Situated in northwest Iran, Zanjan is a mountainous and hilly city which is divided into three regions with different climates. Takht-e-soleyman, Taleghan, and Kooh-e-Rostam are the most important mountains in the province. The vegetation of the province varies from one area to another, but it is generally made up of forests and pastures. The forests are mainly located in the mountainous regions adjacent to Gilan province. Kurds and Shahsavans are the main peoples living in this province, but also Azerbaijanis and Persians live here.
Zanjan probably dates back to the Sassanian period. Conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century, obliterated by the Mongols and by Tamer Lane in the 13th and 14th centuries, and having a vivid record in civilization, culture, arts and sciences, Zanjan has experienced both glory and hardship. After the Islamic revolution Zanjan has made great progress in different fields.
The Complex of Soltanieh
Built in the 15th century, this complex is famous monument and the greatest attraction of Zanjan province. The Soltanieh district in which the complex is situated is 43 Km from the Tehran-Zanjan highway. Dating back to 3000 years ago, the Soltanieh district had been the home of various peoples before the invasion of Iran by the Mongols. The mausoleums of Hasan Kashi and the Dome of Soltanieh are among the prominent buildings. The most significant part of the stated complex is the Soltanieh dome. It is the biggest dome in Iran and one of the most splendid buildings throughout the Islamic worlds. The construction of such a magnificently impressive building, undoubtedly, needed elaborate planning and accurate calculations.
Rakht Shooy Khaneh (Washhouse)
This historical monument is located in the centre of the old part of the city on Sadi Street. In the past, it served the people by washing their clothes, sheets, etc, free of charge and around the clock. The building has two main sections: the management room and the wash house. Each section is comprised of different components. This complex, with its admirable architecture, indicates the historical significance of hygiene to the Iranian people. At present, this building is used as an anthropological museum.
Because of its cultural, economic and religious significance, Zanjan’s bazaar is one of the most important historical complexes in Iran, and is a great attraction for tourists. Dating back to the Qajar period (l779-1925), the bazaar is located in the heart of the old fabric of the city. It consists of two sections: the upper bazaar and the lower bazaar. Having an area of 150000 square meters, the bazaar comprises 940 shops and two baths called Boloori and Moini. There are 56 entrances to the bazaar. In the past it could, and even now it can, meet all the needs of the people.
Built in the Safavid period (16th century), it is the oldest monument in the city. Much of this building has been ruined and at the present time the building of Oqaf, the Organization of Bequests for Pious or Charitable Purposes, has replaced it.