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Shazdeh Hosein shrine in Qazvin, Iran.
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Shazdeh Hosein shrine in Qazvin. Photo: qiv.

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Qazvin, Iran.
Qazvin, Iran.

Imanzadeh-ye Hossein in Qazvin, Iran.
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Imanzadeh-ye Hossein. Photo: qiv.

A caravanserai in Qazvin, Iran.
Qazvin, Iran.

City in northwestern Iran with 320,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), 150 km northwest of Teheran on a wide, fertile plain on the southern foot of the Alborz Mountains. It is the capital of Qazvin province with 1.15 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 15,491 km². It was part of Zanjan province until the early 1990s.
Qazvin is the commercial centre of its surrounding agricultural region. The city has textile and flour mills, local wine production, cloth weaving, cotton ginning, wool carding, flour milling, food processing and electrical equipment manufacturing. Qazvin has a thermoelectric plant, and a modern poultry-raising complex.
Qazvin is well-connected by road to Teheran, Rasht and Hamadan, and by rail to Teheran and Tabriz.
Buildings dating from the time of the Seljuq sultans include the Friday Mosque, the Haidariye madrasa, a square hall surmounted by a cupola, the tomb of Mostowfi, the Persian traveller and the Mosque of the Shah. About 60 km northeast of Qazvin lie the ruins of Alamut, the headquarters of the Assassins.

250 CE: Founded by the Sasanian king Shapur 1, and named Shad Shahpur.
7th century: Qazvin becomes the centre of the Islamization process in Persia.
8th century: Caliph Harun ar-Rashid builds strong fortifications around Qazvin.
13th century: Genghis Khan destroys Qazvin.
1548: King Tahmasp 1 makes Qazvin capital of the Safavid kingdom.
1598: At the sacrifice of Qazvin, Esfahan becomes the new capital of the Safavid kingdom.
1796: Qazvin beomes a major base for trade between the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and Anatolia.
1909: Qazvin is conquered by an Iranian nationalist force of Rasht.
1921: A coup d'état is launched from Qazvin, leading to the assumption of power by Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the establishment of modern Persia (later Iran).

By Tore Kjeilen