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For other places with the same name, see Hamadan (disambiguation).
Ancient names: Ecbatana, Hangmatana
Hamadan is located in Iran
Hamadan in Iran
Coordinates: 34°48′N 48°31′E / 34.800°N 48.517°E / 34.800; 48.517Coordinates: 34°48′N 48°31′E / 34.800°N 48.517°E / 34.800; 48.517
Country  Iran
Province Hamadan
County Hamadan
Bakhsh Central
Elevation 1,850 m (6,069 ft)
Population (2006)
 • Total 473,149
 • Rank 14th in Iran
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Website www.hamedan.ir

Hamadān[1] or Hamedān (Persian: همدان‎, Hamadān or Hamedān) (Old Persian: Haŋgmetana, Ecbatana) is the capital city of Hamadan Province of Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 473,149, in 127,812 families.[2]

Hamedan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE.

Hamedan has a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574-meter Alvand Mountain, in the midwest part of Iran. The city is 1,850 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 360 kilometres (224 miles) southwest of Tehran.

The main symbols of this city are the Ganj Nameh inscription, the Avicenna monument and the Baba Taher monument. People of the city identify their mother tongue as Persian.[3][4][5]


Further information: Ecbatana
16th century map of Hamedan
The Ganjnameh, a cuneiform inscription in Hamedan

According to Clifford Edmund Bosworth, "Hamedan is a very old city. It may conceivably, but improbably, be mentioned in cuneiform texts from ca. 1100 BC, the time of Assyrian King Tiglath-pilesar I, but is certainly mentioned by Herodotus (i.98) who says that the king of Media Diokes built the city of Agbatana or Ekbatana in the 7th century BC."[6]

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.

Hamedan is mentioned in the biblical book of Ezra as the place where a scroll was found giving the Jews permission from King Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:2). Its ancient name of Ecbatana is used in the Ezra text. Because it was a mile above sea level, it was a good place to preserve leather documents.

Silver Drachma of Parthian king Mithridates II made in Ecbatan mint

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. The city of Hamedan, its fortunes following the rise and fall of regional powers, was completely destroyed during the Timurid invasion. 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 e 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.

During World War I, the city was the scene of heavy fighting between Russian and Turko-German forces. It was occupied by both armies, and finally by the British, before it was returned to control of the Iranian government at the end of the war in 1918.


Hamedan province lies in a temperate mountainous region to the east of Zagros. The vast plains of the north and northeast of the province are influenced by strong winds, that almost last throughout the year.

Hamedan spot (light blue in center) in Hamedan province topography map

The various air currents of this region are: the north and north west winds of the spring and winter seasons, which are usually humid and bring rainfall. The west-east air currents that blow in the autumn, and the local winds that develop due to difference in air-pressure between the elevated areas and the plains, like the blind wind of the Asad Abad region.

Climate data for Hamedan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.0
Average high °C (°F) 2.0
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.6
Average low °C (°F) −10.5
Record low °C (°F) −34
Average precipitation mm (inches) 46.3
Avg. rainy days 11.6 11.1 12.4 12.1 9.5 2.0 1.3 1.6 1.0 5.6 6.8 10.1 85.1
Avg. snowy days 8.8 8.2 4.2 0.6 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 0.9 6.9 29.8
Average relative humidity (%) 76 73 64 56 50 36 31 31 34 48 61 73 52.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 131.8 137.1 174.5 199.6 258.5 341.8 342.7 322.2 295.6 234.3 183.1 135.3 2,756.5
Source: NOAA (1961-1990)[7]

Hamedan is in the vicinity of the Alvand mountains and has a dry summer continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dsa), in transition with a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with snowy winters. In fact, it is one of the coldest cities in Iran. The temperature may drop below −30 °C (−22 °F) on the coldest days. Heavy snowfall is common during winter and this can persist for periods of up to two months. During the short summer, the weather is mild, pleasant, and mostly sunny.

Heydare, Hamedan
Alvand Mount
Mishan, a plain of Alvand Mount

Panoramic view[edit]

Hamedan at Night


According to the survey of 1997, the population of Hamedan province was 1,677,957.[8] Based on official statistics of 1997, the population of Hamedan county was 563,444 people. the majority population are Persians and Hamedan has a sizeable minority of Azeris,[9] and a small group of Jews.[10]


The Holy Mary Church of Hamedan

Hamedan is home to many poets and cultural celebrities. The city is also said to be among the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities.

Hamedan has always been well known for handicrafts like leather, ceramic, and carpets.

Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 207 sites of historical and cultural significance in the city of Hamedan alone.

A tomb believed by some to hold the remains of tomb the biblical Esther and her cousin Mordechai is located in Hamedan.

The scientist and writer known in the west as Avicenna (Abu Ali Sina) is buried in Hamedan. The 11th-century Iranian poet Baba Taher is also interred in Hamedan.

This city is also the birthplace of Badi' al-Zaman al-Hamadani, author of the Maqamat.



PAS Hamedan F.C. were founded on June 9, 2007 after the dissolution of PAS Tehran F.C.. The team, along with Alvand Hamedan F.C., currently participates in the Azadegan League.

Some sport complexes in this city include: Qods Stadium, Shahid Mofatteh Stadium, Takhti Sport Complex and the National Stadium of Hamedan.


University of Technology, in Hamedan

Before the Persian Constitutional Revolution, education in Hamedan was limited to some Maktab Houses and theological schools. Fakhrie Mozafari School was the first modern school of Hamedan, which was built after that revolution. Alliance and Lazarist were also the first modern schools founded by foreign institutions in Hamedan.

Some of the popular universities in Hamedan include:

Famous Hamedanians[edit]

Fazlollah Zahedi and his family

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Hamedan is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Multiple Authors (April 18, 2012). "HAMADĀN". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (EXCEL) on 2011-11-11. 
  3. ^ http://www.hamedan.rmto.ir/NewSite/English/Include/ShowTab.asp?qsTab=1
  4. ^ Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, Peter McDonald, Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, "The Fertility Transition in Iran: Revolution and Reproduction", Springer, 2009. pp 100-101: "The first category is 'Central' where the majority of people are Persian speaking ethnic Fars (provinces of Fars, Hamedan, Isfahan, Markazi, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Yazd and Tehran..."
  5. ^ (Parviz Aḏkāʾi and EIr, HAMADĀN i. GEOGRAPHY in Encyclopaedia Iranica:"Languages spoken. Hamadān has been a crossroads of civilizations for millennia and a mosaic of cultures and dialects live there side by side. The main language spoken, especially in the provincial capital and its surroundings, is Persian, which is also the lingua franca in other regions. In the northern parts of the province, however, the language mostly spoken is Azeri Turkish, while in the northwest and west, near the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermānšāhān, people mostly speak Kurdish, while in some other cities such as Malāyer, Nehāvand, and Sāmen most people speak Lori and Lak (Faraji, p. 1296)."
  6. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2008). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 151. ISBN 978-90-04-15388-2. 
  7. ^ "Hamedan Nozheh Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ Official statistics from 1997 (1375) - Hamedan provinces - Population and ethnicites - Archived May 12, 2008 at the Wayback Machine accessed on March 12, 2006. Replaced with Archive link on Feb 22, 2010.
  9. ^ Hamadan (Iran) - Encyclopedia Britannica
  10. ^ Hamadan - LookLex Encyclopaedia
  11. ^ در ششمین همایش بوعلی سینا در بخارا؛ «بخارا» زادگاه و «همدان» مدفن بوعلی‌سینا خواهرخوانده می‌شوند

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Capital of Median Empire
As "Ecbatana"

678–549 BCE
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of Achaemenid Empire (Persia)
As "Ecbatana"
Served as Summer Capital

550–330 BCE
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of Seljuq Empire (Persia)
(Western capital)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of Iran (Persia)
Succeeded by