Qazvin ancient sites on agenda for possible UNESCO registration

April 6, 2020 - 23:51

TEHRAN – Qazvin province’s tourism department announced on Sunday that it “seriously” pursues efforts to have ancient sites of Sa’d-al Saltaneh caravanserai and Alamut castle registered on UNESCO World Heritage list.

“Global registration of Qazvin’s Alamut castle and Sa’d-al Saltaneh caravanserai will be seriously pursued in [the current Iranian year] 1399 (started on March 20),” provincial tourism chief Alireza Khazaeli said, ILNA reported.

A choice for a daydream experience, Sa’d-al Saltaneh is one of the biggest roofed caravanserais of the country located in the city center of Qazvin dating back to the Qajar era (1789 to 1925). It’s a place for discovering tens of Hojreh or shops, cafes, yards, and a stunning mosque. It’s a place for visitors who want to experience the culture, culinary and hospitality of Iran.

A view of Alamut castle

Also known as the castle of the Assassins, the 12th-century Alamut castle is nested on top of a peak. It was once a shelter for the followers of Hasan-e Sabbah (1070–1124) who was a spiritual leader of an Islamic sect. In the early 1930s, British-Italian explorer and travel writer Freya Stark described her exploration of the place in her book “The Valleys of the Assassins”.

The provincial capital, which has the same name, is a major tourist destination with wonderfully restored historical sites, some quirky museums and a handful of decent eating options. Famed for carpets and seedless grapes, the city was once the capital of the mighty Persian Empire under Safavids from 1548-98.

Currently, Iran has two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 22 of which cultural ones, representing architectural, social, religious and economic achievements as well as tastes of history throughout the ancient land.