Zanjan, Ilkhanid capital

Tranquil city of Zanjan located about 300 km northwest of Tehran with a population of 300000 people. Soltanieh is a great city, situated in the province of Zanjan, the capital of llkhanid dynasty during the reign of Oljaytu King who commissioned Soltanieh Dome and made several modifications to it. Uljaytu, brother of Ghazan Khan, the former Ilkhanid king, founded royal citadel of Soltanieh with numerous mosques, schools, guesthouses and surely the turquoise dome of Soltanieh that in comparison to other structures that demolished time by time is still standing.

UNESCO registered world heritage site of Soltanieh is a well-known structure in the world in terms of having the biggest brick dome, the design of which inspired Filippo Brunelleschi to build the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence.

Historic castle of Behestan in Mahneshan village is worth to visit. You can also visit Katalekhor cave as this mysterious 7-story cave that only 3 of them has been discovered. This limestone cave is known for its stories, stalactites, crystal structure and beauty. It has been proved that Katalekhor cave is connected to Alisadr cave in Hamedan. Chalapi Ughlu Tomb and Dashkasan temple are among the top tourist attractions located around Zanjan.

The city of Zanjan itself is well-known for Rakhtshoykhaneh (laundry) building where people used to wash their clothes. It was built during the Pahlavi era which in a crowded district was accessible to everyone. Today, it has been turned into a museum.

Zanjan Anthropology Museum, formerly the Zolfaghari House, is where four Salt Men have been exhibited. The building was built during the Qajar era and later turns into the Museum. The salt mummies were found in the salt mine near Zanjan.

After a half day excursion, you can stroll through the Zanjan Bazaar and enjoy buying various handicrafts such as Klim, copper crafts, Jajim and handmade knives.

Various kinds of dishes like Aash, which is a soup that typically consists of beans and noodles, should not be missed while visiting Zanjan.

Translated by: Mahtab Kheiri

Edited by: Maryam Javaherinia

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