Hamedan was called Hegmetana (or Ecbatana) in Old Persian . It is an ancient city with a population of 473,149 (2006 census). It is 1,850 meters above sea level. Hamedan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BC; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that Hamedan was established by the Medes and was the capital of the Median Empire around 700 BC. In the Parthian era, Ctesiphon was the capital of the country, and Hamedan was the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthian Dynasty, the Sassanid constructed their summer palaces in Hamedan. It then became one of several capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty. The city is known for its walnut, rug and pottery industry.
The tourist attractions of Hamedan are:
The Ganjnameh is a set of cuneiform characters written in three languages (ancient Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian), set into a rock face on Mount Alvand, about 5 kilometers from Hamedan. There are two panels of inscriptions. The upper left inscription was made by the order of Darius the Great (5th century BC) and the right one by the order of King Xerxes the Great (4th century BC).
The inscriptions are written on granite rock. The inscriptions are carved in three languages: Old Persian, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Elamite. This mountain was possibly the main “east-west pass. Ecbatana was the summer capital due to its pleasant weather.
The right inscription, belonging to Xerxes I, writes: “The Great God [is] Ahuramazda, greatest of all the gods, who created the earth and the sky and the people; who made Xerxes king, and outstanding king as outstanding ruler among innumerable rulers; I [am] the great king Xerxes, king of kings, king of lands with numerous inhabitants, king of this vast kingdom with far-away territories, son of the Achaemenid monarch Darius.”
Avicenna (Ibn-Sina) Mausoleum:
Avicenna or Ibn Sina was a polymath regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age and the father of modern medicine. The mausoleum was built in 1952, replacing the older one which was destroyed in 1950.
Alisadr Cave has too many water-halls and colorful deposits of different materials. The boating path through the cave is 2400 m long which makes it unique in this respect. Ancient artworks, jugs and pitchers dating back to 12,000 years ago are discovered by excavations and archeological studies in the cave. The paintings of animals, hunting scenes and bows and arrows show that it has been used by the primitive men as an abode.
Hamedan Stone Lion:
The Stone Lion of Hamedan is a historical monument with 2000 years of history. It had a counterpart and together they were the sides of a gate in the entrance of the city. During the Islamic conquest of Persia, the victorious Arabs called the gat as bâb ul-asad. When Deylamids took over the city in 931AD, the gate was destroyed. A king named Mardvaij was unsuccessful to transport one of the lion to Ray city. Thereby, he got angered and then ordered to demolish the statues. One lion was completely destroyed and the other got its arm broken.
Baba Taher Oryan Hamadani was an 11th-century Persian poet living in Hamadan during the reign of the Seljuk dynasty over Iran. His poems are very famous in Iran as they are in a style opposing the system of inhibited practice by religious in a equivocal meaning. This Tomb was built from 1967-70 in honor of Baba Taher Oryan.
The building Gonbad-e Alavian or Alavian dome dates back to the Seljuk period. It was originally built as a mosque by the Alavian family and then the basement was used as their graves and later transformed into a family mausoleum. It presents a memory of old Persian architecture. Alavian is the person who believes in Imam Ali, the cousin of Islam’s Prophet and obeys the lifestyle of him.
Ecbatana or Hegmataneh:
Ecbatana also called Hegmataneh was an ancient city in western Iran which dates back to the 8th century BC. It was the capital of Medes at first and then as the capital of Parthian kings. During the Achaemenid era, Ecbatana was the summer resort of the Persian kings. The city can be called the first city of Iran. The name of Hegmataneh is written on an inscription in Bisotun, Kermanshah, Iran, belonging to the time of Darius the Great.
1800 years of love
The remains of a couple was recently found in Hegmataneh. They can be now visited by public in the Hegmataneh Museum where they are still laying side by side. The right photo shows the place they were founded and the left photo is Hegmataneh Museum.
1800 years of love
Habakkuk was a Jewish prophet living in the 7th century BC. There are two places that claim as the tomb of Habakkuk, one in Iran and one in Israel. The tomb in Iran is located in Tuyserkan, a city 100km south of Hamedan.