Geography and History
Regarding geographic situation. Qazvin province. as a bridge, connects the capita! of ihe country to the nortern aand western regions and European and Caucasian countries as well. While this province is developed from agricultural point of view, it; has become one of the important focal point for development of the country due to its suitable condition.

Qazvin province was separated from Tehran province in 1996 as a new province in divisions of the country. Qazvin and Takestan townships coustitute the administrative and political limits of this province.

The population of Qazvin province was 968.257 in 1996, out of which 57.11% were urban dwellers and 42.89% were lived in tîòàl areas. The sex ratio of the province is 101. From geographical setting point of view, Qazvin province is divided into two mountainous and plain sections. The mountainous pail is situated in the northers pan of the province which includes the southern part of Alborz Mountain Range.

The Alborz valleys extend southward as well. The climate of the province is cold in the north and moderate in the south. Generally winters are cold and snowy in the north with moderate summers, but in plain areas winters are relatively cold and summers are relatively warm. The antiquity and historical records of the province dates back to Median government in 9th century ÂÑ. In that time, Qazvin region was the arena of invasions of different tribes and clans including Tabarestan Dialameh tribes. In early Islamic period Qazvin was settled by victorious Arab forces. In early Safavid time, Qazvin was chosen as capital. Due òî closeness to Tehran, Qazvin was one of the important governmental centers in Ghajar time.

Qazvin township is located in a vast plain 144 km. west to Tehran. The city was founded in the time of Sassanide Shapour I, famous as Shad Shapour, in order to prevent the invasions of Dialameh and it was gradually developed as the main nucleus of Qazvin city. After the invasion of Arabs to Iran and commencement of Islamic conquests, this city was surrounded by one of the famous Arab commanders named Bera-ebn Azeb in the year 24 ÀÍ. In Islamic era, Qazvin became one of the military bases of Arab forces. In Omavi time, Jome' Mosque, which was one of the reputable mosques of the city till Haroon-al-Rashid's reign, was constructed. In 176 ÀÍ., another city or castle was established in front of the old Qazvin city which was famous as Madineh Mobarakich.

Caliph Haroon-al-Rashid, afier being aware of bravery of Qazvin's people against Dailamian invasions, ordered to construct a mosque in Macmeb Mobarakieh as well as a wall around it. After bis death, the work was completed by one of bis Turkish commanders in 256 ÀÍ.From late 5th century ÀÍ. to the lime when Ismailieh castles were attacked by Mongol Holakoo, Qazvin was influenced by the events relating to Hasan Sabbah (Ismailieh) movement and his successors and it was also the witness of long clashes and wars between central goverment sad Ismailieh. Qazvn was selected as capital by Safavid and several building, and monuments were constracted over there. In Ghajar time, Tehran was selected as capital and Qazvin became a city of importance due to locating in the course of the way to Europe.

Presently, Qazvin city is one of the important cities of the ñîuntry and is considerably developed from economic and social points of view and also it is one of the centers of industrial, agricultural and service development of Iran.

The irnportant natural, historical and religious sights of Qazvin tie as follows:

• Several mineral water springs,•
Portals of Ali Ghapoo and Chehel Sotoon edifices in Qazvin,
• Several castles including Alamout, Nowzer Shah, Lambsar, Semiran, Sacgrood, Shabrak, Sasan, Shirkooh and...,
• Barajm castle, Saagi (stone) casile wnh Koofi inscription,
• Safa public barn,• Several underground water reservoir,
• Yaleh Gonbad and Kafar Gonbad domes,
• Several old private houses like Razavi, Saadieh, Zarab Khaneh, Golshan, Vasir, Hadgi Reza and Shahroodi inside the city,
• Seyed Alikhan and Sepahsalar ancient dams,
• Old graveyards of Hasan Abad and Shah Kooh,
• Gazerkhan and Harzvil ancient villages,
• Nosrat Abad, Ghazanchal, Hosseia Abad, Meshkin Tapeh, Tapeh Alvand, Agha Baba, Dolat Abad and... ancient hills
• Several Baazars and Timcheh (arcade),
• Several caravansaries,
• Old gates of Qazvin,
• Museum and Kolah-Farangi edifice ø Qazvin,
• Kabir, Haydarieh, Masjedolnabi, and Sanjideh Jame mosques,
• Several mourning places (Hosseimeh) and old schools,
• Several old tombs and mausoleums,
• So many Imamzadeh.

Today Takestan which was called "Siadeh" or "Siadhen" in the past, has a long history and it was very thriving with distinguished situation in Sassanide time. Very interesting pieces of plaster-work have been discovered in "Tapeh Khadoo" located in east north of Takestan which belong to Sassanide period.

Takestan township is one of the centers for agricultural activities in the province and is situated in the course of Teheran-Europe main road. The important natural, historical and religious sights of Takestan are as follows:

• Yaleh spring,
• Avaj hot water spring,
• Soltan Abad, Khandoo, and Dakan historical hills,
• Ghaleh Dokhtar castle 15 km. to Takestan-Zanjan road,
• Shah Abbasi public bath,
• Several Imamzadeh,

Tourism Facilities

There are suitable transportation, communication, and health facilities both in Qazvin and Takestan and they are easily accessible. Qazvin has suitable hotels, guest houses and other accommodation facilities. People are well acquainted with tounsm.

The most important handicrafts of the province are Stony objects, tilling, inlaid works,carpet, plaster works, calligraphy, and mirror making. All necessary information is mentioned in the related section of this book. Have a good journey.