Hamadan (also Hamedan, Persian: , Old Persian: Hagmatana) is the capital city of Hamadan Province, west of Iran. It had an estimated population of 550,284 in 2005. It is believed to be amongst the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world.
Hamedan was established by the Medes and was the capital of the Median empire. It then became one of several capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty. During the Parthian era, Ctesiphon was the capital of the country, and Hamedan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamedan. In the year 633 the battle of Nahavand took place and Hamedan fell into the hands of the Muslim Arabs.
During the Buwayhids , the city suffered much damage. In the 11th century, the Seljuks shifted their capital from Baghdad to Hamedan. During the Safavid era the city thrived. Thereafter, in the 18th century, Hamedan was surrendered to the Ottomans, but due to the courage and chivalry of Nader Shah Afshar, Hamedan was cleared of invaders and, as a result of a peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans, it was returned to Iran. Hamedan stands on the Silk Road, and even in recent centuries the city enjoyed strong commerce and trade as a result of its location on the main road network in the western region of Persia and Iran.
Hamedan is a green mountainous area on the foothills of the 3574-meter Alwand Mountain, in the mid west of Iran. The city is 1850 meters above sea level. The special nature of this old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer to this city, located approximately 400km southwest of Tehran.
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