Rasht City: This city, the capital of Gilan is 5m above sea level and at a distance of 325 km from Tehran. Rasht has a long history, and has been inhabited since the Sassanid era. The Alborz range of mountains offers natural protection to this province against outside adverse events. For example, The Moslem army overcame this region much later than the other part of Iran, and Gilan’s people became the followers of Imam Ali (peace upon him) and fought against the Caliphs of Baghdad. Today, its people feel great respect for the Shrines of Imam Ali’s relatives and grandchildren. After one century of rule over all other parts of Iran, the Mongol hordes finally managed to capture this region, but their dominance did not last long. Gilan was subject to invasion by the Russian army several times. In 1722, the army of Peter the Great occupied Rasht and remained there for 12 years. During the First World War, Rasht was occupied by the Russian and British armies. In 1920 the Bolsheviks captured Rasht and Bandar Anzali. The revolutionaries of Gilan, under the leadership of Mirza Kouchak Khan, fought against alien forces in 1920. Because of commercial relations with Europe, Rasht and Bandar Anzali became familiar with European civilization sooner than the other cities of Iran. Presently these two cities offer great facilities for receiving tourists.
The green province of Gilan, in the north of Iran, covers an area of 13,952 km and lies on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. It is surrounded by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea on the north, and the provinces of Ardebil on the west, Mazandaran on the east and Zanjan on the south. The capital of this province is Rasht, And the other major towns are Astaneh Ashrafiyeh, Astara, Bandar Anzali, Fouman, Lahijan, Langeroud, Roodbar, Roodsar, Shaft, Same’e sara and Tavalesh. In 1996, the population of this province was 2,241,896 most of whom were farmers. A moderate climate, abundance of water and fertile and have turned this province into an ideal place for agriculture. Rice is the major produce off this province. Other produce of Gilan are tea, tobacco, olives, grains, peanuts, citrus fruits and hazelnuts. This province possesses a large number of deposits of coal, construction stones, lime, oil and gas. Some of it population are engaged in chemicals, textiles, electronics, and industries related to agriculture. Other major activities of this region are Caspian Sea is considered to be the most desirable caviar in the world, and enjoys particular fame in the international markets.
Gilan province consists of two parts: The littoral adjacent to the Caspian Sea, and a mountains area close to the provinces of Ardebil and Zanjan. In general, this province has moderate and rainy weather. The average temperature in Rasht, the province’s capital, is 17.4°c in spring, 24.3°c in summer, 14.3°c in autumn and 7.1°c in winter. In a study carried out over a 30-years period, the maximum absolute temperature was established to be 37.6°c, minimum absolute temperature, -18°c and the average, 15.8°c. The average relative humidity at 06:30 hours was found to be 94% and at 12:00 hours, 72%; average annual rainfall, 1,400mm maximum amount of rainfall on a single day, 170mm; average number of days with the temperature below 0°c, 27.1; number of hours of sunshine over the entire year, 1,554; bellowing in the direction of 350°.
Gilan province offers great tourist potentials and receives hundreds of visitors from different parts of Iran and the world, each year. Covering an area of 438,000 km2, the Caspian Sea is the largest lake of the world and lies on the north of Gilan province. The beautiful long coastline on the Caspian Sea, large expanses of greenery and forests close to the sea, the highlands, olive and citrus trees, extensive rice fields, large and small marshes, roaring or calm rivers, mineral water spring, diverse wildlife… give this province great charm. Sefid Rood, with a length of 765 km, is the longest and largest river of this province. Its average flow rate is 132 m3 per second. In the Manjil region, the great dam of Sefid Rood has been constructed over this river, which has created a “lake” covering an area of 56 km2. Other major rivers of this province are Pol Rood, Shalman Rood, Kargan Rood and Shafa Rood. The mineral spring of Kalshtar in the Manjil region gives water that contains bicarbonate and calcium sulfate. It is used to for curing rheumatism, digestive system disease, and for soothing the nerves. The water also has anti-toxic quality. Other mineral water springs are Sangrood in Roodbar region, Shourlakan close to Rasht, Cheshmagol in Sangar region. Covering an area of more than 100 m2, the marsh of Anzali lies south of Anzali post and plays important natural and economic roles in this province. It is the basin into which many rivers flow; its water is fresh and yet it is connected to the sea. So, it is an ideal place for the fish to spawn. Each year, between10 to 12 million migrating birds come to this marsh during winter. The surface of this marsh is covered by different types of aquatic plants such as the water-lily which give a great deal of beauty to it. This marsh attracts a large number of tourists to Gilan province, each year. Natural forests of the north of Iran run along the northern skirts of the Alborz range of mountains. This forest strip covers a length of 800 km and passes through the provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan. About 550,000 hectares of this forest located in Gilan province and play a vital role in the ecosystem and economy of the region. The width of this forest strip varies from 13 km to 70 km, and at certain points there is but a short distance separating the forest from the sea. These forests offer an excellent habitat for the leopard, bear, wolf, fox, wild goat, jackal, boar, porcupine and many different birds. The highest peaks of Gilan province are Shah Moalem 3,096 m khashtchal 3,600 m darfak. 3,500 m and Masuleh Dagh, 3,000 m. in the forests and highlands of this province there are many spots, which possess pleasant climate and impressive natural sights. The major summer and winter stations of Gilan are: the small town of Masouleh in the Fouman areas, the historic village of Herzevil in Roodbar, and a collection of villages in the Eshkever region, near Roodsar.
Rasht Museum: Museum of anthropology, archeology and historic documents.
Mianposhteh palace, (Military-Marine) Museum: Implements of war and the model ships are put on display in this fair.
Tea History Museum: This Museum lies in a building where Kashf-Ol-Saltaneh, the founder of tea planting in Iran, is buried. Articles related to the tea industry as well as other archeological items are put on display there.
Type: An ancient hill. Description: Archeologists have discovered a unique ancient human civilization in this region. In the ancient tombs on this hill, numerous items, e.g. Gold, silver and brass vessels have been found. A large number of delightful golden cups were found in the excavation of this hill. The most important of these is the Marlik Cup which is made of pure gold. It is 17cm high and displays very beautiful reliefs.
Name: RudKhan Castle
Type: An ancient castle. Description: This is a very large and strong castle, which is located on the mountain. It is used to be the seat of regional governors of Gilan.
Type: Mosque. Description: this is a very old mosque which was reconstructed twice, in the Safavid and Qajar eras.
Name: Safi Mosque
Type: Mosque. Description: This Mosque is strikingly impressive for its plaster and tile works.
Name: Tomb of Sheikh zahed Gilani
Type: Tomb. Description: This historic monument is in the shape of pyramids and its walls are covers with ceramics. It lies in the village of Sheykhanvar.
Name: Municipality building and square
Type: Building and square. Description: This Square, in which the municipality building is located, is one the tourist centers of Rasht.
Name: Tomb of Sayid Jalaledin AShraf
Type: Shrine. Description: This is the tomb of Musa Kazem’s son, Sayid Jalaledin Ashraf. This Shrine has been recently renovated and displays beautiful tile and mirror works.
Name: Miyan Poshteh Bridge
Type: Bridge. Description: This Bridge is 210 m long and 10 m wide. It is one of the most prominent bridges thanks to its remarkable construction.
Bandar Anzali: Ghaziyan Bridge, Clock Tower, Miyan Poshteh Palace, Customhouse, Bibi Houriyeh’s Tomb
Astaneh Ashrafiyeh: Agha Sayid Mohammad’s Tomb, Agha Sayid hossein’s Tomb, Doctor mohammad mo’in’s Tomb
Fouman: Minaret of Jame Mosque, Old bathhouse of Golshan, Imamzadeh Own-ebne Mohammad
Lahijan: TI TI Caravanserais, Lahijan sun dried brick Bridge, Molla Aghel’s Tomb, Jame Mosque, Four king’s Tomb, Sayid Reza Kiya’s Tomb, Bathhouses of Deylaman and Golshan.
Langerood: Old Bathhouse of Kiya kolayeh and Mirza Ahmadi, House of Monajem Bashi, Tomb of Twelve.
Rasht: Kolah Farangi Building, Post building, Mirza koochak Khan’s Tomb, Clock Tower, House of Divan Beygi, Jame Noor Mosque, Emamzadeh Ebrahim, sayid Abol Ghasem;s Tomb, Shapoor School
Roodbar: Loshan Historic Bridge, Darreh Gohar Ancient Hills, Imamzadeh Mohammad Hannifiyeh’s Tomb, Pir Mousa’s Tomb
Roodsar: Nahar Khoran Palace, Reza Shah’s Palace, Pir Tomb, Tombs of Agha Sayid Mo’in and Mobin.
Major handicrafts of this province are basket work, wood work, pottery, kilim and carpet weaving, and silk production.