanats (man-made subterranean water canals) and there are a lot of gardens and orchards and are irrigated once a year when water is plentiful. There are a lot of grapes and almonds and pistachios and when the lands are saturated with water the plant melon and watermelon and without further irrigations they get good harvest. Most of the time grapes and grains are cheap. It has delicious bread and grapes and also plums. There are nice pastures and hunting-grounds specially grass for camels and its camels are more expensive than that of the other parts of the country…and there are more than three hundred villages and farms in the region and the whole plain is divided into eight districts.” (Mostofi, 1957, p. 63)

“The water of the rivers comes from the mountain snows and there are also a few springs which run during late winter and early spring and when it is hot the spring water cannot flow to the city due to deficiency and there are five rivers.” (Mostofi, 1983, p. 779)

The Population and the divisions of Qazvin Province

The distribution of population in this city, due to geographical factors such as climatic conditions, accessibility to water resources, land fertility, roughness of the lands and different social and economic conditions is not homogeneous. In the marginal regions of the province, the density is low and in the central parts the density is high. In the foothills, especially in the central parts of Qazvin, due to better climatic conditions, and easier accessibility to water resources, fertile lands and nowadays, better roads, higher education and industrial centers, and service-providing centers the density is extremely high, compared with other parts of the province. The large and important industrial centers, specially the Alborz industrial complex, near the city have caused an extremely high density of population in this region and have changed Qazvin to a big city.” (Famili et al, 2007, p. 40)

According to the 2011 statistics Qazvin province has 6 provinces, 54 cities, 19 districts, 46 rural-districts and 1148 villages. 73.1% of the whole 1201565 population live in urban areas. (Reported by the statistical center of Qazvin Province, 2011)

Religion and Culture of Qazvin

Before the advent of Islam, Zarathustrian was the official religion. It is said that the first Mosques of the city were built on the fire temples. After Islam till the beginning of the Safavids in Qazvin, Sunnite, the Shafiite branch, was very common among people. With the advent of Safavids, Shiite grew rapidly and today the religion of most of the people is Shiite (12 Imams).

“Qazvinis are in fact Aryans and the descendants of Deylam Clan. After being mixed with Arabs, Turks and Mongols they might have changed. Their language had also been like Deylam language i.e. like the language of the current people of Rudbar and Alamut. They have protected their ancestors’ language to some extent, despite the great misfortunes they have had throughout the history. For example, in the northern parts of the province, like Alamut, Rudbar and Taleghan Pahlavi is being spoken and even in Qazvin, before the Mongol invasion Pahlavi had been spoken.” (Golriz, 2003, pp. 339-40)

The language and the variety of dialects in Qazvin territory is a sign of the variety of cultures via the network of the roads and the routes coming and culminating in Qazvin. Right now the languages being spoken in Qazvin are: Farsi, Tati, Maraghi, Kurdish, Lori, Turkish and Romanluee. The common language of the citizens of Qazvin city and most of the population of the eastern regions of this province is Farsi.

Tourism Capabilities of Qazvin

The tourist attractions of Qazvin province are as follows:

Natural attractions such as mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, forest pastures, caves, wildlife sanctuaries, flowing sands, mineral water, deserts, salt marshes, etc.

Historical attractions such as castles, caravansaries, bridges, ancient hills, Mosques, and tombs

Cultural attractions such as villages, customs, museums and bazaars.

Pilgrimage attractions such as Holy Shrines and places

Handicrafts attractions, indigenous handicrafts belonging to different regions of the province. (Famili et al, 2007, p. 47)


Qazvin province is divided into two regions, mountainous and plain. The mountainous region is located in the northern part of the province and Sayalan and Alamut are two of the famous summits of the western part of the Alborz Mountains. Qazvin, due to many highlands and medium rainfall, has cold winters and mild summers. In addition to relatively suitable climatic conditions, the intersectional situation of Qazvin in the most important part of the geography of Iran, have changed it into a free route which had been attractive for caravans of the Silk Road throughout history. Therefore it can be concluded that before Islam there had been a large and cohesive region called Qazvin which was governed as a self-sufficient and autonomous unity and enjoyed a social and economic life. Qazvin city has been formed in this unique region in the northern part of the ancient city of Qazvin, and centuries later, Shapur Sassanid after the social-economic-cultural formation of the region, established Qazvin city in the heart of this large Qazvin territory. (Golriz, 1958, pp. 51-55) The conquest of Qazvin by Muslims in 644 AD and the development of the city in 800 AD and facing newer conditions in 10th and 11th centuries AD, caused some changes in the region which paved the way for cultural, literary and scientific and also economic affairs and the main parts of the tourist attractions mentioned in this chapter have their roots in these historical evolutions in the expanse of Qazvin territory.

Chapter III Caravansaries in the Course of the Roads of Iran


In all books written about the history and the geography of Iran, and in all travelogues, the roads and the buildings along them have been mentioned and all evidences show that roads have been very important for Iranians and the neighboring countries and they had no way to have safe and good roads and also provide some buildings along them as rest areas, and also some towers and landmarks to act like lighthouses for the caravans and help them find their routes in the plains and deserts.

Caravansaries could be seen along all roads, especially the Silk Roads, and were used as a safe shelter for travelers to relax and recuperate their strength, and they were built every 30 Kilometers.

The History of Caravansaries

Iranian kings and important people, before or after Islam, did their best to have the buildings constructed, especially out of the cities and along the roads and even after any social changes, and the destructions caused by them, they first started to restore, rebuild and renovate the destroyed buildings. In Islamic Periods, kings and important people, including Malek Shah Saljooghi, Abolhassan Ali Ibn Mah, and Shah Abbas Safavid, ordered many caravansaries to be built.

Many of the caravansaries built in Iran in different periods, besides providing shelter for the passengers and also their basic needs, were equipped with military weapons to guarantee the lives and the property of the passengers. All caravansaries along the roads had both military and economic functions and those located in the cities were used as shared warehouses and they were also equipped with military weapons to be able to defend the city in case of a riot or a battle. (Bastani Parizi, 1988, p. 328)

The Word Caravansary

“The word caravansary consists of two Persian words,کاروان meaning a group of passengers,traders and merchants traveling together to be safe and they have their own properties,horses, camels, donkeys and mules. (Moein, 1985) and سرایmeaning house, soکاروانسرا is a place where people live temporarily. In every caravan friendship and amity is very important.” (Takmil Homayoon, 1990, p. 68)

“The primary meaning of caravan which is also used in English and French, is a group of merchants who are united against robbers to stay safe.” (Robert Hillenbrand, 1998, p. 398)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Shahi Caravansary, Qazvin

“Documentation Center of Cultural Heritage of Qazvin”

The Historical Background of Caravansaries

Because of the geographical situation of Iran, and its location in the network of the roads of the world, the great distances between cities and villages, and the potential dangers waiting in the routes and the roads, and also for the economic profitability and political supports, and religious needs, caravansaries were common in Iran since many centuries ago. It is not easy to show the exact date when they were started to be built, but one may assign it to Achaemenian Period (330-550 BC). It was during this period that the long roads such as the Royal Road and the system of courier (mounted messengers) were established. But building caravansaries along the roads which were later called the Silk Roads, flourished greatly the traces of some of which or even some of which are still available.

“Safavid Period (1501–1736) is considered the golden age of constructing great caravansaries (Kiani and Klise, 1995, p. 2). During this period, besides an increase in the number of the caravansaries, they were increased in area and volume too. “Shah Abbas I used to construct caravansaries tirelessly which was a part of his policy to advance the commercial activities of the Safavid Empire. His relatives, wealthy merchants and local governors followed him in this regard too.” (Maxime Siroux, 1947, p. 187)

“By the increasing political and civil clashes of the Westerners against the region, this long-lasting Iranian tradition which had cultural impact on many of the Asian communities, gradually, disappeared and due to the changes of the old roads, these caravansaries were all abandoned and were replaced by new guest houses and restaurants. So these caravansaries, one after the other, began to ruin and today just a few of them, as dead buildings, are before the eyes of the new generation. (Takmil Homayoon, 1990, pp. 210-216)

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the French traveler, who came to Iran many times in Safavid Period, regarding traveling with caravan states: “In Iran and Ottoman one can travel using different ways, with a caravan, with a group of ten to twelve friends, or alone accompanied by a guide. Since I have been to Asia six times, I have had to try all of them. The safest way is to travel with a caravan, but it is too slow, especially a camel-driven caravan. The same distance if traveled by horses can take one day, by mules two days and by camels four days.

A caravan consists of many merchants who gather in a specific place at a specific time and all start at the same time so that they could defend and resist against potential robbers, who attack in large groups along the roads. (Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, p. 124)

The Architecture of Caravansaries

The Iranian caravansaries can be divided into the following groups:

Fully covered, in mountainous regions

Caravansaries along the Persian Gulf coasts

Caravansaries having a yard, in central regions

Archeologically, throughout the centuries a lot of progress regarding the external form of the buildings of the caravansaries were made. Although there were great similarities among the buildings of each group, there were surprising varieties as far as the details were concerned.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Mohammad Abad Caravansary

“Author’s own work”

The Functions of Caravansaries

By examining the travelogues and the historical documents, we can consider some common architecture and functions for all types of caravansaries as follows:

A caravansary had a big entrance gate

On both sides of the entrance gate there were some porches for resting and sleeping when it was hot

There were a few porches round the yard and there was a big room behind one of them for special travelers

Behind each porch there were a room and everybody could have one of them to sleep or rest in

All rooms, chambers and porches were about 80 centimeters higher than the floor of the yard

Around the internal part of the stables there were some niches suitable for the travelers to rest and to sleep in, and these niches were very useful during the cold days of the winter because of the warm atmosphere of the stables

The servants could do the cooking in these niches

There were openings from the porches and the rooms to the stables and the travelers could look through them and check the condition of their horses, mules and…

The rooms were not furnished and the travelers had to provide their own carpets, beds and the cook ware

As a rule, everyone had to do everything he needed himself, such as taking the horse to the stable, cooking, lighting a lamp, etc.

They had to buy their needs from the man in charge of the caravan or the nearby villagers

Straw, barley and fodder could be bought in the caravansary

It was free to stay in the road caravansaries but in cities a modest fee had to be paid

Sometimes the whole caravan could not enter the caravansary due to the limited capacity

The travelers could choose their rooms or porches as soon as they entered the caravansary and there was no difference between the rich and the poor and once somebody chose a room or a porch, nobody could force them to leave it

At night the man in charge of the caravansary would close the gate and some guards would keep watch around the caravansary

The camels were released round the caravansary to graze and were collected in the evening and were fed on fodder or other types of foods

The merchandise was placed on high platforms and when raining it was covered not to get wet

The caravansaries which had basements and cellars, they were used by the travelers in hot summer days to keep cool

“Shah Abbas by building the 999 legendary caravansaries in fact continued the same economic policy which had started 2000 years before by Darius I and 1000 years before by Khosrow I (Anushiruwan the Just),…The types of the caravansaries had such impressions on the social situations of the people that some of them had been assigned some pleasant names, such as ‘long vestibule caravansary’ (in Kerman and Hamadan)…” (Bastani Parizi, 1988, pp. 226-330)

Caravansaries in the Course of the Silk Road

In the long route of the Silk Road some institutes were established to provide traveling facilities for the travelers, explorers, missionaries, merchants and sometimes ambassadors and government officials to be able to pass the Road easily and safely.

These people and the caravans needed a shelter to take a rest and sleep at night, a place to eat and do their prayers, a place in which their horses, mules and camels could take a rest and be fed and, if necessary, be treated and be taken care of. These issues and others such as treating the patients, providing a shelter from the robbers and wild animals were the duties that the people in charge of the roads and caravansaries and the leaders of caravans were anxious to do. (Takmil Homayoon, 2010, p. 65)

Caravansaries of Qazvin

According to historical documents there were many caravansaries and chambers (commercial offices) in Qazvin, but because of the decline of the international trading markets during the Qajar Dynasty and ignoring the valuable social and cultural aspects of them in later times, most of these historical buildings gradually started to ruin and just a few of them have survived so far.

“In Qazvin in chambers (commercial office of a merchant) the merchants were busy trading and the caravansaries were places in which the caravans stayed or the merchandise was stored or sold and they often had stables. Later some of these caravansaries and chambers were turned into garages and other establishments. The list of some of the chambers and caravansaries in Qazvin until the early 20th century:

Chambers: Agha Masoom, Armaniha, Chardah Masoom, Haj Reza, Haj Mirhassan, Shah, Vazir,Razavi, Sa’adat or Sadieh, Shahroodi, Shirkhorshid, Zarabkhaneh, Ghias Nezam, Golshan, Golshan-e-Haj Mohammad Reza Vakil-o-Ro’aya, Vasat.

Caravansaries: Araz Kord, Aslan, Agha Haji, Astar Forooshan, Esmaeel Tayyar, Akbar Toopsaz, Asghar Sareban, Beheshti, Pakravan, Pezeshkian, Panbeh, Tajerbashi, Taghinezami, Tonkaboni,Cheraghali, Haj Ahmad Shanehtarash, Haj Asghari, Haj Torab, Haj javad, Haj Chorak Ghadim,Haj Rasoul, Haj Sheikh Amini, Haj Asgari, Haj Gholamhossein Amini, Haj Majid Khanban, Haj Majid Sarraf, Haj Mohammad Esmael, Haj Mohammadhosseein Yazdi, Haj Mohammadhassan Jadid, Haj mohammadrahim, Haj Mollabagher Bozorg, Haj Mollabagher Koochak, Haj Moosa, Haj Momen, Haj Mirzanasrollah, Haj Mirabdolbaghi, Haj Hadi, Khan Kalantar, Sa’dosaltaneh,Shah Soleyman Safavi, Shabankordi, Shahidi, Ali Mohammad, Ali Najjar, Ghorbanali Ghazan, Ghoorchibashi, Kalantar, Kochak (2 caravansaries), Gomrok, Majdoleslam, Cheheldokhtaran,Maddah, Morad, Mortazavi, Me’marzadeh, Molla Aliakbar, Mamyal, Mollavedikhan,Nomohammadreza, Nohajmohammad Ebrahim, Hashem.” (Dabir Siyaghi, 2002, pp. 474-482)

Jean Chardin, who lived in Qazvin for four months in 1648 AD, described the Shahi and Keikhosro Caravansaries in Qazvin: “Among other great and famous buildings in Qazvin Shahi Caravansary has about 250 commercial chambers. There is a big pond in the middle of its great yard and the yard is decorated with many great trees. Two lines of shops in which anything is being sold connect the caravansary to outer part of it…. We stayed in a caravansary named, Keikhosro, which was very attractive and glorious and I believe it is unique all over Iran. Other attached parts of this caravansary were two gardens (orchards), two cellar reservoirs, a hammam (public/Turkish bath) and a large brook. Shah Abbas the Great’s Queen had built this caravansary and left great endowments for its maintenance.” (Jean Chardin, 1993, pp.

507-514) As Jean Chardin described this Keikhosro Caravansary is most probably called Hajib today and the glorious and majestic traces of this unique historical building can even be seen today.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Hajib Caravansary

“Author’s own work”


Caravansaries are the symbols of the intellectual abilities of Iranians. In most caravansaries one can observe the glory of architecture regarding the climatic conditions and the surrounding environment. Regarding the cultural roles of these valuable buildings along the Silk Roads, researchers in this field, applying scientific methods, using historical anthropology, mythology, linguistics and other branches of social sciences will be able to examine and recognize an interconnected cultural development which was effectively in progress in these caravansaries.

The common characteristics of caravansaries, reflected in the travelogues and historians writings, indicate the great importance of these building in important cities and along the roads. Paying attention to the recognition of the importance of the caravansaries not only shows the greatness and the glory of Iranian architecture, but also determines most of the commercial and cultural routes of the Silk Roads throughout the history.

Throughout different periods of history, due to the specific situation of Qazvin along the cultural-commercial routes of the Silk Roads, many caravansaries were built, but unfortunately, a great part of them is semi-ruined, many of them fully ruined and have been replaced by other buildings. Although some successful attempts have been made to restore, repair and preserve them, including the city caravansary, Sa’dosaltaneh, unfortunately many of them are being ruined and if ignored, in near future, all of them will be completely ruined and disappeared.

Chapter IV The Historical Geography of Qazvin Territory


The historical recognition of the social and economic changes of every region is possible through examining the ancient roots of its formation, bearing in mind the cultural and historical events confronting with the changes. The development of the context of the human civilization situation and the formation of the cities lead to changes in economic and social conditions. The creation of the new condition, builds the history of that geographical region and in this inter-connected development, more than any other factors, the recognition of the geographical situation of the region in its relationship with other circumstances has great importance.

Qazvin in the History of Iran

The Founder

If we accept what Ptolemy said, quoted by Shamseddin Sami Beik in Ghamoosol A’laam, Qazvin had existed even before Alexander of Macedon, but the details are not known at all. According to the books, Masalek and Mamalek, Qazvin Castle was built by Shapur I command and it was in fact, an army camp for the troops who were in charge of holding back the Diyalameh attacks to Qazvin plateau. The existence of these soldiers caused the tradesmen, guilds and other people to gradually come together in the region and live there and cause the region to expand and develop.

Ibn al-Faqih in al-Buldan, relates the development of Qazvin to the period of Harun al-Rashid,and names the founder as Hossein Ibn Abdollah Shiyar Abdi. Qazvin was definitely in its peak during the 13th century AD, since it was called a ‘province’during Ögedei Khan and the whole Mongol Dynasty. (Golriz, 1958. pp. 51-55)

Qazvin, after being assigned as the capital of Iran during Safavid Dynasty in 16th century, enjoyed a very brilliant period of development and construction which is reflected in the travelogues of the travelers and merchants. During the Qajar Dynasty, Qazvin was considered as an independent governing region related to the capital and in spite of the relative cultural and economic recession of that period, was among the few flourishing regions of Iran.

The Name and its Ancient Root

The most ancient document about the name of Qazvin is what Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri pointed in Futuh al-Buldan:

“Qazvin Castle is called Kashvin in Farsi which means a protective boundary.” (Azar Noosh, 1967, p. 155)

Ghodamat Ibn Jafar in 9th century AD, regarding the name of Qazvin, states:

“Qazvin Castle is called Kashvin in Farsi which means visual boundary.” (Varjavand, 1995, p. 103)

Another interpretation of the name of Qazvin is its relationship with a group of people who put their name on Mazandaran Sea and changed it to Caspian Sea. Most of the Western researchers and historians unanimously believe this theory. Herodotus mentioned the Caspian Sea.

“I emphatically believe that the word Ghasdaar is related to the silk and its trade, since in Farsi the raw silk is called Ghaz and Ghazakand was a type of armor the layer of which was filled with silk and cotton and Ghazzar, a type of job, meaning silk seller. In Borhan Ghat’e and nazem-ol- atebba, Ghazdar is the name of a city in India and Rabe’e Ghazdari is attributed to this city and the name Ghasdar has also been recorded. We might assume the same theory about Qazvin, since it has been close the Gilan and the Caspian Sea and silk production regions and the Silk Road used to cross it. (Bastani Parizi, 2005, p. 341)

The History of Qazvin Territory and City

From the first millennium BC until the formation of Median Empire, all over Iranian plateau witnessed many events in which some states and powers such as Ashur, Urartu, Elam, Median Tribes and some other powers residing in the Northwestern and Western parts of Iran played the roles.

According to the book, Median History, by Dyakonoff, the Median had united different tribes under the command of a person named Hana Sirouka whose seat was in Sag Bito Castle in Abhar Chai Valley, or a bit to the south in the mountainous region in the Southwestern of Qazvin.

As a result of the invasion of the Ashurs in this region there happened a battle between them and the Medians which resulted in 2300 kills from the Median troops and the destruction of 1200 residential buildings including the Sag Bito Castle.But Medians did not surrendered and when the Ashur army was returning, the Median troops blocked their way in a mountainous region between Qazvin and Hamadan. (Dyakonoff, 1966,p. 212)

Therefore, the present Qazvin territory, and its dependent parts, in the center of Median Territory used to play an important role regarding communication and economy.The residents of this territory, especially the valiant warriors of the mountainous regions of the southern part of Alborz, to Rudbar and Qazvin, played an important role, regarding military forces, during Achaemenid Empire and they have been mentioned as the bravest soldiers of Iran.

The free-spirited troops of these mountainous regions in the northern part of Qazvin and the southern parts of the Alborz Mountain Chain, during the invasion of Alexander, just like the residents of the northeastern parts of Iran and the ethnic groups of Caucasus and the coasts of the Caspian Sea, did not accept the dominance of Alexander and strongly and steadfastly resisted the Greek aggressors.

Generally speaking it should be said that Qazvin territory was never occupied by Alexander and the Macedonians. When the Arsacid Empire came to power these regions formed part of theEmpire. In Sassanid Period, in spite of the full dominance of the central government, in Deylam District (the northern part of Qazvin) there happened some unrest and violations and it is believed that the cause of the foundation of Qazvin in Shapur Period was to use the city as a base to confront the Deylams attacks and rebellions.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Being the capital of the country for about 50 years, gave it (Qazvin) more credit

“Iran History Atlas, 2005, p. 11”

Shamseddin Sami Beik in Ghamoos A’alam-e Torki, eritten about 1882 AD, describes Qazvin as:

“Qazvin is located in Persian Iraq and at a distance of 150 Kilometers from Tehran, on the lower slopes of Alborz Mountains. It is placed along the road which goes from Tehran to Tabriz, and has a population of 45000. There is a congregational mosque whose building dates back to Harun al-Rashid Period…and there are some old buildings that are being ruined. There is a big square around which is covered with tall and leafy trees. It has flourishing markets and business. The great bazaars around the city show how large it has been in the past. There are many tombs of famous people of the city in its vast cemetery. It has delicious grapes.

There are good fruits and pistachios in its orchards and gardens. And since it is located in an intersection, from the west to Azerbaijan and Ottoman Empire and from the east to Shirvan and India and from the south to Fars and from the north to Caspian Sea, it has an important commercial position. The people are generally wealthy and brave. It has a quickly changing climate, because of its situation and height from the sea level. Since water is deficient, people use the water from cellar reservoirs and there are big reservoirs in the city. In Qazvin plenty of silk textiles and carpets are produced and canvas is also woven from cotton.” (Golriz, 2003, p. 194)

Old Roads of Qazvin in Historical Documents

Ibn Khordad Beh in the 9th century AD, in his book, Masalek and Mamalek, states: “…From Hamadan to Qazvin from Kharaghan direction, is 240 Kilometers…from Rey to Qazvin, from the left is 160 Kilometers and from Qazvin to Abhar 70 Kilometers and from Abhar to Zanjan 90 Kilometers…and Qazvin is the Deylam border.” (Ibn Khordad Beh, 1992, p. 43)

Ahmad Ibn Abi Yaghoob in the 9th century in the book, Al Boldan, states: “If you want to go to Qazvin and Zanjan from Dinavar, you should first go to Abhar, and then you have a few roads to choose from. If you want to go to Zanjan, you should go from Abhar to Zanjan and then to Qazvin, to reach Qazvin, you should deviate from the main road and Qazvin is on the foot of a mountain beside Deylam…and from this city there are many roads to Hamadan, Dinavar, Isfahan and Rey…and if you want to go to Rey, you should go to Qazvin from Dinavar and from Qazvin to Rey…” (Ahmad Ibn Abi Yaghoob, 1968, pp. 45-51)

Astakhri in Masalek and Mamalek, written in 9th century, states:

“From Hamadan to Azerbaijan-From Hamadan to Barsin 60 kilometers, from Barsin to Ur 48 kilometers, and from Ur to Qazvin2 days travel. There is no other city between Hamadan and Qazvin. From Qazvin to Uhar 70 kilometers and from Uhar to Zangan 90 kilometers… From Rey to Qazvin 160 kilometers.”(Astakhri, 1968, p. 53)

Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229) in Mu’jam al-Buldan, states:

“It (Qazvin) is a famous city and from there to Rey is 100 Kilometers and to Abhar 70 kilometers…” (Golriz, 1958, p. 142)

In Bostan-o siyaha, written by Haj Zeinolabedin Shirvani in 19th century, about Tehran-Qazvin Road he mentions:

“From Tehran to Qazvin you should travel in three stages: Karaj village–Savojbolagh village, and the whole road is flat…” (Shirvani, pp. 656-657)

Mirza Hossein Farahani who decided to go to Mecca from Tehran in 1884 AD, describes the Tehran-Qazvin road as:

“…one route was from Tehran to Kan and from Kan to Kordan village and from Kordan to Gheshlagh village and to Hesarak and from Hesarak to Qazvin…and there was another road from Tehran to Valikord and from Valikord to Gazorsang and from Gazorsang to Abdollah Abad and then to Qazvin…and there was yet another road from Tehran to Mianjoob and from Mianjoob to Yengeh Imam and from Yengeh Imam to Abdollah Abad and then to Qazvin. These three roads were considered as usual roads and there was another road for the mounted messenger (courier) from Tehran to Mianjoob and from Mianjoob to Songhor Abad and then to Qazvin.” (Farahani, 1963, p. 9)

Farahani mentions the caravansaries between Tehran and Qazvin as:

“From Tehran to Qazvin is 145 kilometers and there are five caravansaries along the road, and one can exchange his horses in these places, and the distance between the two is 24 kilometers, and there are three military posts between the two caravansaries…” (ibid, p. 9)

Qazvin Territory in European and Ottoman Travelogues

Examining the travelogues of the travelers, explorers and merchants who have described the social and the geographical conditions of Iran, provide valuable and useful information about the past of Qazvin:

“Marco Polo traveled to Iran in the 13th century. He introduced Iran as consisting of eight states the first of which was Qazvin as the border of Iran, but it does not have exact conformity with the situation of the boundaries of Iran during Ilkhanate. “Now we should know that Iran is a very vast country and contains eight states and I will name them to you. The first state beginning the border of Iran is called Qazvin. The second is a bit towards the south and is called Kordestan…” (Marco Polo, 1984, p. 59)

Ruy González de Clavijo, the emissary of Henry III, the king of Spain, visited in Iran in 1403-1406, during Timurid Empire and has described his travel in a travelogue:

“…Finally we arrived at a town called Qazvin on Tuesday, 3rd of February. Most of the houses here had begun to ruin. In the past it had more houses than any other cities around here except Samarkand and Tabriz. A heavy snow had fallen and the roads were blocked and the people were busy opening the roads…We slept in Qazvin Tuesday night and stayed there until Friday, because the roads were all blocked. The people were very hospitable and provided us with everything we needed. It is customary in this fascinating country to provide accommodations for the ambassadors who are going to visit Timur or are returning from his visit. The ambassadors can stay for three days wherever they wish and the relatives of His Majesty may stay for nine days wherever they wish and the central society of the town is responsible for all the expenses…The snow was so heavy that in some places we were not able to recognize the villages or towns at first sight. We continued traveling until we came to a city called Soltanieh…” (Clavijo, 1965, pp. 303-304)

Anthony Jenkinson on November 20th, 1562 came to Qazvin to visit Shah Tahmasb, on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth I, via the road of Russia, with some gifts. He wrote in his travelogue:

“He [Shah Tahmasb] asked me where I was coming from and what I came for. I told him I was coming from London, the capital of England, to sign a treaty for the merchants and the people of my country, so that they could enter Iran and I also wanted to have commercial relationships with Iran…While I was in Qazvin, some Indian merchants came to me to negotiate about the spice trade. After sending my camels a few days in advance, I left Qazvin where I had spent the whole winter and after ten days I arrive at Ardabil…” (Jenkinson, 1975, pp. 925-929)

Vincentio D, Alessandri traveled to Iran during the reign of Shah Tahmasb Safavid and was allowed to visit him on August, 14th, 1571 AD. This explorer’s travelogue is more exact compared with other previous travelogues, because he has also noticed and mentioned the social issues in his travelogue. He has described the ethics, habits and the wealth of Iranians as:

“Iranians are good at horse riding, and usually wear good clothes. Most families own camels and the decorations on their camels are interesting and spectacular. Iran consists of 52 cities the most important of which is the capital, Tabriz, not to mention Qazvin, Khorasan, Nakhjavan and Shamakhi and other cities. I should mention that no city in Iran has any walls…” (D, Alessandri, 1970, p. 472)

Kathrino, another Venetian traveler, mentioned in his travelogue the visit of some English traders with D’ Alessandri in Qazvin:

“D’ Alessandri after arriving in Tabriz knew that the capital was Qazvin and it was a twelve day travel from Tabriz to Qazvin. When he arrived in Qazvin on the 14th of August, 1571 AD, accidentally visited some English traders whom he was familiar with before…” (Kathrino, 1970, p. 209)

Antony & Robert Sherley began their journey from England and crossing the Ottoman territory and facing much difficulty, via Aleppo arrived in Iran. They visited Shah Abbas I in Qazvin, the capital of Iran, on June, 19th, 1598, and the historians believe that this visit was the beginning of the political influence of England in Iran, regarding the official relationships. They mentioned the glory and historical aspect of Qazvin in their travelogue as:

“…Therefore after 24 hours of relaxing there, we left for Qazvin, a famous and ancient city…On our way we saw a building, built by the present king, which astonished us greatly… It should be known that there is a place in the middle of the city which is called bazaar and it is similar to London markets although not so beautiful…Here every guild has its own shop. The other night all shopkeepers had arranged their goods in an interesting way…In the middle of this bazaar a platform has been built with six pillars, on which the goods and decorative stuffs are laid for sale. There are beautiful carpets on the floor and everywhere is decorated with gold, silver and silk…” (Antony & Robert Sherley, 1999, pp. 49-58)

Pietro Della Valle, Italian traveler, in January, 1617 AD, during Shah Abbas I Period visited Iran. He believed Qazvin was an ugly city, opposite to what other travelers had described:

“Now I will tell something about the city: Qazvin is a vast city which is considered the center of a large part of Azerbaijan state. This city was the capital of Iran before Shah Abbas hated it and it is said that the reason for his hatred was the prediction of an astrologer regarding his death in the city or the problems and difficulties he may face here in future. The city has no walls and its inhabitants are mainly merchants and traders, just like any other inhabitants of the cities which are located near the roads. The shops are full of variety of goods, clothes, foods, etc.

The thing that caught my attention in Qazvin was the Royal Gate which was located in a vast square. This gate had no paint or golden decorations but its sheer majesty was noticeable and behind it there was a high vestibule in which the guards were on duty. And then there is a vast and beautiful yard covered with plane trees and those who wait in the mornings for Shah (king) to exit stand under their shade…The second thing that caught my attention in Qazvin was a vast square far away from the palace and near bazaar. Although it is not so beautiful as the square in Isfahan, it has the same length and its width is one third of its length. The reason for its vastness is that it is used as polo field and the goals are one up and the other down the square. ” (Della Valle, 1969, pp. 288-296)

According to the researchers, along the Silk Roads, along with goods and cultural exchanges, there was also religious propagation. As Della Valle states:

“The morning of the 25th of July, Shah left Qazvin for Soltanieh…I could not leave before evening because I was busy all day writing and sealing the letters I was going to send to Italy by a priest called Jean. This priest had come from India and was leaving for Rome. He came to my house at six o’clock sharp to get the letters and say his farewell…After traveling for 60 Kilometers at night, we arrived at Soltanieh and found Shah with his army there…”(Della Valle, 2001, p. 744)

De Garcia Silva Y Figueroa, was the ambassador of the king of Spain in Shah Abbas, the Great Court. He was dispatched as the Spain ambassador in 1614 AD at the age of 57 to Shah Abbas, the Great Court. In 1618 AD he had the honor to visit Shah Abbas in Dowlatkhaneh Garden in Qazvin. His travel to India and Iran took ten years, exactly two years of which was spent in Iran and he visited Qazvin, Qom, Kashan, Isfahan, Shiraz, and…He has written about the importance of Qazvin: “Qazvin is such an important and great city that when Ottomans attached part of Azerbaijan state to their Empire and plundered the populated and developed city of Tabriz, Iranian Kings chose this city as the capital and their place of residence.”(De Garcia Silva Y Figueroa, 1984, p. 261)

In the mountains between Qazvin and Isfahan, there are many brooks carrying a lot of fresh water from the mountain peaks to the depth of the valleys. The main river from Isfahan to Qazvin is on the right side of the road…Natanz is located in this valley between Qazvin and Isfahan.” (De Garcia Silva Y Figueroa, 1984, p. 282)

Fedot Afanas Yevic Katof, was a Russian merchant who traveled to Iran during Safavid Dynasty. He describes Qazvin in his thin travelogue as:

“It took two days to travel from Abhar to Qazvin. Qazvin is a big and famous town without any walls…The Royal Palace with big gates and a vast and flat square surrounded by moats. I saw different shows in this square, the wrestlers wrestling, Puppet shows, snake charmers with live snakes in their hands and setting them free on the ground and fortune tellers. There were all types of foods and vegetables in Qazvin and the children were being taught to read and write in its squares. There are many gardens, orchards, caravansaries, bazaars and goods in Qazvin. I did not see any robbery or theft in this city. There were wild animals such as tigers and elephants for the royal court. There are roads to Ottoman territory, Baghdad and Basra.”(Fedot Afanas Yevic Katof, 1977, pp. 58-60)

Jean Batiste Taverneir, the famous French explorer, from 1632 to 1668 in his six journeys to the East, visited Iran nine times. He described Qazvin as:

“…and Qazvin is a town with low and ugly houses, except seven or eight houses which belong to the Royal Garden and have an average appearance. The city has no walls and more than half of it is covered with gardens and orchard. It has three caravansaries around which are the bazaars. One of the caravansaries is very big and comfortable and the people of the city are Muslims and there are very few Christians. ” (Tavernier, 2000, p. 73)

“In Iran between Qazvin and Soltanieh, pistachio is also grown and it is transported to India, like the pistachio of Aleppo which is transported to Europe.” (Tavernier, 2004, p. 21)

Adam Olearius, the German scientist and explorer, who came to Iran in 1654 AD and stayed for nine days in Qazvin. He describe Qazvin as:

“…on the eleventh day of this month we arrived at Qazvin and stayed there for nine days to exchange our horses, camels and donkeys. On the 20th of January we left Qazvin and returned from the previous road to Soltanieh and Ardabil and from the northwest went to the North and entered the road of Gilan.” (Olearius, 1984, p. 341)

“In Qazvin there are some caravansaries and public baths.” (ibid, p. 133)

This German explorer adds:

“Qazvin had two squares called At Square and Zangeh Square. In these two squares and the spectacular bazaars of the city, placed in roofed alleys, a lot of trades and commercial exchanges were made and one could buy different goods paying a little money. There I managed to buy some turquoises brought from Nishabour and Firoozkook to one Abbasi. Except Shazdeh Hossein, there are fifty other Mosques in Qazvin. There are many caravansaries in this city too which are interesting regarding architecture and are mostly used by foreign merchants. There are some public baths too.” (ibid, pp. 151-156)

Jean Chardin (1623-1713), the famous French explorer, who came to Iran during Shah Abbas II, and his son and successor, Soleyman period and stayed in Iran for 12 years. He describes Qazvin as:

“…Qazvin is a big city located in a vast green plain at a distance of about 20 Kilometers from Alvand Mountain. This mountain is one of the highest and the most famous mountains of Iran, and is a branch of Alborz Mountain Chain which crosses the northern part and separates the Persian Iraq from Gilan and Mazandaran. Qazvin has extended from the north to the south and has had walls once the ruins of which are still noticeable, but now has no walls whatsoever.

It has 12000 houses and gardens. The circumference of the city is about 10 Kilometers and has a population of 100000, 40 families of which are Christian and 100 families of which are Jewish. The most beautiful places of Qazvin are: The Shah Square which is used as a horse riding course with a length of about 200 meters and a width of about 80 meters. The Palace with seven gates and the main gate is called the Royal Gate…” (Chardin, 1956, pp. 34-36)

He added: “The caravansaries i.e. the public guesthouses, are also noticeable. Royal (Shahi) caravansaries contain 250 chambers and a big pond, covered by tall trees, and having two gates and two lines of shops selling expensive goods. But I should mention that what makes the city glorious is not the bazaars and caravansaries, the public baths and the coffee shops and the pubs, but the numerous palaces of the public figures and VIPs…” (ibid, pp. 49-50)

Per de La Maze, the French priest, who traveled to Iran in 1698 AD, describes Qazvin as:

“This city is the main city of the (Persian) Iraq…I went and saw their palaces. The route to the palace is covered by oak trees on both sides. This street leads to some brick buildings in need of renovation. I saw the city big, commercial and populated. The houses are made of sun-dried bricks. The alleys unlike the alleys of other cities are not paved with stones but the alleys in which the merchants are residing are roofed for the people’s convenience. All around the city is planted by pistachio trees and they have been huge. There are also many vines without any support the grapes of which have a pleasant sweetness…We rested for two days in Qazvin…This city is the meeting place of the caravans from Ardabil, Tabriz and Yerevan bound for Isfahan…” (Per de La Maze, 1991, pp. 69-72)

Olivier, the French ambassador, traveled to Iran in 1796 AD to establish commercial and political relationships with Iranian government. He, regarding the importance of Qazvin in transporting silk and other goods to different regions states:

“The distance between Tehran and Qazvin is approximately 120 Kilometers and the road is flat and easy to travel. Since the day Shah chose Tehran as the capital, there has been mutual exchanges and relationships between the two cities. Tehran is the center of affairs but Qazvin due to the population and the rich is a place for commercial and trading activities. The whole silk distributed nationally and internationally, to Bagdad and India, comes from Gilan and Shirvan to Qazvin and then is divided and transported to other regions. It is in this city that a portion of the rice of Gilan and Mazandaran is transported. There are silk fabric, carpets and thread and cotton cords in Qazvin, but despite all these it is not as populated and prosperous as it was during the Safavid rulers. The population is now 25000 but it was 100000 at that time. ” (Olivier, 1992, p. 67)

Eugène Flandin, the French traveler, who visited Iran in 1840-1841 describes Qazvin as:

“After 24 hours of staying in Qazvin, we left for Tehran which was a three to four days trip. The first night we stayed in Gheshlagh, which was a big and walled rural district. On the way, we came across some nomads which were called Ghara chador, since they live in black tents. As soon as they come across a river or the like, they pitch their tents and let their flock of sheep and goats graze in the green fields. The day after we crossed the marshlands to Yengeh Imam, a big rural district, far from the road. The leader of the caravan, I guess, deliberately chose this route to ask for more money from the travelers. After traveling for about 36 Kilometers we came across a holy shrine which was on the right side of the road. Its dome was seen among the branches of plane trees; there is a brook nearby which continuously washes the white grave stones.” (Flandin, 1977, pp. 93-95)

Benjamin, S. G. W, traveled to Iran, in the second half of the 19th century during Nasereddin Shah Qajar period, as the first US ambassador. He traveled via Baku to Anzali, Qazvin and finally Tehran. He spent two and a half years in Iran and describe Qazvin as:

“…We passed from different stops (caravansaries) and exchanged our horses in each stop, and finally reached a mountain pass called Khazran which was at a height of 7000 feet from the sea level and then after traveling some more we came to Agh Baba and here we were received by the Qazvin chief officer and he led us to a drawing room in the upper floor of a grand house…After a short stop, we left for Qazvin, which was located in a green and fertile field in a carriage. The fruitful gardens and orchards of Qazvin on both sides of the route had very beautiful view…After arriving at Qazvin, to my surprise, I found a modern and excellent hotel with comfortable rooms and European furniture and perfect kitchen and food. This hotel has been built by the government and is directed by it and is apparently a sample of the hotels which the government was supposed to build for travelers comfort and facilitating traveling to Iran but has not succeeded to continue so far. Sitting in the veranda of the hotel and looking at the city landscape is really pleasant.

The name of Qazvin is familiar for those who have read the works of Milton, the English poet, especially the Lost Paradise. He mentioned Qazvin in his poetry…Qazvin is a rich city with a population of about 40000. The streets are covered with trees and the remains of some old and historical buildings are still noticeable…We rode a carriage in Qazvin and left for Tehran via a 130 Kilometer good road.” (Benjamin, 1990, pp. 39-40)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Agh Baba Caravansary in historical paintings

“Documentation Center of Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization”

Jane Dieulafoy (1851-1916), the French archaeologist, who traveled three times with her husband to Iran to do archaeological excavations. She describes Qazvin as:

“Qazvin is very vast city and at the first glance one cannot find out its importance – the heights of the houses are almost the same and near the city many people can be seen on their horses, donkeys coming and going. Sometimes hunters can also be seen among the caravans of donkeys, horses, mules and camels…It is said that Qazvin with the population around it form the main part of the Iranian troops. Iranians believe and trust their bravery. Shah has built a guest house for the foreign ambassadors to take a rest before leaving for Tehran. This guesthouse has two floors and there are verandas all around it.” (Dieulafoy, 1982, pp. 102-106)

Vasily Bartold (1869-1930), the Russian orientalist, in his book Iranian Historical Geography, states:

“The first main city in the highway from Rey to Azerbaijan was Qazvin…Qazvin was for a long time, even during Abbasid period, one of the boundary points of the Islamic Empire. The foundation of Qazvin is attributed to Shapur the son of Ardashir the founder of the Sassanid Dynasty. There is relatively a lot of information about the history and the map of Qazvin, since Hamdollah Mostofi, the historian and the geographer of the 14th century lived in this city…During Shah Tahmasb, Qazvin was the capital of Iran for a while and based on what the explorers and the travelers wrote in their travelogues, the glory of Qazvin was not less than any other Iranian cities, except Isfahan and now that the city is, because of its geographical situation, is located in the highway to Caspian Sea, Rasht and Tehran, is a flourishing commercial place and it is the first main city seen by the travelers on this highway. It is believed it has a population of 40000…” (Bartold, 1980, pp. 216-218)

Jean-Baptiste Feuvrier’s book, Three Years in the Iranians Court, which contains his observations and memories of Nasereddin Shah Court, is one of the best sources about the situations of Iran during Naseri Period, written by this French Physician. He traveled to Iran accompanied by the Shah in 1889 AD. In part of his travelogue he describes Qazvin as:

“Qazvin is located next to two highways which connect Iran to Europe. One is via the land, that is, the same way we just trekked and the other via the sea, crossing from Qazvin and Rasht to Anzali. Moreover, Qazvin is connected to Turkey and Asia via Hamadan, Kermanshah and Bagdad, and to Persian Gulf via Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, Shiraz and Bushehr. Part of this road is the same road we travel to Tehran but between Qazvin and Qom there is also another direct road connecting Qazvin to Saveh and Qom. Although Qazvin lacks a river to supply the needed water, the mountains surrounding the city, especially in the south, provide the water for the city and it is done via many kanats (the man-made subterranean water canals) and there are many big cellar reservoirs to save the water for the future use of the citizens. (Jean-Baptiste Feuvrier, 1946, pp. 86-87)

Alphonse Gabriel (1894-1975), the Austrian geographer, physician and explorer, in the first half of the 19th century traveled to Iran three times with his wife. Trekking through the roads of Iran, he compiled his observations in a book in German called Geographical Researches about Iran. He describes Qazvin and the road leading to it as:

“Qazvin in the past was the second important city after Tabriz and Samarkand, but now most of it was ruined. On the 1st of February the snow was so heavy that people could hardly come and go in the alleys and the streets and there was the danger of collapsing the houses due to the heavy snow.” (Gabriel, 1969, p. 73)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Caravansary and semi-palankeens

“Documentation Center of Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization”

Qazvin in Modern Researches

Seyed Mohammad Dabirsiyaghi, the Iranian researcher, in his book, the Historical Trend of the Foundation of Qazvin and its Buildings, talks about Qazvin as:

“The many towns and villages built in this highly fertile plain from way back and its geographical situation and the availability of many orchards, gardens and vineyards and the growing of different crops, from the old times, had been the motive of the people of the mountainous regions of the northern part of the plain and the highlands of Gilan, i.e. Deylamestan, to attack the region. According to the documents of the geographers, historians, explorers and travelers, the building of walls, shelters and castles and the positioning of frontier guards and military posts in the northern part of the plain with the purpose of preventing the attacks of the northern people and making them to obey, were all done in Sassanid period and the construction of a castle which was the basis of Qazvin is attributed to Shapur, the Sassanid king…” (Dabirsiyaghi, 2002, pp. 8-9)

Guy Le Strange (1854-1933), edited the book, Nozhatolgholoob, by Hamdollah Mostofi, and published it in English in 1914. Le Strange based on the books written by Ibn Hawqal, Yaghoobi,Moghaddasi and the others, described Qazvin as:

“Ibn Hawqal, in the 10th century states that Qazvin is a city with ramparts and inside Qazvin there is a small town with ramparts too, and this town has two Mosques…Its fields are fertile and the area of the town is 2.6 square kilometers (one square mile), the inhabitants are brave and warlike and the Abbasid Caliphs in order to punish the people of Deylam and Taleghan, chose their troops from these people…Qazvin had two rivers, one was called Vadi Kabir and the other was called Vadi Sirom and there were the ruins of some fire temples along it…Moghaddasi admired the grapes and vineyards of Qazvin. The name of one of the cities of Qazvin was Musa and the other was called Mubarak or Mubarakeh. Since the first city was built by Musa Hadi, the Abbasid Caliph, the elder brother of Harun al-Rashid, it was called Musa. Mubarak Turk which was an emancipated slave, built the Mubarakieh Castle in Mubarak Abad and named it Mubarak City.In Middle Ages Qazvin was still populated and developed just as before, but the Mongols invasion ruined it and after one hundred years, Hamdollah Mostofi, who was from Qazvin, gave a detailed description of the city…” (La Strange, 1988, pp. 236-237)

Dr. Varjavand, a specialist in Qazvin history and geography, gives his opinion on one of the gates of Qazvin, which has been mentioned as Harzvil or Kharzvil in historical documents:

“This gate was in fact considered as a sanctuary for those who were chased and were in danger. Most probably they did not take refuge in the gate itself, but they used to pass the gate and enter a place and take refuge in the local states…” (Varjavand, 1998, p. 406)

Seyyed Mohammad Ali Golriz, the writer of the excellent book, Minoo Dar, or Baboljannah-e Qazvin, describes the historical importance of Qazvin as:

“Although our city, compared with Khorasan or Fars is small, it is not less importance regarding historical and scientific aspects and if we claim that no other city has had so many scientists and important people during the long history of Iran, it should not be considered an exaggeration. Because of this and the antiquity of Qazvin and the various and important historical events it has been exposed to, Qazvin has always been interesting and important to the researchers, regarding its history and geography and many excellent works have been compiled and written in this regard.” (Golriz, 2003, p. 6)


Since the ancient times, man has been always seeking to find a suitable place and come together and form societies to be able to protect himself from the potential dangers and threats. The results of the researches of the archaeologists show the importance of Qazvin plain as a suitable place for coming together and forming societies during the establishment of primary civilizations. According to the historical documents, the formation of Qazvin city is attributed to Shapur I, the Sassanid King, by building the Qazvin Castle. By the conversion of the inhabitants of the region to Islam, the defeat of the Sassanid Dynasty and the conquest of Qazvin by Muslims, in 644 AD, there happened some unpleasant accidents and conflicts in this territory; but from 876 AD the situations changed and the conditions improved. From the 10th and 11th centuries onwards, Qazvin witnessed some developments which brought about esteem and status for this territory again. The historical documents about Qazvin, written by historians, geographers, explorers and travelers provide valuable information about the social, economic and climatic conditions and the special situation of Qazvin as a city crossed by various roads from the ancient times up to the recent times; and it means that with the establishment of the commercial land road from the East to the West which is called, the Silk Road, the Iranian plateau and Qazvin territory, were considered as one of the most accessible and the flattest routes along this highly uneven road. The descriptions of Qazvin and the roads around it by the historians, geographers, explorers and travelers in different historical periods, are signs of the importance of this territory in these routes. New researches conducted in the recent years, by Iranian and non-Iranian scientists, has added to the historical and cultural value of this territory along the Silk Roads. At present the importance of the intersectional situation of this region i.e. connecting various main and secondary roads together, continues to exist just as before.

Chapter V Guest Houses


Hospitality is part of the behavioral culture of the societies and those who have enjoyed the fruits of this ethical trait more than the others are proud of possessing it. Receiving the guests has been common among various nations, tribes and ethnic groups from the very old times.

Human beings with any disposition, personality and race in different parts of the world, when meeting a guest, show a behavior, internalized in their social culture during a long time.

Iranians, too, from ancient times, have always felt morally obliged to performed social rituals and ceremonies for receiving the guests. This admirable behavior and characteristics with the advent of Islam, not only became less prominent, but also gained more credit to such an extent that even exerted an influence on the architecture of the cities, houses and the in-cities and out-cities caravansaries and in later periods, alongside the West, guest houses similar to the modern hotels were also built in the cities. To honor the guest which has formed based on the good temper of Iranians, has introduced them as friendly, warm and sympathetic and hospitable people. These admirable behaviors and characteristics have never become less prominent in the course of the history and with all chaotic events in this country during its long history. The image of the reputation of the Iranian hospitality, to some extent, has its roots in the social interactions with other cultures. The travelers who have traveled to Iran as the ambassadors of the foreign states, merchants and explorers, have all witnessed Iranian hospitality and have mentioned and described this admirable behavior and Iranians empathy, affection and altruism in their travelogues. Many of the Iranian poets have written poetry regarding the value of the guests and respecting them greatly, which have their roots in the importance of hospitality among Iranians.

“Our daily bread comes from the invisible world as a guest comes to our house…Those who become our guests are in fact our hosts” (by Saa’eb-e Tabrizi)

The Words Guest and Hospitality in Dictionaries and Persian Literature and Culture and Islamic Hadith

In Dehkhoda Dictionary, the word ‘guest’ is defined as: “A guest is somebody who comes to one’s house and is received by food and other facilities” (Dehkhoda, 1998, Vol. 14)

In Mo’een Dictionary, the word ‘hospitality’ is defined as: “The attempts of the host/hostess to provide all facilities for the comfort of the guest. Hospitality, literally means showing practical favor to the guest and receiving him/her kindly.” (Mo’een, 2009)

In Amid Dictionary, the word ‘guest’ is defined as: “Someone who goes to somebody’s house/home and is received there.” (Amid, 1982)

In Muslims’ religious teachings, there are many holy sayings (hadith) regarding honoring the guests. Some are as follows:

The holy prophet: “One who does not receive a guest, lacks charity.” (Naraghi, 1997, p. 205)

The holy prophet: “A home without a guest, will not be the place of the angels, either.”(Sabzevari, 1999, No 1058)

The holy prophet: “When God wants to be kind to a man, He will send a gift to him.” Some of the companions asked about the nature of the gift. He answered: “The gift is the guest, who brings his daily bread with himself [from the invisible world] and take all the sins of his host.” (ibid, No 4)

Imam Ali: “In the Day of Judgment all devout people, who used to love receiving guests will come out of the grave with an illuminated face as bright as a full moon. Others would ask:

Is he a prophet? And would get the answer: No, he is a devout man who used to receive guests cheerfully, warmly and hospitably and he will definitely enter the Paradise.” (Noori Tabarsi, p. 257, No 16)

Imam Sadegh: “One of the signs of being faithful is being good-tempered and receiving guests.” (Majlesi, Vol. 71, p. 392, No 16)

Types of the Guests

In Iranian folklore, guests in the eyes of the hosts, possess various degrees and divisions and for this reason, there are many word combinations with positive and negative connotations.

Some of these combinations which are still used in Iran are as follows:

invited guest and uninvited guest

intimate guest and distant guest (receiving an intimate guest is much easier than a distant guest)

urban guest (coming from the village) and rural guest (coming from the city)

mahram guest (very close relatives, one is forbidden to marry) and namahram (other people, either relatives or not are considered namahram)

respect adding guest (a guest who brings honor to the host) and disgracing guest (is the opposite of the respect adding guest)

auspicious guest (a guest who brings good luck) and inauspicious guest (the opposite)

house destroying guest (a guest for which the host has to spend more than one can afford)

unexpected guest (a guest one does not expect to arrive, but suddenly appears)

Hospitality in the Historical Culture of Iran

In Iranian culture, based on the degree and the social status of the guest, the type of the receiving was different and receiving the guest depended on various factors and conditions. In general, guests may be classified as the following categories:

friends, acquaintances and relatives

clergymen and important people

kings, governors and officials (the most facilities are used for this group)

foreign guests such as ambassadors, merchants and explorers, who have always enjoyed special respect, credit and honor in Iran In throwing a party and going to a party, both the host and the guest had their own duties and responsibilities which had to be observed. When someone went to a party he/she was careful to respect the host’s regulations and behave accordingly, and the host was also careful to receive the guest as warmly as possible and provide the best accommodation for the comfort of the guest. Respecting the guests was important to such an extent that it had an impact on the architecture of the houses i.e. the best room of the house with the best decoration was chosen as the guest room. It is worth mentioning that even today, with all the changes in the social life of Iranians, the people in villages still observe the above-mentioned custom, and in the cities too most of the mentioned and old customs are still respected.

Traditional Guest Houses

Today staying in the historical houses and experiencing the atmosphere which triggers a pleasant cultural and historical association for the tourists, as one of the tourist attractions, is attracting the attention of the tourism development and promotion planners. In this way, the tourists, by staying in these old buildings, will have a feeling of historical association, opposing the city life, with all those intrinsic stresses and unrest.

Refurbishing the historical buildings and houses in Iran, with the purpose of making traditional guest houses, creating more jobs and gaining financial benefits, is an attempt to revitalize the art and architecture of our dynamic-minded and artist ancestors. These traditional houses besides recalling our glorious past, it triggers a historical association for the foreigners too. At present in most Iranian cities historical cities are being renovated and prepared to offer excellent services to national and international travelers and tourists. Historical buildings as unique potential are located in the heart of the historical fabric/texture of Qazvin and have been effective, to some extent, in the maintenance of the texture of the old quarters of Qazvin.

The purpose of the planners is to maintain the old texture which indicates the beauty of the Iranian and Islamic architecture, despite the fact that today the appearances of the cities have changed. A project has been set up in Qazvin to renovate some 50 old and historical houses and change them into guest houses. Behroozi House is the first attempt of this sort.

Behroozi House is one of the old and attractive houses in Qazvin related to Qajar Period, and has been registered as a national monument in 2005 under the registry number 12608 and is located in the historical fabric/texture near the bazaar of Qazvin in Zargar Alley.

This monument has the Qajar architectural style on an area of 1355 square meters and the building area of 1210 square meters with the main central yard and a few lateral yards; is the first historical house which is used as a guest house after being renovated. At present this valuable house while keeping its traditional atmosphere, is used as a guest house, having the facilities of a hotel with single-bed and double-bed rooms, suites, a restaurant serving traditional foods of Qazvin and Iran, traditional tea and syrup rooms, traditional (pubic/Turkish) bath, and special cultural programs such as traditional music, a photographer’s studio with the facilities of taking photos wearing traditional costumes and…

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Traditional Guest House, Qazvin

“Author’s own work”

Caravansaries and Guest Houses

In the course of the Royal Road, every 25 kilometers, there was a courier house for the Achaemenian couriers to take a short rest and exchange their horses. The discovery and identification of the ruins and traces of 22 courier houses along the Royal Road is a confirmation of the order governing this historical route. Arsacids and Sassanids also, by developing the commercial exchanges between the East and the West, besides renovating the old roads, constructed new ones. There were definitely some stations along all these roads. In Islamic periods, constructing various caravansaries along different roads and the routes which are known as the Silk Roads today, is an indication of a continuous process of road communications throughout the history. The variety of the functions of caravansaries and their guest receiving nature, in the course of the history, led to constructing some modern ones in the main and important cities along the roads and were called guest houses. The first guest house was built in Qazvin during Qajar Period.

The Grand Guest House of Qazvin and the Tehran-Qazvin Gravel Road

The two main roads, from Azerbaijan via Tabriz to Turkey and Georgia then to Europe and the next one from Rasht to Anzali and via Khazar (Caspian) sea route to Istanbul and Saint Petersburg and then to Europe, joined together in Qazvin and then directed toward Tehran.

This caused the geographical situation of Qazvin to gain more importance, and the city which was gradually losing its importance after quitting to be the capital of Safavids, and was going to ruin little by little, regained its importance as one of the important cities during Qajar Period.

The importance of the northern roads to travel to Russia and Europe, was the reason for constructing the first gravel road between Tehran and Qazvin in Nasereddin Shah Period.

This can be considered as one of the constructing measures at national level taken by Iranian government, copying from European countries. The length of this road was about 150 kilometers and wheeled vehicles such as a horse-drawn cab could be driven on it. By constructing this gravel road the time of a trip from two days was reduced to 12 hours, which was considered a great evolution at that time. For the comfort of the travelers, five guest houses were built along this road with an approximate distance of 25 kilometers between each one. The road finally led to the government complex in Qazvin with the Grand Guest House as its most important and prominent building.

“This Guest House was unique in its kind with excellent facilities and services and is considered the first modern hotel and the beginning of hotel management industry in Iran; the furniture and the welfare facilities were the most important characteristics of this Guest House and the most significant difference between this Guest House and the other previously built ones and all were copied from European hotels. A few decades later, the first modern hotels were erected in cities such as Tehran, Tabriz, Qazvin, etc. and were called Grand Hotel following the name of the Grand Guest House of Qazvin.” (Parhizgari, 2007, p. 20)

As Edward Granville Browne stated in his book, A Year among the Persians (1893), Nasereddin Shah was the patron of this Guest House.

The Situation of the Guest House of Qazvin and the Travelers Descriptions

“The first modern Guest House was built in Qazvin by order of Nasereddin Shah, and by the supervision of Agha Ibrahim Aminos’soltan-e Avval and was built by Agha Bagher Sa’dossaltaneh in 1876 AD, in the south of Sepah Str. and opposite the portal of Aali Ghapoo,in the east of the forecourt of the congregational Mosque and the west of the bazaar of the street, after the construction of Tehran-Qazvin gravel road and in the south part of the road to Tehran Str. road maintenance office, post office and telegraph office were built. Some guest houses were also built along the road in Kavandaj, Gheshlagh, Yengeh Imam and Shah Abad.” (Dabirsiyaghi, 2002, p. 619)

This two-story Guest House was described in the travelogues as:

“The existence of a Guest House in which we are staying is an indication of the importance of the geographical location of Qazvin. This state Guest House consists of two parts, one for the travelers and the other for the horses and wheel-drawn cabs. There are a lot of horses, mules and wheel-drawn cabs for the comfort of the travelers and merchants. It has many rooms and although it is not fully furnished, it seems luxurious in comparison with other guest houses along the road.” (Feverieh, 1946, pp. 86-87)

“It is a two-story Guest House, and there are verandas with some pillars all around it. On one side there is a garden with a big pond in which the ducks are swimming and the water-carriers come and fill their leather goatskins and take them to the houses.”(Dieulafoy, 1982, pp. 105-106)

“At first I thought this beautiful building was a Royal Palace, but later it was known that it was a Guest House for the state guests. This Guest House which was really a substitute for the royal guest house Chardin had described in his travelogue…in the first floor had a lot of rooms with very luxurious furniture and they were all arranged in European style…In some of them even an exaggeration was seen to some extent, e.g. slippers with embroideries, some combs, even some toothbrushes on the edge of the marble wash-basin were available for the travelers. The largest part of the Guest House was the vast hall which got the light from outside through some big windows.” (Orsel, 2003, pp. 197-203)

“The second floor contained eight rooms…these rooms were all clean and white and decorated with figures with colored windows and doors…In front of the Guest House is a fenced garden covered with trees…the Guest House is located in the best part of the city. One of its gates is in a street opposite Aalighapoo and this is the best street of the city and the other gate is opposite the congregational Mosque. (Farahani, 1983, p. 18)

“In general, this Guest House is very glorious. Even in Europe with all facilities, one cannot find many like this one. All the rooms are furnished pleasantly and comfortably. (Hesamossaltaneh, 1995, p. 29)

“The walls of the Guest House are all decorated with stirring figures and there are many colored windowpanes.” (Brugsch, 1989, p. 77)

“The rooms were all covered with excellent Persian carpets and the walls were covered with Cashmere shawls and excellent qalamkars (hand-printed cotton fabrics) and everything was really splendid.” (Arfa’oddoleh, 1966, p. 185)

“After arriving at Qazvin I, to my surprise, found a good and modern hotel with comfortable rooms, European furniture and kitchen and excellent foods…The expenses of the hotel are covered by the government and it is clear that it is done to facilitate traveling along the roads in Iran.” (Benjamin, 1990, p. 39)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Grand Guest House of Qazvin

“Documentation Center of Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization”

“When we arrived at Qazvin it was the last days of the year and it was exactly nine months since we had left Tokyo Port in Japan, so my companions and I wished to find a good hotel to be there and celebrate the Christmas Eve. He had arranged some rooms in the second floor of a wing of a Guest House. There was a beautiful fireplace in this Guest House and the rooms had curtains and were all furnished and the tableware were neat and clean.” (Masaharu, 1994, p. 223)

The Destruction of the Grand Guest House of Qazvin

Finally the Grand Guest House of Qazvin, the first Iranian modern hotel, built by the order of Nasereddin Shah Qajar, was pulled down during Reza Shah Period under the pretext of renovation.

“The Guest House was functioning until about 1931, and then it was pulled down to build a precinct called Sabz-e Meydan (Green Square) in its place. A low wall was built around it which contained brick pillars and wooden fences. But this square never had any flowers or grass, due to the lack of water in Qazvin and when the railway came to Qazvin and when constructing the street which joined Sepah Street to the railway station, the precinct became part of the street and in the west side of the eastern passageway that linked Tehran Street to Sepah Street, some shops were built.” (Dabirsiyaghi, 2002, p. 620)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Qazvin Grand Hotel, before (right) and today (left)

“ Author’s own work(Left)& Documentation Center of Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization(Right)”

Qazvin Grand Hotel

Qazvin Grand Hotel is the oldest big hotel in Iran which is still existing and one of the first samples of the European style hotels built in the late Qajar Period. Dabirsiyaghi describes it as:

“The second Guest House [after the Grand Guest House of Qazvin] was called Qazvin Grand Hotel and was built by Arbab Borzooye Shapur Parsi later called Mehrshahi, in the east of Peyghambarieh Street on a site of 3000 square meters. It was built in 1920 or 1921 and from the street it was two-story and from the yard three-story, and there were a few shops on both sides of the entrance and the restaurant was inside the hotel and the upper floor of the shops and the restaurant was allocated to the rooms of the hotel. There was a cinema in the southern part of the hotel. The cinema used to be functional for a long time and it was sometimes used as a hall for holding meetings, giving lectures or important festivals. The cinema caught fire in 1940 and was rebuilt and in 1975 and 1976 it caught fire again the ruins of which is still noticeable. (Dabirsiyaghi, 2002, pp. 620-621)

It is said that this hotel was the final meeting place of Reza Shah and General Ironside in 12th of January, 1920 and the final decision for the in 21st of February, 1920 was made in this hotel. The Cossack troops, commanded by Reza Shah, move toward Tehran in 21st of February, 1920 and occupied Tehran.

As you can see in the most recent picture of this historical hotel, unfortunately, this valuable Grand Hotel with all its identification advantages is being ruined.


Hospitality as part of the behavioristic culture is important among all nations and they are proud of it.The historical city of Qazvin, due to its location along the longest highways, which are called the Silk Roads today, has always been busy receiving many guests from all parts of the world, and for this reason, glorious caravansaries were erected along the routes leading to Qazvin and in more recent years, the first state Guest House, was built in this city. This Guest House despite all glory it had, was fully demolished as part of the urban innovation plans during the first Pahlavi Period. The first Iranian Grand Hotel, based on the European models, was built in Qazvin. This historical monument is still existing and could be considered as one of the tourist attractions of Qazvin, providing renovation and restoration.

The investors, by restoring these historical and valuable houses, can change them into traditional hotels, restaurants, guest houses and museums take a step in maintaining the historical and cultural heritages. The successful performance of this pilot project in cities such as Broojerd, Kashan, Tabriz, Yazd and Isfahan, and handing over the historical houses to the private sector with the aim of preserving them has had a flourishing effect on the industry of tourism in historical cities. In Qazvin, too, the renovation of Behroozi House, has been a successful pilot model in restoring and using it as a guest house. Generalizing this process to other historical building in this city, would be an effective step in developing tourism programs.

Chapter VI Tourism Planning in the Routes of the Silk Road in Qazvin


Qazvin territory as one of the most important regions, along the route connecting the East to the West, has the potential to be studied in more detail and expertly. The tourist attractions along the Silk Roads in Qazvin territory, contain natural, historical, religious and cultural attractions, such as ethnic and regional customs, traditions, musical, handicraft, etc. creating a valuable combination of the capacities of this region.

In this chapter, considering the conducted studies, in addition to introducing the historical routes and limits of Qazvin, two routes of the Silk Road (Tehran-Qazvin or Ancient Rey-Qazvin Routes) with the purpose of reviving and tourism planning will also be introduced. Recreating the historical buildings along these two suggested routes, and reviving the caravansaries in this historical-cultural region, will break the impasse regarding the tourism development in the desired routes.

The description of tourism planning principles in the routes of the Silk Roads explained in this chapter, is an attempt to gain the everlasting spirit of the people’s relationships in the mysterious routes of the Silk Roads in the historical periods.

Historical Routes and Limits of Qazvin Territory

The routes and the limits of Qazvin territory may be studied in five different parts:

The north and south footpaths from the ancient times some of which extended along the valleys to the coast of the Caspian Sea, crossing some mountain passes such as Salambar and Aloo Cheshmeh. These roads used to connect Qazvin plain region to Shahsavar, Langarood and Rasht.

In the western region of the Qazvin plain there are some parallel highland chains called Chargar and extending from the north to the south, separating Qazvin from Zangan and Khamseh, and the boundary between Soltaniyeh and Tarom.

In the southern region of this territory there are some parallel highland chains called Ramand. These highlands are located on the southeast of Zahra rural district.

In the southwestern part, this territory is connected to Kharaghan Mountains and Dargazin (Hamadan).

Qazvin territory from the east, without any obstacle is connected to Savojbolagh plain which is now considered part of Tehran and Taleghan Mountain separates it from Taleghan. (Varjavand, 1970, pp. 3-6)

A Suggestion to Revive the Silk Road in Qazvin

On the basis of the studies conducted on the routes of the Silk Roads in Qazvin, and the studies conducted on the 14 rural districts: Peshkeldareh, Kouhpayeh, Alamut, Roodbar, Beshariati, Zahra, Dashtabi, Eghbal, Ghaghzan, Kharaghan, Dodangeh, Ramand, Afshariyeh, Tarom, in this historical territory, the most suitable route, regarding Tehran as the center and the most important foreign tourists attracting region and as a megalopolis, and considering the short distance between Tehran and Qazvin, two routes are suggested: one from Tehran to the south of Qazvin and the other from Tehran to the north of Qazvin:

Tehran-Robaat Karim-Eshtehaard-Booeenzaharaa-Qazvin Route

This route, considering the most important identification factor of the Silk Roads in Iran, caravansaries, enjoys a specific importance, because caravansaries along the Silk Roads as one of the most valuable choices to be revived, have unique capabilities in this route. By restoring the historical caravansaries along this route, as one of the most important routes of the Silk Road, and putting them into operation, they will remind the travels of the caravans carrying cultures and civilizations. The Silk Road tourists along this route, can enjoy staying in Ghal’ehsangi and Haj Kamal caravansaries in Savojbolagh Plain, Hajib Caravansary in Dashtbi rural district in Qazvin territory, and then toward Booeenzahra-Qazvin Road, Mohammad Abad Caravansary in Booeenzahra (Beshariat rural district) and finally the glorious Sa’dosaltaneh Caravansary inside Qazvin City. Restoring these caravansaries, based on the suggested models, would provide other residential, tourism and recreational facilities and the historical and natural attractions in Qazvin would provide an interesting and enjoyable destination for interested people too.

Tehran-Karaj-Saavojbolaagh Plain-Qazvin Route

Shah Abbasi Caravansary and the important Yengi Imam Caravansary are the two important caravansaries located in this route before arriving at the historical city, Qazvin. By joining the suggested route to the ancient Rey route, other caravansaries such as Khanat Caravansary in Tehran, Ghasr-e Bahram and Deirgachin Caravansaries in the south of Varamin and other historical buildings and caravansaries in this region could also be restored and put into operation. This study shows that there are extreme capabilities along the Silk Roads in the Rey-Qazvin territory and Iran Network, and with expert planning and spending expenses, ideal cultural and economic results can be achieved.

Tourism Routes of Qazvin Province

Considering the tourist attractions, four routes can be planned as tourism routes in Qazvin Province as follows:

Qazvin-Taakestaan Route

The natural and historical attractions of this route are as follows: Barajin Tower, Shahrdari Building (Town Hall), Armenians Church, Bashgal Wildlife Sanctuary, Kharood, Pir-eTakestan Tomb, Ghez Ghal’eh, Abkloo, Khale Kooh Archeological Site, Zarlan Imamzadeh(Holy Shrine), Nargeh, Haft Sandoogh Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Saleh Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Nahavand – Melli Bank Building (Qajar Period) – Kamal Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine) in Ziya Abad.

Qazvin-Booeenzahraa-Aavaj Route

The natural and historical attractions of this route are as follows: Barajin Tower, Shahrdari Building (Town Hall), Armenians Church, Kharaghan Thermal Spring, Haft Cheshmeh,Kharaghan-e Dagh, Ghal’eh Kord Cave, Sefid Kooh Cave, Abbas Abad Caves, Kooh Sangi Cave, Soltanbolagh Cave, Daryabek Lake, Shah Darreh Fall, Kharood River, Kolanjin Aveh River, Roodak River, Parvan Old Plane Tree, Kharaghan Dual Towers, Shah Abbasi Caravansary, Lotfalikhan Castle, Gabr Castle, Goychaghan Castle, Mohammad Taher Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Ala’eddin Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Mansoor Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Hoseinieh Mansoor (an assembly hall esp. built for ceremonies commemorating the mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hosein), Ghoosgeh Imam Hara’een, Cheldokhtaran Zarrindarreh.

Qazvin-Alamoot Route

The natural and historical attractions of this route are as follows: Barajin Tower, Shahrdari Building (Town Hall), Armenians Church, Hasan-e Sabbah Castle, Lambser Castle, Ghestin Lar Castle, Bidelan Castle, Noyzer Shah Castle, Meymoondezh Castle, Evan Lake, Alamoot Virgin Nature, Shahrood Valley, Hajatkhaneh Cave, Vali Cave, Sefidab Cave, Niyagh StoneVeranda, Ali Asghar Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine).

Qazvin-Taaromsoflaa Route

The tourist attractions of this route are as follows: Barajin Tower, Shahrdari Building (Town Hall), Armenians Church, Shemiran Castle, Shemiran Dual Towers, Sasan Tower, Kuchak Tower,1000-year-old Plane Tree of Sirdan, Olive Gardens, Mahin Fall, Ferdos Castle, Narin Castle,Shamehdasht Jungle, Altinkesh Church, Ghasem Imamzadeh (Holy Shrine), Sirdan Congregational Mosque.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Tourism Routes of Qazvin Province, 2006

“Documentation Center of Qazvin Cultural Heritage Organization”


If we study different civilizations from the East to the West, Iran, due to its extent and the rich culture and civilization, would shine as a gem in the center of this route and Qazvin due to its geographical situation, would be shining in the center of Iran. The existence of many ancient hills in this region, is an indication of the existence of the first civilizations from the ancient times to the most recent centuries. Many of the objects excavated from these hills show great resemblance in form and make to the objects found hundreds of kilometers to the East or to the West of this route. The remaining traces of the caravansaries along this route and a few relatively intact ones in Qazvin territory show the continuation of this consistent process from the ancient to the recent periods.

The development of tourism in Qazvin Province requires studying expert plans which must be programmed and implemented based on the capacities of this territory. The introduction of the two Silk Road routes from Tehran to Qazvin and the four historical and natural tourism routes of Qazvin Province, which cover some main and secondary routes of the Silk Road, would be a positive step in the tourism planning of the Silk Road which, concerning the number, variety and accessibility of them, would definitely have fruitful results.

Concluding Words

UNESCO Massage (پیام یونسکو), in 1990, concerning the necessity of the importance of the social communications along the Silk Road wrote: “The Silk Road is a symbol that awakens the everlasting spirit of the communication among people. It is for the discovery of this everlasting spirit that the plan of the comprehensive study of the Silk Road has implemented.”

Qazvin along the Silk Roads, as one of the special regions, located in the main cultural and economic intersection of historical and living heritages, has provided exceptional capacities of tourist attractions and the social and cultural communications between parts of Qazvin Province with the neighboring regions in other provinces enjoys a deep cultural and ecological affinity. Therefore, according to the researchers, the geographical and cultural boundaries of this territory is beyond its current political boundaries and the variety of languages and races in Qazvin shows an extensive communication between this territory and the other nations in different historical periods.

The ancient Rey-Qazvin Territory Network, one of the eight routes of the main and secondary routes of the Silk Roads, in its mysterious life, besides trading exchanges, has had varied cultural communications too. The caravansaries along the roads, as the most important valuable factors, determine the more or less lost routes of the Silk Roads in Iran. Most of these buildings were made by philanthropists. In different climates and natural conditions, the geographical environment has had an effect in the designing and building caravansaries, and their descriptions in the explorers’ travelogues show the functionality of different parts of them.

The responsibility of providing safety and security of the caravansaries along the Silk Roads from Jayhoun to the western borders of the historical Iran (Persia) was by the rulers of different periods and that is why along most of the main roads every 30 kilometers one caravansary was built and it is an indication of Iranians wisdom and intellectual powers.

Iranians are famous for their hospitality, friendliness and cheerfulness. This personality trait of Iranians had an effect not only on the number of the caravansaries but also on the architecture of the houses to such an extent that the best room of the house was allocated to the guests. At present, in some of the cities of Iran including Qazvin, old and historical houses are being restored and changed to traditional guest houses.

The oldest state guest house was built in Qazvin, due to its situation in Qajar Period. According to the travelers and explorers it was a very glorious guest house with luxurious furniture and facilities. Unfortunately it was demolished during the first Pahlavi, under the pretext of renovating the city and constructing streets. The oldest Iranian Grand Hotel was also built in Qazvin and it is still usable providing renovation and restoration. It has the potential to be one of the most valuable tourist attractions along the Silk Road in Iran.

The two suggested routes for the purpose of tourism planning in the Silk Roads, Tehran-Robaat Karim-Eshtehaard-Booeenzaharaa-Qazvin Route and Tehran-Karaj-Saavojbolaagh Plain-Qazvin Route due to several caravansaries and other historical places, cultural and natural attractions varieties, enjoy special advantages.

The most important method of tourism planning in the Silk Roads is to provide a kind of connection between the visitors and the environment so that their imagination could be stimulated to make them discover a place in the depths of the history. It should be noted that there are some other important potential tourist attracting regions along the Silk Road in Iran which are definitely worth studying and considering. As the researchers believe and state today, it is better to pay more attention to the valuable historical places which have been ignored so far.

I hope that the best and the most suitable planning about the important and valuable cultural-historical route of the Silk Roads in Iran and Qazvin would be done by interested experts in near future.



ابن جیهانی ، ابو القاسم بن احمد ، 1368 ، اشکا ل العالم ، ترجمه علی بن عبد ا لسلام کاتب ، مشهد ، آستان قدس رضوی .

ابن حوقل ، ابوالقاسم ، 1345 ، صوره الارض ، ترجمه جعفر شعار ، تهران ، بنیاد فرهنگ.

ابن خرداد به ( 300 هجری ) ، 1371 ، مسالک و ممالک ، ترجمه سعید خاکرند ، تهران ، موسسه مطالعات و انتشارات تاریخی میراث ملل با همکاری موسسه فرهنگی حنفاء.

احتشامی ، منوچهر ، 1381 ، راه و راهسازی در ایران ، تهران ، دفتر پژوهشهای فرهنگی.

احمد بن یعقوب ،1347 ، البلدان ،ترجمه ابراهیم آیتی ، تهران ، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب.

آذرنوش ،آذرتاش،1346،فتوح البلدان بلاذری(بخش مربوط به ایران)، تهران، بنیاد فرهنگ ایران.

ارفع الدوله، 1345، ايران ديروز: خاطرات پرنس ارفع. تهران، وزارت فرهنگ و هنر.

استراترن ، پل ، 1376 ، راههای ابریشم و ادویه ، اکتشاف از طریق زمین ، ترجمه جواد امید وارنیا ، تهران ، دفتر نشر فرهنگ اسلامی .

اصطخری ، ابراهیم بن محمد (346 ق ) ، 1340 ، مسالک وممالک ، به کوشش ایرج افشار ، تهران ، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب .

آنه ،کلود،1370،گلهای سرخ اصفهان(ایران با اتومبیل)،ترجمه فضل الله جلوه،تهران،روایت.

اوتر،ژان، 1363،سفرنامه ژان اوتر،ترجمه علی اقبالی،تهران،جاویدان.

اورسل ، ارنست، 1382،سفرنامه قفقاز و ایران، ترجمه علی اصغر سعیدی،تهران،پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطالعات فرهنگی.

اولئاریوس،آدم،1363، سفرنامه اولئاریوس، ترجمه احمد بهپور،تهران، ابتکار.

ایودی ، کا لین مک ، 1364، اطلس تاریخی جهان ، ترجمه فریدون فاطمی ، تهران ، مرکز.

باستانی پاریزی ،محمد ابراهیم، 1359 ، تذکره جغرافیای تاریخی ایران ، ترجمه حمزه سرداد ور ، تهران ، طوس .

---------------------------- ، 1363 ، اژدهای هفت سر ، تهران ، دنیای کتاب .

---------------------------- ، 1367 ، سیاست و اقتصاد عصر صفوی ، تهران ، صفی علیشاه .

-----------------------------، 1355 ، وادی هفتواد ، تهران ، انجمن آثار ملی ومفاخر فرهنگ.

---------------------------- ،1384 ، اژدهای هفت سر ( راه ابریشم ) ، تهران ، گلرنگ یکتا .

بروگش،کارل هینریش،1368،سفري به دربار سلطان صاحبقران، ترجمة محمدحسین كردبچه، تهران، اطلاعات.

بنجامین ، ساموئل گرینو یلر ، 1369 ، سفرنامه بنجامین ، ترجمه محمد حسین کرد بچه ، تهران ، جاویدان.

بو لنوا ، لوس ، 1383 ، راه ابریشم ، ترجمه ملک ناصر نوبان ، تهران ، پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطا لعا ت فرهنگی .

بیات، نادر ، 1370، مهاجران توران زمین (شناخت اقوام صحراگرد آسیای میانه و سرانجام آنها) ، تهران،ایرانشهر.

پردولاماز،1370،نامه های شگفت انگیز از کشیشان فرانسوی در دوران صفویه و افشاریه(گزارش سفر پردولاماز)،ترجمه بهرام فره وشی، تهران،اندیشه جوان.

پرهيزكاری، مهرزاد،1386، مهمانخانه بزرگ قزوین، قزوین، پایگاه میراث فرهنگی شهر تاریخی قزوین.

پیر درژ ، ژان ، 1379 ، جاده ابریشم ، ترجمه هرمز عبدالهی ، تهران ، روزنه کار .

پیر نیا ، محمد کریم ، 1370 ، راه ورباط ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و هنر .

-------------------،1384، آشنایی با معماري اسلامی ایرا ن، چ دهم، تهران، سروش دانش.

تاورنیه ، ژان باتیست ، 1379 ، سفرنامه ، ترجمه ابو تراب نوری (نظم الدوله )، با تجدید نظر حمید شیرانی ، تهران، انتشارات کتابخانه سينايي و اصفهان ، تایید.

------------------- ، 1383، سفرنامه تاورنیه، ترجمه احمد ارباب شیرانی، تهران، نیلوفر.

--------------------، 1336، سفرنامه تاورنيه، ترجمه ابوتراب نوريی با تصحيح احميد شيرانی،اصفهان، کتابفروشي تأييد.

-------------------، بی تا، سفرنامه تاورنيه، ترجمه ابوتراب نوری با تجديدنظر کلی و تصحيح احميد شيرانی، تهران، انتشارات کتابخانه سينايی و اصفهان، کتابفروشيی تأييد.

تکمیل همایون ، ناصر ، 1376 ، نقش علمی وفرهنگی یو نسکو در پژوهش راههای ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ وارشاد اسلامی .

-------------------- ، 1389 ، جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، دفتر پژوهشهای فرهنگی

توحیدی،فائق،1380،آشنایی با میراث فرهنگی،تهران،سازمان میراث فرهنگی .

جنکینسون،آنتونی،1354،ملاقات آنتونی جنکینسون با شاه طهماسب صفوی، ترجمه اسماعیل دولتشاهی،تهران،سخن.

حدود العالم من المشرق الی المغرب ،1340 ، به اهتمام منو چهر ستوده ، تهران ، دانشگاه تهران .

حسام السلطنه ،مراد میرزا،1374،سفرنامه مکه، به کشش جعفریان، قم،مشعر.

حموی بغدادی ، یاقوت ، 1380 ، معجم البلدان ، ترجمه علی نقی منزوی ، تهران ، سازمان میراث فرهنگی کشور.

خلعتبري لیماکی، مصطفی ،1388، جایگاه مهمان و مهمان نوازي در فرهنگ مردم ایرا ن، تهران،طرح آینده.

دالساندری،وینچو،1349،سفرنامه های ونیزیان در ایران(سفرنامه وینچو دالساندری)،ترجمه منوچهر امیری ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ اسلامی.

دانشدوست ، یعقوب ، 1376 ،‌طبس شهری که بود ، بناهای تاریخی طبس ،‌تهران ، سازمان میراث فرهنگی کشور و انتشارات سروش.

دبیر سیاقی ، سید محمد ، 1381 ، سیر تاریخی بنای شهر قزوین و بنا های آن ، قزوین ، اداره کل میراث فرهنگی استان قزوین .

دلاو اله ، پیتر ، 1348 ، سفر نامه دلا واله ، ترجمه شجاع الدین شفا ، تهران ، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب .

------------- ، 1380 ، سفر نامه دلا واله ، محمود بهفروزی، تهران ، قطره .

دن گارسیا د سیلوا فیگوئروا ،1363 ،سفرنامه دن گارسیا د سیلوا فیگوئروا ، ترجمه غلامرضا سمیعی ، تهران، نشر نو.

دهخدا، علی اکبر،1377، لغتنامه دهخد،ا تهران، روزنه.

دیا کو نو و ، 1345 ، تاریخ ماد ، ترجمه کریم کشاورز ، تهران ، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب .

دیا لافوا ، ژان پل راشل ، 1361 ، سفرنامه مادام دیو لا فوا (ایران وکلده ) ، ترجمه ونگارش محمد علی فره وشی ، تهران ، خیام .

-----------------------، 1361،سفرنامه دیالافوآ،ترجمه همایون،تهران،سعدی.

ریاحی ، محمد امین ، 1368، سفارتنامه های ایران ، تهران، توس.

سبزواری، محمدبن محمد، 1414 ق ، جامع الاخبار، قم، موسسه آل البیت.

سیرو ، ما کسیم ، 1947، کاروانسراهای ایران و ساختمانهای کوچک میان راهها ، ترجمه عیسی بهنام ، قاهره، انجمن فرانسوی شرق شناسی در قاهره .

سيوری، راجر ، 1372، ايران عصر عصفوي: ترجمه کامبيز عزيزي، تهران، مرکز.

شاردن ، ژان ، 1335 ، سیاحت نامه ، ترجمه محمد عباسی ، تهران ، امیر کبیر .

------------- ،‌1372، سفرنامه شاردن(ج2) ،‌ترجمه اقبال یغمائی ،‌تهران ، توس.

شرلی،رابرت و آنتونی،1378،سفرنامه برادران شرلی،ترجمه آوانس،به کوشش علی دهباشی،به دید.

عمید، حسن ،1361، فرهنگ فارسی عمید، تهران، ابن سینا.

فامیلی ، داریوش و همکاران‍‍‍، 1386 ، جغرافیای استان قزوین ، وزارت آموزش و پرورش.

فرانک ، آیرین ، برانسون ،‌دیوید ،‌1376،‌جاده ابریشم ،‌ترجمه محسن ثلاثی ، تهران ، سروش.

فراهانی ، میرزا حسین ، 1342 ،‌سفر نامه میرزا حسین فراهانی ، به کوشش مسعود گلزاری ،‌تهران ، فردوسی.

--------------------- ، 1362 ،‌سفر نامه میرزا حسین فراهانی ، به کوشش مسعود گلزاری ،‌تهران ، فردوسی.ُ

فلاندن ، اوژن ، 1356 ، سفرنامه اوژن فنلاندن در سال 1840-1841 ، ترجمه حسین نور صادقی ، تهران ، اشرفی.

فووریه ،1368، سه سال در دربار ایران ، ترجمه عباس اقبال ، تهران، دنیای کتاب.

-------،1325،سه سال در دربار ایران ، ترجمه عباس اقبال ، تهران، کتب ایران.

قزوینی ، ذکریا بن محمود ،‌1366،‌آثار البلاد و اخبار العباد ، ترجمه عبدالرحمن ترفکندی ، موسسه علمی اندیشه نو.

کاتب، فاطمه ، 1384، معماري خانه هاي ایرانی، تهران، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

کاترینو،زنو،1349،سفرنامه های ونیزیان در ایران(سفرنامه زنو کاترینو)،ترجمه منوچهر امیری ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ اسلامی.

کاتف،آفاناس یویچ ، 2536،سفرنامه کاتف،ترجمه محمد صادق همایونفر، تهران، کتابخانه ملی ایران.

کلاویخو ، گنزالس ، 1344 ، سفرنامه کلاویخو ، ترجمه مسعود رجب نیا ،تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب ، تهران.

کیانی ، محمد یوسف ، 1373 ، کاروانسراهای ایران ، تهران ، سازمان میراث فرهنگی کشور .

-------------------- ، 1374 ، پایتخت های ایران ، تهران ، سازمان میراث فرهنگی کشور.

گابریل ، آلفونس ، 1348 ، تحقیقات جغرافیایی راجع به ایران، ترجمه فتحعلی خواجه نوری ، تهران ، ابن سینا.

گلریز، محمد علی، 1337، مینودر یا باب الجنه قزوین، تهران ، دانشگاه تهران.

-----------------، 1382، مینودر یا باب الجنه قزوین، تهران ،طه.

لسترنج ، گی ، 1367 ،‌جغرافیای تاریخی سرزمینهای خلافت شرقی در بین النهرین ، ایران و آسیای مرکزی از زمان فتوحات مسلمین تا ایام تیمور ، ترجمه محمود عرفان ، تهران ، علمی و فرهنگی.

مارکوپولو ، 1363 ،‌سفرنامه ، ترجمه حبیب الله صمیمی ، تهران ، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب.

مجلسی، محمدباقر، 1403 ق، بحارالانوا ر، بیروت، موسسه الوفا.

مستوفی ،‌حمدالله ابن ابی بکر ، 1362 ، نزهه القلوب ، به کوشش محمد دبیرسیاقی، تهران ، طهوری.

مظاهری ، علی اکبر ، 1372، جاده ابریشم ، ترجمه ملک ناصر نوبان ،‌تهران ، موسسه مطالعات و تحقیقات فرهنگی.

معماریان، غلامحسین ، 1389، معماري ایرانی، تهران، سروش دانش.

---------------------،1389 ، سیري در مبانی نظري معمار ي، تهران، سروش دانش.

معین ، محمد ،1364 ، فرهنگ فارسی ، تهران ، امیرکبیر .

-------------، 1371 ، فرهنگ فارسی، تهران، سپهر.

میرزایی، علی اکبر،1387، نهج الفصاحه، قم، صالحان.

ناصر خسرو ،1335 ، سفر نامه ، به کوشش محمد دبیر سیاقی ، تهران ، زوار.

------------ ،1356 ، سفر نامه ، به کوشش محمد دبیر سیاقی ، تهران ، قطره.

-------------،1370 ، سفر نامه ، به کوشش محمد دبیر سیاقی ، تهران ، سخن.

نراقی، مهدی،1376، علم اخلاق اسلامی ، ترجمۀ مصحح سیدجلالالدین مجتبوي، تهران، حکمت

نگهبان ، عزت الله ، 1376 ، مروری برپنجاه سال باستان شناسی ایران ، تهران ، سازمان میراث فرهنگی کشور.

نوري طبرسی، حسین،1407ق ، مستدرك الوسائل ، قم، موسسه آل البیت.

هرودوت ، 1336 ، تواریخ ( شماره 451 ) ، ترجمه هادی هدایتی ، تهران ، دانشگاه تهران.

هیلن براند ، رابرت ، 1377 ، معماری اسلامی ، ترجمه ایرج اعتصام ،‌تهران ، شرکت پردازش و برنامه ریزی شهری.

هیلن براند،رابرت،1377،معماری اسلامی،ترجمه ایرج اعتصام،تهران:شرکت‏ پردازش و برنامه‏ریزی شهری

ورجاوند ،پرویز، 1377 ، سیمای تاریخ و فرهنگ قزوین ، تهران ، نشر نی.

--------------- ، 1349 ،‌سرزمین قزوین ، تهران ، انجمن آثار و مفاخر ملی.

----------------، 1374 ، سرزمین قزوین ، تهران ، انجمن آثار و مفاخر ملی.

یعقوبی ،‌احمد بن اسحاق ،‌1342، تاریخ یعقوبی ، ترجمه محمد ابراهیم آیتی ، تهران ، علمی و فرهنگی.

Articles, Reports and documents:

اسفندیاری فرد ، امید ، 1376 ، جاده ابریشم و روابط ملت های چین و ایران ، مجموعه مقالات دومین اجلاس بین المللی جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

اسناد و مدارک بناهای تاریخی قزوین ، 1382 تا 1388 ، قزوین ،اداره کل میراث فرهنگی صنایع دستی و گردشگری استان قزوین.

اشراقی ، احسان ، 1376 ، اهمیت تجارت ابریشم در زمان صفویه ، مجموعه مقالات دومین اجلاس بین المللی جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

اطلس تاریخ ایران، 1384،سازمان نقشه برداری ایران.

پالاسما، یوهانی،1389،هویت حریم خصوصی و مأوا ، ترجمۀ امیر امجد، صنعت سینما، ش9.

تکمیل همایون ، ناصر، 1375 ، درآمدی بر موقعیت فرهنگی – تاریخی قزوین ، مجموعه مقالات شمیم قزوین ،قزوین ، بنیاد فرهنگی قزوین شناسی .

------------------ ، 1376 ، جاده تاریخی ابریشم یا راههای گفت و شنود فرهنگها ، مجموعه مقالات دومین اجلاس بین المللی جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

------------------ ، 1376، دیرینه شناسی قومی در پهنه قزوین ، مجموعه مقالات شمیم قزوین ، قزوین ، بنیاد فرهنگی قزوین شناسی .

----------------- ، 1387 ، قزوین در گذرگاههای جاده ابریشم ، یادگارنامه بهاءالدین خرمشاهی ، به کوشش علی دهباشی ، تهران ، قطره.

----------------- ، ناصر،1369 ، کاروانسرا در فرهنگ ایران ، مجله تحقیقات تاریخی ( ش 4 ) ، تهران.

حشمتی پور،رسانا،1389 ، جاده ابریشم رهگشای توسعه گردشگری در کشورهای اسلامی ، کنگره بین المللی جغرافی دانان جهان اسلام ، سیستان و بلوچستان ، دانشگاه سیستان .

خان محمدي، علی اکبر ،1371 ، فتوت نامه نامه بنایان، صفه ، سال دوم، ش 5 .

رحیم پور،علی ، 1376،پیشینه تاریخی جاده ابریشم و اثرات سیاسی-اجتماعی آن بر ایران اسلامی، مجموعه مقالات دومین اجلاس بین المللی جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

رمضان، جماعت و دیگران ،1389، جلوه هاي سنت و تجدد در فضاهای ورودی خانه های تهران دوره قاجار ، هنرهای زیبا، معمار ی وشهرساز ی، ش 44.

قریب ، بدر الزمان ، 1376 ، سغدی ها و جاده ابریشم ، مجموعه مقالات دومین اجلاس بین المللی جاده ابریشم ، تهران ، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.

گزارش آمار استان قزوین ، مرکز آمار استان قزوین ، 1390.

مسائلی، صدیقه ، 1388، نقشه پنهان به مثابه دست آورد باورهای دینی در مسکن سنتی کویری ایران ، هنرهای زیبا، ش 37.

معماریان، غلامحسین و دیگران، 1389،تأثیر فرهنگ دینی بر شکلگیري خانه: مقایسۀ تطبیقی خانه در محلۀ مسلمانان،زرتشتیان و یهودیان ، کرمان، تحقیقات فرهنگی، دوره سوم، ش. 2

میرزایی، رضا و دیگران ،1385، بررسی مصالح بافت و رنگ در طراحی فضاهاي توقف و استراحت در دوره معماري و شهرسازي مدرن ، مجموعه مقالات سومین کنگره تاریخ معماري و شهرسازي ایران.

نایبی، بتول و دیگران،1386،تأثیر نور در فضاهای داخلی بر کیفیت زندگی و رفتارهای اخلاقی انسان، اخلاق در علوم، فناور ی سال دوم، ش 3 و 4.

نقی زاده، محمد و دیگران، 1389،ملاحظات فرهنگی در شکل دهی به نماهای شهری با تکیه بر ساختار نماهای شهری ایرانی در دوران اسلامی، هویت شهر ، سال پنجم، ش 7.

[1] Dr. Naser Takmil Homayoon was born in 1936 in Qazvin. He has a PhD in history and a PhD in sociology from Sorbonne University. He is the faculty member of the Research Center for Humanities and Cultural Studies and has published many research-based books and articles so far. He is the scientific editor and supervisor of a series of books entitled: “What do I know about Iran?” More than 100 titles have been published so far.

[2] Professor Mohammad Hassan Ganji who was called the father of modern geography and meteorology of Iran, because of his great contributions to the fields, was born in 1912 in Birjand and died in 2012 in Tehran. The above note was written by this great scientist my MA thesis introduction entitled “A Study of the Silk Road in Qazvin Territory and Recreating it through Tourism”

[3] The Tea Road was between “Kwang Tung” and the Hormuz Island in Persian Gulf. It changed the direction to the North near Merv, and after crossing Bukhara and Khiva along the Northern coasts of the Caspian Sea continued toward the Eastern Europe and led to the coasts of the Black Sea.

66 of 66 pages


The Silk Road Crossing In Iran
Case Study: Qazvin
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
5109 KB
silk, road, crossing, iran, case, study, qazvin
Quote paper
Rossana Heshmatipour (Author), 2014, The Silk Road Crossing In Iran, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: The Silk Road Crossing In Iran

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free