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Located on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, Babolsar borders Babol in the south, Joybar in the east, and Fereydoun Kenar in the west. The city has humid subtropical climate with warm summers and cool, humid winters.
Babolsar was formerly known as Mashhadsar (the way to Mashhad) as the only road connecting the northwest of Iran to the northeast, and the city of Mashhad passed through the city. Some, however, believe that the city’s name comes from having the head of Ibrahim, one of the brothers of the Eighth Shia Imam Reza (PBUH) (765-819), buried there. In 1927, the city’s name was changed to Babolsar.
Babolroud or the Babol River, which originates from the Alborz Mountain range, passes through the city and both the bank of the river and the beach of the Caspian Sea as well as the Babolsar Pier and the Babolsar Suspension Bridge are among the major tourist attractions of the city. Many visit the Babolsar Pier in order to take boat rides along the Babol River and taste seafood dishes served in the small boat restaurants along the pier.
The founder of the Safavid Dynasty Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) is said to have visited the city twice and written about the many ships docked at its pier waiting for the right time to set sail. In the Qajar era (1781–1925) the city served as a port for the market town, Babol. From the Babolsar port goods such as cotton, silk and rice were transported to Russia and Russian goods were brought back to Iran. The city lost is status as a commercial port when Anzali Port in Gilan Province gained more popularity.
The Sand Sculpture Festival held in the city is one of Babolsar’s major attractions and draws large domestic and international crowds.
The city is popular because of its many hotels and villas as well as the Darya Kenar Town, located 5 kilometers outside Babolsar, where many Iranians vacation.
Some of the city’s most famous figures include Dabir Azam Hosna, one of the first female mayors of Iran, weightlifter Manouchehr Boroumand (1934), weightlifter Bahador Molaei (1992), the late weightlifting champion Ramazan Ali Teymouri, and swimmer and lifeguard Jamshid Khosravi.
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