Zanjan province, which is also called "Zanjan plain", is located in central part of north-west of Iran. Zanjan, Abhar, and Khodabandeh compose the townships of this province. The population of this province in November 1996 was 900,890 out of which 47.62% were urban dwellers and 52.37% resided in rural areas and remaining were non-resident. The sex ratio of the population is 101.3. Zanjan province is composed of two regions, mountainous and plain. Having some high summits, the mountainous areas encompass the northern regions of Zanjan township and the remaining parts of the province are a plain region.

There is a vast and relatively level alluvium plain in southern part of Zanjan which bounds by Soltanieh heights at the north and Ghaydar heights at the south. Several rivers flow in the province of which the most important one is "Ghezel Ozan" river having a high quantity of water. Influencing by mountainous areas and being under indirect impacts of humid west-northern air currents, Zanjan province enjoys two different climates. Mountainous climate with snowy cold winters and mild summers, and warm and semi-humid climate in upper Tarom region having warm summers and mild winters with considerable annual precipitation as well as suitable humidity. Rainfall rate in spring and summer is more than other seasons. The duration of dry months in the province is relatively long Two dominant and important wind currents of the pni\ ince arc Sonnch and Garm (warm). Summer and spring arc the most suitable tunes for spending of leisure lime in this province. The nature, rivers, mineral water springs and climate totally have their own freshness and beauty for each newcomer.

Zanjan province is one of the historical regions of Iran. The antiquity of the province can be divided into four historic periods:

Pro-historic age (from 7lh millennium BC. till early 3rd millennium BC.): The most ancient and recognized historical vestiges belonging to prc-historic age goes to "Bardostin" culture which are known by small tools having about 30,000 years of antiquity.

Historic age (early 3rd till late 2nd millennium BC.):

Human settlements in Eajrood region of Zanjan in 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. indicates flourishing and sustainability of Iran's civilization in this region. Evaluation of black engravings on discovered earthenware of buff color shows the linkage and continuity of Damghan Hcsar hill, Kashan Sialk hill, and Eajrood of Zanjan civilizations.

New historic age (late 2nd millennium BC. to early 7th century AD.): The most distinct vestiges of this period is a kind of simple gray earthenware which conforms to simultaneity of Aryan tribes migration to this region. Teapot shape earthenware with relatively long hose were found in all tombs of this age which could be attributed to funeral ceremonies. There have not been a determinate government system in the region till early first millennium BC. Even Othartoui government could not expand its dominance over this region due to remoteness of it. According to Assyrians' documents, this region was named Andya in 9th century BC. and its dwellers have probably communicated with Eulubi and Gouti tribes who resided in slopes ofZagross mountain range. There is ambiguity about the history of the region from 7th century BC. to late millennium BC. i.e. whole Achaemcnian period. The discovered coins "Derik" and "Riton" in Khodabcndch are the vestiges of Achacmenian period. The valleys of Zanjan Rood and Ghezel Ozan were more thriving in Parthians and Sassanians times. Amongst the most important remains of this period Tashvir fire-temples can be pointed out.

Islamic period (from 7th to 19th century AC.): This period begins with conquest of Iran in the time of Osinan caliphate. Existing texts and evidences show that this region was very thriving from economic, cultural and artistic points of view during the whole Islamic period. One of the reasons for selecting Sultanieh as capital by Mongol llkhanan was economic briskness of the region in 7th and 8th centuries Ail. After the decline of Ilkhani government by Sarbedaran movement in 9th century AH., Zanjan was attacked by Taymour the lame and was damaged badly.

The region was relatively thriving from economic and cultural points of view in Safavid and Ghajar time specially during the reign of Shah Tahmasb and Agha Muhammad Khan.

The major historical, cultural, and tourism characteristics of the province are as follows:


Zanjan township is 328 km. far from Tehran. Enjoying a mild weather in summer and cold weather in winter, Zanjan is composed of two great valleys of "Zanan Rood" and "Sefid Rood" between w^iich Gharavol and Angooran mountains arc located.

The foundation date of Zanjan goes back tu the reign of Ardeshir Babakan and it was called "Shahin" or "Shahan' . By passing of time, this name was chan;.;i,'d to "Zangan ! and men to "Zanjan". In the book Hodood-Olalam or Limits of me World, 372 AH., it is described as a flourishing and blessed city will' ;i very strong Ibrtifications.

Zanjan was badly damaged due to Mongols attack but in the reign of Sultan Mohamrnad Khodabandeh, SulLanieh was changed tu the largest capital of Ilkhani government and Islamic land. By the order of Oljaito, a fortification was constructed around Sultamch and a huge castle was build in its midst. He built a cemetery with a high dome for himself which is famous Khodabandeh dome. Sultanich became one of the most important cities of llkhanan after Tabriz in the reign of Oljaito. Uljaito's ecmetry was badly damaged by Taymour the lame after the fall of llkhanan in 786 AH. Sultamch was fallen into decadence m the time of Shah Tahrnas Safavid 1 (930-984 AH.) Fathali Shah (the Gha];ir king) built a summer palace in this city.

Today, as the result of the political and administration condition of the city and concentration of several provincial organizations, it attracts so many population causing development of it. The important natural, historical, and religious sights of Zanjan are as follows:

Several mineral water springs.
Angooran Protected Area.
Zolfaghari edifice,
Zan]an fortification,
Shcmiran, Sansiz and Sati castles,
Golshan and Maiek caravansanes. Old public bathes,
Historicalbuilding ofRakhtshool Khanch (wash-house),
Several historical bridges,
Historical caves ot'Galijak and Kharmanch Sar,
Jamc' Mosques of Seycd, Mirzai and Gholayr,
Imamzadeh Scyed Ibrahim.


Enjoying a mountainous climate with cold and snowy winters and moderate summers the famous river of "Abhar Rood" flows across this city.

The Abhar region, which called "Abhar C'hai" (Abhar nver) by native language, is one of the oldest regions of Iran. According to existing evidences, Abhar was more thriving in the second millennium BC. and in 9th century BC., a union of different tribes was established in this region by Medcs. This region became one of the important connection point coincident with the establishment llkhanan government and selection of Sultanich as capital. The situation which even exists today. From etymological point of view, the name of this city is derived from the Pahlavi language word of "Oher" which means the place of controlling water flows.

The first location of the city is known as "Tapeh Ghalch" and is in the right bank of Abhar river. This place is one of the oldest human settlements of Zanjan province and was dwelled since early 4th millennium BC.

The important historical and religious sights of Abhar arc as as follows:

Sultanich Royal Citadel,
Historical hills of Said Abad-Keresf,
Dash Kasan caves,
Sullanich dome,
Chaibi Oghli historical aggregate,
Jame' Mosques ofAbhar and Ghorvch,
Pirahmad Zahrnoosh and Molla Hossein Kashi mausoleums,
Several Imamzadeh (shrines),

Enjoying a mountainous climate with snowy and cold winters and mild summers, Khodabandeh township is situated in south-east to Zanjan. In this region, Khodabandch-Loo and Afhar tribes have been mixed with local tribes resulting in the appearance of a decent which is known as Zanjani decent from apparent form point of view.

Khodabandeh township encompass two historical cities of Sohrvard and Sajas in which some knowledgeable men like Shahabbcdin Sohrvardi are brought up. The appearance of human settlements in this region dates back to late 4th and early 5th millennium BC. Discovered red colored earthenware is among vestiges of this region.

The important natural, historical and religious sites of city arc:

Garmab mineral water spring
Katlch Khoor Garmab cave,
Sajas Jame' Mosque,
Ghaydar Nabi mausoleum,

Protected Areas
Climatic ami cographic variation in different parts of the province have caused the appearance of fauna and flora diversity. The most important protected areas in Zanjan province are:

Angooran Protected Area, located in Angooran district covering an area of 111,00 hectare, Sahrein Protected Area, located in the limits ofZandan township, The most important wildlife of these regions are:

-Mammals like wild goat, wild sheep, gazelle, bear. hyena, leopard, wolf, rabbit, wild cat, fox, jackal, bore, squirrel and sable.

-Endemic birds like partridge, turtledove, grouse, ringdove, vulture, owl. dull-yellow partridge, pigeon, heron, goose, crane, duck, eagle, falcon, starling and

-Migratory birds like waterfowl, bustard, flamingo, crane, pelican, wild goose, grouse and Dit'fcrcnl species of fishes.

Tourism Facilities
The cities of Zarijan and the cities of the province are inainlv located in the course of Tchran-Hazargan transit highway as well as Tehran-Tabriz railway, so arc easily accessible. There arc different accommodation and communication facilities in the province and the people are well acquainted with tourism.

The souvenirs ot llie province are handicrafts like different kinds of knives (pi 11 knife, switch-blade knife, pocketknifc, and ),carpet, rug, charogh (local shoe), and filigree works. Have a good jurncy.