People have lived in this region from a long time ago, even prehistoric times. In the historic Golchik cave, situated to the south of Zanjan city, many objects have been found which date back to 16,000-3000 years ago. Archaeologist have also discovered objects belonging to prehistoric and historic periods. Zanjan City was inhabited before Islam came to Iran. This city suffered heavy damages during the Mongol invasion, but it was rebuilt soon after. Zanjan has witnesses many tragic events in the course of history and has overcome them all today, it possesses many valuable and historic monuments. One of the most famous Iranian philosophers, Sheikh Shahabeddin Sohrevardi, also known as “Sheikh-ol-Eshragh”, was born in Zanjan. He laid the foundation of a new school in philosophy.
The province of Zanjan covers an area of 21,841 km2, and lies in the northwestern parts of Iran. It is surrounded by the province of Ghazvin on the east, Hamedan on the south, Gilan and Ardebil on the north, and East & West Azerbaijan on the west. The capital of this province is Zanjan and its other major cities are Abhar and Khodabandeh. According to the latest census carried out in 1996, the population of this province was then 1,036,873, most of whom are engaged in agriculture. The most important produce of this province is the grape. Animal husbandry, meat and dairy production are amongst other activates of its people. Presently, special emphasis is laid on industrial and mining activities. There are many plants and factories engaged in the production of chemicals pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, electrical goods, woodwork, metal products, weaving, and other activities including instruction. The climatic condition in mountainous parts, is the south and central regions of this province, is cold in winter and moderate in summer. The plain of Zanjan which is situated in the north of the province enjoys warm and semi-humid climate. The average temperature of Zanjan is 13.5°C in spring, 22.2°C in summer, 13.3°C in autumn and 5.4°C in winter. The average temperature of Zanjan over the past 30 years has been 10.7°C, average relative humidity at 6:30 hours, is 70%and at 12:30 hours, 43%average annual rainfall is 317mm with a maximum per day of 50.6 mm; average number of days with temperature below 0°C, 122.1; average number of hoursof sunshine over the year, 2771.7; and finally the maximum wind speed is27 meter per second, blowing in the direction of 240°.
Major geographical features
Ghezel Ozan River: This is most important river of the province. It originates in Kurdistan province, passes Zanjan, runs eastward, and finally pours into the Caspian Sea as Sefid Rood. Its length, from origin to the Caspian Sea, is 756 km. This river plays an important role in number of province of Iran besides Zanjan, as regards biological and environmental matters. It also provide many opportunities for recreation. Other major rivers of this province are Zanjan River, 142 km long, Sojaj River, 60 km. Mineral water spring: Vanfagh spring’s mineral water is used for soothing the nerves and curing rheumatism. Other hot mineral water spring of Zanjan are: Ebdal, Mianaj, Neigjeh and Arkuvin.
Museum of Anthropology (Laundry-House): This is an old laundry-house now turned into the museum of Iranian Traditional Clothes and handicrafts.
Name: Soltaniye Dome
Type: Shrine. Description: Soltaniye Dome is considered as one of the most magnificent historic monuments of Iran and, the third important monuments of the world. It is unique as regards its antiquity, grandeur and beauty a masterpiece of Iranian and Islamic architecture. The dome is 48.5 m high, but weighs only 200 tons.
Name: Chalpi Oghli
Type: shrine. Description: this is a collection of building as a house of dervishes (e place for Sufis’ prayers, and the tomb of Sultan Chalpi).
Name: Jame Mosque
Type: Mosque and theological school. Description: The dome of this mosque is decorated with beautiful tile-work, and the ceiling of this hallway is covered with artistic plasterwork.
Name: Sojaj Mosque
Type: Mosque. Description: The plasterwork with inscriptions is simply fascinating.
Name: laundry House
Type: Old laundry house. Description: now turned into a museum of anthropology museum.
Name: Zanjan Bazaar
Type: Historic Commercial Complex
Description: This complex has about 1000 trade units and 56 entrances, and is one of the largest and most remarkable bazaars of Iran.
Name: Soltaniye Citadel
Type: Historic castle and building. Description: This complex consists of number of historic monuments including school, mosque, khaneghah and hospital.
Name: Imamzadeh Esmail
Type: Shrine. Description: This remarkable building has a dome with exquisite tile-work and interior decoration.
Zanjan: Golshan Caravanserai, Mirbahar Bath, Zolfaghar House, Shemiran Castle , Mirzaie Mosque, Shrine of SeyedEbrahim, Haj Seyed Mohammad bridge.
Abhar: Tomb of Pir Ahmad-e-Zahrnoosh, tomb of Mola Hasan Kashi, shrine of Zid-ol Kabir
Khodabandeh: Shrine of Gheid Arnabi
The Belgheys Mountain whose peak is 3,332 m above sea level, and Sandogh Sandaran with a peak height of 3,214 m are the major mountains of Zanjan province. Other mountains of this province are: Ebdal, Gheble, Dagh and Baba Gildar.
The Knifes which are made in Zanjan have enjoyed special fame. Other major handicrafts of this province are: carpets, embroidery, “jajim”, copper utensils, pottery, comb and spoon making and inlaid work.