Geoheritage Institute of the Middle East

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Qazvin is one of Iran’s ancient cities and a city of Persia some 150 km/90 miles west-north-west of the capital Tehran. It lies in lat. 36° 16' N., long. 50° 00' E. in a broad alluvial plain to the south of the western part of the Elburz mountain chain, on a historic route connecting the northern Persian cities of Ray and then Tehran with Azerbaijan. It has also access northwards to the Caspian coast at Rasht and Bandar-i Enzeli and southwestwards to Hamadan and the direction of Iraq. The Islamic and modern city of Qazvin stands on the site of a town built by the Sasanid Emperor Shapor II, which was in turn erected on the site of an earlier town of Shapor I b. Ardash_r.

Founded by the Sassanian king Shapur I in the 3rd century AD, Qazvin prospered under the Seljuk rulers, who erected many fine buildings. It had a second, much later burst of prominence when the second Safavid shah, Tahmasp I (1524–76), transferred the Persian capital here from Tabriz. A great patron of the arts, his ambitious architectural plan for Qazvin proved to be only a dress rehearsal for Esfahan, where his successor, Shah Abbas I, set up court in 1598.

Ali Qapu

Ali Qapu frontispiece built on Shah Tahmasb period and it is changed at the time of Shah Abbas Aval. This frontispiece was considered as the main entrance to residence of Safavid era. Frontispiece includes a high porch, an entrance with a sharp arch and three rows of odds in two sides. Earrings with bricks columns in two storeys complete the panorama of frontispiece. An inscription and tilling nets are decorations which have remained on the porch of entrance.