Rasht Iran

Keywords: Rasht Iran
Description: The chances are that when you start your tour of northern Iran. first of all you land in Rasht, capital of Guilan province. Seven meters below sea level and 15 km inland from the Anzali Lagoon, to

The chances are that when you start your tour of northern Iran. first of all you land in Rasht, capital of Guilan province. Seven meters below sea level and 15 km inland from the Anzali Lagoon, to which it is connected by the Seyah Rud. Rasht is the largest settlement of the southern Caspian, an industrial center of the region, and one of the wettest places in Iran, which can also be very humid. The city has sprawled enormously over recent years, sacrificing some of its charm for the sake of development. Its present population amounts to more than 750.000, occupying an area of 1,489 square kilometers. It is one of the most densely-populated towns in Iran.

Only 324 km north of Tehran along a good motorway, Rasht is a very popular weekend or holiday destination for Tehran is, for whom the change in climate and scenery is enough in itself, and the city has few sites to offer the sightseer. For most foreigners Rasht is no more than a convenient staging post for a tour of the region. Good asphalt roads radiate from Rasht to all parts of the province.

There are many points of interest, however, besides natural beauty. Visit a silk factory at Rasht, look at the rice paddies at the sea-level, and the tea plantations on the stony, volcanic soil of the foothills. Most tea factories can be visited on request: between spring and autumn you can seethe processing of the leaves. The houses and the farm buildings of the region are peculiar to the Caspian: nowhere else in Iran will you see the red tiled roofs and broad verandahs of Rasht and Mazandaran, which may even have been the prototype of the Persian architectural columns seen at Pasargadae and Persepolis.

Rasht, a flat and fairly featureless city, grew into a town around the 14th century, soon becoming the major settlement in Guilan. The city has been occupied by the Russians several times in its history, most ruinously in 1668 when almost the whole population was massacred by the rebel forces of the Cossack brigand Stenka Razin, who had already destroyed the Persian Navy in the Caspian Sea, and whose sole aims in life appear to have been rape and pillage. During WWI the city was again occupied by Russians, and in 1920 Bolsheviks destroyed much of the bazaar, driving many of the inhabitants into temporary exile. Nowadays Rasht is the center of distribution for the local rice and silk cocoon industries, although the cocoon industry had declined in recent years.

The town's three main streets, Dr Shari'ati, Sa'di, and Imam Khomeini, converge at the main square, which is called Shohada. Most of the major points of interest are within walking distance of this square, to the north, south or east, although the hotels are spread out at some distance.

Here, if you go into a chaikhaneh (tea house) and call for a chai (tea), you will have the opportunity to watch the faces of those drinking tea with the abstracted air of a philosopher occupied with higher problems, or see others arguing, in front of a bowl of .soup and a flat loaf.

5. Safi Mosque, belonging to] 5th century, and attributed to Safi Mirza, son of the Safavid Shah Abbas.

Photogallery Rasht Iran:

Thank you to our hosts! | Travel4more.org
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