The mystical land of Persia is the homeland of so many wonders of the universe. Iran has countless unique natural attractions and a lengthy history dating back to the beginning of the mankind’s civilization. Iran is not a developed tourist destination yet since it has been rather secluded from the rest of the world due to the political and sanction related reasons during the past few decades. Only getting a small fracture of the its tourist potential the spotlight has been solely focused on a few well known cities of Iran, leaving numerous fabulous gems laying unnoticed, scattered all over Iran.
The opulent city of Zanjan is another unexplored jewel of Iran. Located on top of the mountains, this mystical city is formed from numerous wonders of Persia such as amazing natural attractions, significant extensive history dating back to the Ice age, breathtaking ruins and prominent archaeological remains. The nature lovers have so much to explore in Zanjan from the Ferry Chimneys to the Mahnesan Colored Mountains and Sharshar waterfalls to Garmab hot springs to the Katalkhore Cave. There is also a small Ski resort located nearby the city.
Mahneshan village in Zanjan province that is also known as the town of castles has about twenty historical rock castles curved into the mountains dating thousands of years back to the Achemanid era. What makes these castles really exceptional is that they are built into the jinn chimneys or the ferry chimneys of Zanjan, forming masterpieces of nature and human architecture combined together. Mahestan Castle is one the most famous ones amongst these castles that is known for a unique integration of brick and rock architecture. The first building of Mahestan castle was built in Sassanid era and it’s located on the southern banks of the Ghezel Ozan River.
The archeologists have found traces suggesting the settlements in Zanjan area going back to the Ice-age era. The scattered ruins of the Sassanid Fire Temples around the city suggests that Zanjan was founded by Sassanid king Ardashir I around 180-242 CE. The six mummified salt men of Iran from the Achaemenid (550-330 BC) have also been discovered in salt mines of Zanjan province and five of them are exhibited in the archeological museum of Zanjan in Zolfaghari Mansion and one of them is exhibited in Iran national museum.
While the city has a modern look, Zanjan still beholds some fabulous traditional facades such as brick vaulted bazar built in the Safavid era, many historical mosques, a caravanserai and much more to explore.