The Qazvin Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the northwest of the country and its center is the city of Qazvin. The province was created in 1993 out of part of Tehran Province and includes 20 cities.
Qazvin was the location of a former capital of the Persian Empire and contains over 2000 architectural and archaeological sites. It is a provincial capital today that has been a cultural center throughout history.
Archaeological findings in the Qazvin plain reveal the existence of urban agricultural settlements as far back as 7000 BC. The name “Qazvin” or “Kasbin” is derived from Cas, an ancient tribe that lived south of the Caspian Sea millennia ago. The Caspian Sea itself in fact derives its name from the same origin. Qazvin geographically connects Tehran, Isfahan, and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian seacoast and Asia Minor, hence its strategic location throughout the ages.
Qazvin has been a hotbed of historical developments in Iranian history. In the early years of the Islamic era Qazvin served as a base for the Arab forces. Destroyed by Genghis Khan (13th century), the Safavid monarchs made Qazvin the capital of the Safavid empire in 1548 only to have it moved to Isfahan in 1598. During the Qajar Dynasty and contemporary period, Qazvin has always been one of the most important governmental centers due to its proximity to Tehran..
Qazvin contains several archaeological excavations dating back 9000 years ago. There are also 23 castles from the Ismaili Assassins nearby as well. And in the middle of the city, there lies the ruins of Meimoon Ghal'eh, one of several Sassanid edifices in the area.
Qazvin contains few buildings from the Safavi era when it was capital of Persia. Perhaps the most famous of the surviving edifices is the Ali Qapu mansion - today a museum in central Qazvin.