Locating in 285 km north-west of Tehran in a mountainous area, Zanjan is a home to some appealing mosques, a phenomenal bazaar, a plenty knifegrinders and some superb teahouse eateries. The city is a sensible base for visiting the amazing Soltaniyeh Dome and a decent arranging point to reach Takht-e Soleiman by means of the picturesque Dandy street.
The city is located between Tehran and Tabriz, two main cities of Iran and is a worth visiting at least for a half-day excursion on the way from Tehran to Tabriz or vice versa. Now, stay with us to let you know some important attractions of Zanjan.
Rakhtshoy Khaneh Museum of Zanjan
Rakhtshoy Khaneh means Laundry in Persian. In the past years, when there was no washing machine and most people went to the river to wash their clothes or dishes, Zanjan established a local place for washing clothes and dishes for the people 24 hours a day, which today is called the Rakhtshoy Khaneh Museum or Zanjan Anthropology Museum. It is one of the most famous attractions of Zanjan. The museum consists of many pools with various uses, including pools of almost clean clothes and rinsing and pools for washing dishes.
In the heart of the old part of the city, one of the longest bazaars in Iran is located. It is the complex of the old bazaar of Zanjan, which has long seen a lively and bustling population buying and selling different goods. This market has access to the communication network of the whole city via 56 main and secondary entrances. Next to the market, there are many rows, mosques and caravanserais that are very spectacular.
There are 56 main and secondary ways to enter this bazar and you can purchase the goods from 940 different shops. This market has two upper and lower segments; At the lower part of the bazaar, apart from trading, there are places where the products of other villages around the city are sold. Two historic mosques have doubled the beauty of this part of the bazaar. In the upper par, there are more various products, so this part is the most important commercial and economic part of the city.
Soltaniyeh Dome, UNESCO Site
On the way from Tehran to Zanjan, in the middle of a wide plain in Zanjan, a brick dome covered with turquoise tiles shows itself. This historical building, which is known as the largest brick dome in the world, is called Soltanieh Dome and was built by the order of Al-Jaito or Sultan Mohammad Khodabandeh, who was the ruler during the Ilkhanid period, and it is said that this building is his tomb. This spectacular dome was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. It is interesting to know that Soltanieh Dome was also used as a sun clock in ancient times.
Behestan Castle is located in Mahneshan city of Zanjan, right next to the Dudkesh-e Jen. Another name of this castle is the ancient fort, which is also known as Behestan Castle due to its location near Behestan village. This castle, unlike other castles, is a bit strange and is built inside the chimneys of jinn and has a different appearance.
Dudkesh-e Jen is located 113 km from Zanjan in a legendary and magical place. It is called “hoodo” in geological terms and is basically a type of erosion that leaves tall, thin minarets of sediment and rocks from the primary layers.
Aladaghlar Colorful Mountains
Aladaghlar clay mountains and hills are colorful brown, green, red, yellow, orange and white mountains that create a spectacular view when it rains and the clay of these mountains gets wet. When you travel from Zanjan to the city of Mahneshan, you can see the amazing view of these colorful mountains. Travelers who cross this route during the day can enjoy the mountains as if painted by hand and they can capture amazing pictures.
It is said that due of the existence of the Medes in the region, they chose the name of the Medes Neshan, which has gradually changed to Mahneshan over the time. The Medes lived for many years in the village of Madabad, which is 15 km away from the present-day Mahneshan, and the structures such as Behestan Castle which remains from Sassanid period in that area, is a proof of this theory.