Jewel of the North
The ancient city of Amol lies between Mahmoud Abad in the north, Babolsar in the northeast, Babol in the east and Nour in the west. The city has Mediterranean climate with very hot summers and cool and humid winters.
Amol is one of the oldest cities in Mazandaran dating back to the time of the Amards, who settled in the area before the Aryans and Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 CE). Some accounts associate Amol with the Pishdadian, the first Aryan dynasty mentioned in Ferdowsi’s magnum opus, the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), and Persian mythology.
Locals believe that legendary hero Arash the Archer, who shot an arrow from Mount Damavand to mark the new border between the warring Iran and Touran, hailed from this city. It is said the arrow shot by Arash traveled all morning and reached the banks of the Oxus River in Central Asia at noon and this river became the border between Iran and Touran for centuries. Legend has it that Arash, who had used all his strength to strain the bow and shoot his arrow as far as possible, fell to his death upon releasing his bow.
According to historical documents, Amol was the capital of Mazandaran from the Sassanid (224–651 CE) to the Ilkhanid (1256–1335) eras. The founder of the Safavid dynasty Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) and the founder of the Qajar dynasty Agha Mohammad Khan (1742-1797) both attacked this city and massacred its inhabitants before establishing their rule.
Amol is home to the Kalleh Dairy Company which is responsible for one of the most popular brands of ice-cream and cheese in the country.
Some of the notable figures from this city include historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (839-923), 10th century physician Hossein ibn Ibrahim Tabari better known as Al-Natili, singer Gholam-Hossein Banan (1911-1986), Tar player Farhang Sharif (1931), cleric Abdollah Javadi-Amoli (1933), Olympian wrestler Ghasem Rezaei (1985), and physicist Iraj Malekpour, who prepares the annual solar calendar.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Morq-e Shekam por or Stuffed chicken – A whole chicken filled with a stuffing consisting of pomegranate paste, walnuts, parsley, coriander, garlic, prunes and saffron.
- Naz Khatoun- A dip made of grilled eggplant, garlic, grape verjuice and angelica powder.
- Morq-e Torsh or Sour Chicken Stew – This stew consists of split pea, verjuice, chicken, tomato paste and fresh coriander and is served with sticky Caspian rice (Kateh).