Located in northwestern Iran, the city of Zanjan is the capital of a province of the same name. Zanjan borders Tarom, Khalkhal and Meyaneh from the north, Soltaniyeh and Tarom from the east, Khodabandeh and Ijrud from the south and Mahneshan from the west. The city as hot and dry summers with cold and moist winters.
Archeological excavations have founded traces of Paleolithic cave settlers in the area. According to some accounts and based on traces of Sassanid Fire Temples scattered around the city, Zanjan is one of the cities founded by Sassanid King Ardashir I, the Unifier (180-242 CE).
Zanjan has always enjoyed prominence, due to its strategic location on the trade route from Rey to Azerbaijan.
The city is also where the Saltmen of Iran have been discovered. The saltmen are six salt mummies from the Achaemenid (550-330 BC) and Sassanid (226-651 CE) eras that were found in Chehrabad Salt Mine. One of these Saltmen is housed at the National Museum of Iran in Tehran while the others are on display at the Archeology Museum of Zanjan in Zolfaqari Mansion.
The city has several natural attractions most notably Sharshar Waterfall, Kataleh Khor or Katalehkhor Cave, Jinn’s Chimney, Mahneshan Colored Mountains and Garmab Thermal Spring. There is a ski resort named Papayi close to the city which accommodates 500 skiers every year.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Morgh Aloucheh or Cherry Plum and Chicken Stew – A dish made with chicken chunks cooked with cherry plums and carrots in a tomato based sauce. This dish is served with white rice.
- Ash-e Gandom- A thick wheat soup that contains spinach, chickpea, lentil, broad bean and bean. This soup is decorated with whey and fried mint and onion.
- Jaghour Baghour- A local delicacy made with lamb liver and lungs, potato and onion, cooked in tomato and pomegranate paste.