Hamadan is one of the oldest cities of not only Iran but of the world . Its histotrical origins date goes back to several centuries before Christ. Hamadan was the summer capital of theMedian and was then called Ekbatan or Hegmataneh, which means a place ofassembly . Hamadan is one of the cradles of Oriental Civilization with legendary background. According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (seven walls) which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled of the Babylon Tower. All the nations living around Iran coveted the prominent natural position of Hamadan from the times immemorial until recent centuries; and have invaded the city seveal times . First, the Assyrians destroyed Hamadan. It was ruined again and again during the invasion of gols and Tamerlane. Finally, in the recent centuries the Ottomans attacked the city several times; but Hamadan heroically stood against the enemies and courageously withstood all the damages it has sustained . Hamadan is the homeland of great scholars and men of letters like Einalqozat Hamadani, Khajeh Rashidoddin Fazlollah, Adham Hamadani, Baba Taher Orian and Mirzadeh eshqi. The tombs of Avicenna and Baba taher are located in this city. It should be indicated that Hamadan has preserved its importance in the post Islamic period. Hamadan of today is located in a distance of 336 kilometers from Tehran on the slopes of Mount Alvand .The city is stretched around a star-shaped square named after Imam Khomeni (PBUH). Out of this square which has preserved its beautiful style of architecture, six avenues diverge from the angles of the star. Hamadan has been developed and renovated to a great extent in recent years and gradually this has changed the city's old fabric. There are still old neighbourhoods with nostalgic names in Hamadan besides its large modern streets and beautiful parks. Hamadan is a city of mild cilmate summer. Its natural beauty including MountAlvand and its beautiful peak as well as the scenery of Morad Baig and Abbasabad Valleys will always be remembered by visitors . In this ancient city remains have been unearthed in archaeological excavations of Median and Achaemenid castles, forts and cities on the hills of Hegmataneh and Mossalla. The objects unearthed in those sites, like tablets, gold and silver plates, and tools are now is great museums. Yet, there are plenty of other historical uments and places to be visited by everybody. These include: The Stone Lion: The Stony Lion or the stone lion is a big parthian ument that was originally made like a lion. It is believed that once there was a counterpart for this ument. hAvicenna Memorial Tomb:The tomb ofthe great Iranian scientist, Avicenna, is in Hamadan with a building and a dome builtin 1954. The design of the dome is inspired by the shape of Qabous Voshmgir Tower. There is a library with a number of manuscripts in this building. In the courtyard of the building, there is a tomb belongingto the late Qajar period poet and song writer Abolqassem Aref. Baba Taher Memorial Tomb:The tomb of the writer of many romantic couplets, Baba Taher, is in Hamadan. The building of the great mystic's tomb has been built in a beautiful park northwest of Hamadan in recent years. The Holy Shrines:The devotedly faithful people of Hamadan have always paid respectful attention to holy shrines. There are several mosques; mausoleums and shrines in Hamadan including Imamzadeh Esmaeil, ImamzadehAbdullah, the Jami' Mosque and Khaneqah.
The Ganjnameh Epigraphes:Mosttourists express their interests usually to see the Ganjnameh Epigraphes while visiting Hamadan . These are two inscriptions which were written on a rocky wall on Alvand mountain by kind Darius's command during the Achaemenian period. They are located in a beautiful valley which is called Abbasabad. The Alavid Dome:This is the most important Islamic ument in Hamadan. It is a square building of late Saljuk period with a masterly stucco interior . This building has a crypt containing the tombs members of the Alavid family. The Qorban Tower:It is a 12 sided plain brick building with a pyramid shaped dome. It is located in the eastern part of the city; and there is a tombin its crypt. The Tomb of Esther and Mordecai:These are the tombs of twoJewish people whose names appear in the Old Testament. The building is made with bricks and stoneon the graveryard of Khashayarshah's wife (Esther) and her uncle (Mordecai). There are antique wooden boxes and manuscripts of the Old Testament inside the building. Caves:The mountatinous position of Hamadan has led to the formation of many wonderful and beautiful caves of which according to specialists the Alisadr is one of the most astonishing. There are few caves like this any whereelseacross the world. Localpeople sometimes call itAlisadr or Alisad. Located 60 kilometers north of Hamadan, Alisadr is a vast cave that contains a lake and a labyrinth of chambers along which one can sail for tens of kilometers. The clear water of the lake is several meters deep and the cave's walls, floor and ceiling are covered with an abundance of marvellous stalactites and stalagmites and various natural stones that have taken the shape of various animals, objects and islands. No living creature lives in this cave and in its water because there is no natural light. However, there is power supply in the cave for lighting. In some of the chambers the distance between the floor and ceiling of the cave reaches 40 meters, but the average height of the cave is about 8 meters. There are boating services with guides and catering facilities for those who wish to visit the cave.
Hamadan province has two protected environmental sites, one is in the west by the name of Assadabad and the other is located east Malayer, named Lashkar. The latter hosts antelope, ibex, ram, ewe and leopard.In the high plain of Assadabad lives the area's famouse ewe bird.Ag the other forms of wildife in this area, there are various types of birds of prey like Delijeh falcon, hawk, falcon, sparrow hawk and Balabanfalcon as well as various migratory birds like geese, ducks, partridge and yellow partridge. Antelope and ibex are abundantly found in the highlands of this province. The latter has a pair of swordlike horns as long as 140 centimeters with beard and a dark strap around the lower neck and chest which adde beauty to this animal. The region's antelope and ibex sometimes weigh up to 60 kilograms and live as long as 14 years. They live in the rough rocky areas where they move quiteeasily.
Trip to, and Stay in the Province
All districts and towns of the province are provided with well connected nets of roads, and traviling facilities, so a trip to these destinations is very easy. All towns of the province are well facilitated by networks of services such as telecommunication and health services, and all service staff are familiar with tourism regulations as well as local culture. The International Airport of Hamedan is well facilitated, and many international as well as national flights are held there daily.
Souvenirs from Hamadan Hamadan has always been well known for handicrafts like leather and ceramic work; as well as for its beautiful carpeat . The art of carpet weaving is so significant in Hamadan that the Iranian Carpet Company has established an office there. The carpets and the rugs of Hamadan arefamous for their quality, beautiful and colors. The are of ceramics is centered in the village of Lalejin in the vicinity of Hamadan . There are several ceramic workshops and numerous skilful artist that create the most beautiful andcolourful ceramic jars in great numbers.Visiting one of these workshops can be one of the best parts of a tour to hamadan.