Cultural heritage elements in Hamedan added to national list

January 11, 2023 - 20:30

TEHRAN – A total of four cultural elements, practiced across west-central Hamedan province, have recently been added to the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the provincial tourism chief has said.

The skill of cooking Masua Ash (a thick Persian vegetable soup cooked in a wide variety of styles), Dast Chaleh local game, the talent of weaving Charchang carpet and the skill of making halva - a kind of traditional sweet dessert were added to the prestigious list, Mohsen Masoum-Alizadeh explained on Wednesday.

In the field of intangible works such as souvenirs and local foods, Hamadan has a lot to say, the official added.

Both tangible and intangible elements contribute to a city’s identity and culture, and they must be preserved, he noted.

Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamedan was one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. Pitifully little remains from antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are given over to excavations. Ecbatana was the capital of Media and subsequently a summer residence of the Achaemenian kings who ruled Persia from 553 to 330 BC.

Hamedan has had many names: it was possibly the Bit Daiukki of the Assyrians, Hangmatana, or Agbatana, to the Medes, and Ecbatana to the Greeks. One of the Median capitals, under Cyrus II (the Great; died 529 BC) and later Achaemenian rulers, it was the site of a royal summer palace.

About 1220 Hamedan was destroyed by the Mongols. In 1386, it was sacked by Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, and the inhabitants were massacred. It was partly restored in the 17th century and subsequently changed hands often between Iranian ruling houses and the Ottomans.

Sitting on a high plain, Hamedan is graciously cool in August but snow prone and freezing from December to March. In summer, the air is often hazy.

Ali Sadr cave, Ganjnameh inscriptions, Avicenna Mausoleum, Hegmataneh hill, Alaviyan dome, Jameh mosque, and St. Stephanos Gregorian Church are amongst Hamedan’s attractions to name a few.


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