Hamedan is one of the souvenirs from the age of antiquity; it is a glorious city rich in history, culture, and picturesque landscapes. With more than 28 centuries of history, Hamedan is without doubt one of the old cities of Iran; it is said that this city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and its establishment is known to be by Medes. The ancient name of this city was Ecbatana (or Hagmatana) that means “the place of gathering” in Ancient Greek. In fact Ecbatana is an ancient city just like Athens and Rome! Today, ancient Ecbatana is part of Hamedan city and its suburban areas. The oldest traces from the past in this city belong to the Achaemenids period. It should be mentioned that this city was one of the capitals of Achaemenids at the time of their reign. Actually this old town was not only capital at the time of Achaemenids, but it also served as one of the several capitals of Iran at the time of other dynasties too, such as Parthians, Sassanids, Buyids, and Seljuqs; it turns out that it had a great importance through history. From the history of this place a little has remained, however you can find the pieces of its history that are scattered throughout the city and its suburban areas. This place is also home to mausoleums of significant cultural celebrities such as Avicenna who was a polymath, as well as Baba Taher, a Persian poet who was born and lived in Hamedan.
Hamedan is located on the northwestern side of the country and it is the capital of Hamedan Province. This city sits on the foothills of the Alvand Mountain (a subrange of Zagros Mountains). Because of its geographic location, Hamedan has a cool weather; hence it is one of the coldest cities of Iran, with long and cold summers (heavy snowfall is common there) as well as short, mild and sunny summers. In fact one of the best seasons to visit Hamedan is summer, when the weather is pleasant and moderate. Actually, one of the attractive spots on the map of Iran is Hamedan that houses the antiquated Ganjnameh as well as the magnificent Mausoleum of Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) and the artistic Mausoleum of Baba Taher.
Ganjnameh which means “treasure letter/treasure book” is a mark from ancestors left across the Alvand Mountain in Hamedan; in fact it is the name of 2 ancient inscriptions carved in stone across the Alvand Mountain. The history of the inscriptions dates back to sometime in between 5th-6th century BCE, the Achaemenid period! The left inscription was carved by the order of Darius the Great and the right one was carved by the order of his son Xerxes the Great (Achaemenid kings). Despite that many locals thought the inscriptions addressed a hidden treasure, it was about thanking the Zoroastrian god “Ahura Mazda” for making them powerful kings. There is a waterfall next to inscriptions that has made the area around the ancient inscriptions a fresh and pleasing; indeed you’ll kill 2 birds with 1 stone while you visit Ganjnameh as you will have a historical monument in the beautiful nature of this city. It should be mentioned that Ganjnameh has turned into a complex today that people who visit this place can also enjoy its cable transport, bungee jumping and some other exciting things to do there besides visiting the inscriptions and the waterfall.
Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna) was a Persian Muslim polymath and one of the most significant physicians who died in Hamedan. The Mausoleum of Avicenna is a complex that comprises a small and remarkable museum and a library along with a tower; all of which are dedicated to the Avicenna. It is located in a square called Avicenna in Hamedan.
Baba Taher Oryan Hamedani was a poet from Hamedan who lived in 11th century. Just like Avicenna, Baba Taher also died in Hamedan. His mausoleum is now one of the highlights ofthiscity with its alluring style. The date of the original mausoleum goes back to the period of Seljuqs, however throughout history, the Mausoleum of Baba Taher had been through several demolitions and reconstructions and finally the present day Mausoleum was built in 20th century with a significant architectural style, a masterpiece in the modern architecture. You can also see the Persian calligraphy on the inner wall of the structure, through which some lines of Baba Taher’s poems are written. Its artistic vault is absorbing too!
Hamedan is one of those cities that you may not have to spend a lot of time in it; however it has remarkable historical sites that can attract you to this spot in Iran. It is a town with more than 2,400 years of history that contains the memories of Achaemenid kings along with mausoleums of remarkable cultural celebrities and some other highlights; this is one of the great cities of the ancient world, Hamedan!