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For the administrative subdivision, see Rasht County. For the valley in Tajikistan, see Rasht Valley.
Rasht Montage 1.png
Nickname(s): Rain City, Rasht-Heaven
Raŝt is located in Iran
Coordinates: 37°16′51″N 49°34′59″E / 37.28083°N 49.58306°E / 37.28083; 49.58306Coordinates: 37°16′51″N 49°34′59″E / 37.28083°N 49.58306°E / 37.28083; 49.58306
Country  Iran
Province Gilan
County Rasht
Bakhsh Central
 • Total 180 km2 (70 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Total 622,209[1]
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Area code(s) 0131
Website www.rasht.ir

Rasht (Gilaki: Rèsht, Persian: Raŝt‎, also Romanized as Resht and Rast, and often spelt Recht in French and older German manuscripts)[2] is the capital city of Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2012 census, its population was 622,209.[3]


Rasht is the largest city on Iran's Caspian Sea coast. It is a major trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali. Rasht is also a major tourist center with the resort of Masouleh in the adjacent mountains and the beaches of Caspian as some of the major attractions.

Historically, Rasht was a major transport and business centre which connected Iran to Russia and Europe, and was therefore entitled the "Gate of Europe". The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major centre of the silk trade with numerous textile workshops. The name Rasht comes most plausibly from the verb reshtan, weaving. Rasht has, along with regions around Tabriz and Teheran, one of the earliest industry plants during the last quarter of the 19th century, prominently in fields such as fishing, caviar production, the Caspian sea oil pipeline construction and textiles. During the 20th century, until the mid-70s, Gilan and the Rasht region was the third-ranking industrial city in Iran by number of workers and per capita productivity. It lost its cultural and industrial status to a large extent after the 1970s.

The people of Rasht played a prominent role in instigation and radicalization of the Constitutional Revolution. Rasht is the birthplace of Mīrzā Kūchak Khān, one of the leading figures of the Constitutional Revolution (1905–1907). His own movement in Gilan, which went by the name of Jangalihã, represented a pro-modern and social democratic programme for reformation of Muslim rituals and traditions. Mirza Kuchak khăn established the short-lived Persian Socialist Soviet Republic in 1920 after the defeat of the constitutional forces and in coalition with Iranian communists. The republic had the support of the newly established Russian Red Army. The Soviet Government, after a turn of military and political strategy proposed by Trotsky, withdrew its support and the republic itself was tormented by the inner conflicts between the newly established Iranian Communist Party (1919) and the Jangalis and other factions. The republic was finally defeated by the Iranian army under the command of Reza Shah.


Climate data for Rasht
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30
Average high °C (°F) 10.8
Average low °C (°F) 1.9
Record low °C (°F) −19
Rainfall mm (inches) 147.9
Avg. rainy days 11.7 10.7 12.0 8.6 7.7 4.3 3.7 6.8 9.5 12.3 10.7 11.4 109.4
 % humidity 84 85 84 80 78 74 74 77 82 86 85 85 81.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 89.9 79.1 71.3 114.0 161.2 204.0 210.8 167.4 138.0 108.5 93.0 86.8 1,524
Source #1: World Climate [4]
Source #2: Shahrekord Meteorology Database [5]


Gileki is spoken by more than 3 million people. The vast majority of the speakers live in the Gilan Province of Iran. It belongs to the northwestern branch of the Iranian languages. The Iranian languages form a top-level constituent of the Indo-European language family. Gileki is closely related to Mazanderani and is subdivided into two main dialects: Bie-pas and Bie-pish. Bie-pas dialect is mainly spoken in west of Sepidrud including Rasht and Fuman while Bie-pish dialect belongs to eastern part of Gilan including Lahijan and Langrud.

Mirza Kuchak Khan[edit]

Mīrzā Kūchak Khān was an early twentieth century revolutionary and is considered a national legend in modern Iranian history. He was the founder of a revolutionary movement based in the forests of Gilan in northern Iran that became known as the Nehzat-e Jangal (Forest movement). This uprising started in 1914 and remained active against internal and foreign enemies until 1921 when the movement was defeated.

Unfortunately, given the shortcomings of the advanced social thinkers and activists of the time on one hand and the stronger establishment of the old autocracy on the other hand, again the same privileged class and their political representatives took control of the new regime. The freedom fighters were not satisfied and in fact were disarmed, in some cases using force. Meanwhile the direct and indirect manipulation of the country's internal politics by Tsarist Russians and the British added to the sufferings of the people and resulted in social unrest.

It was during such tumultuous period that Mirza Kuchak Khan, in collaboration with the Society of Islamic Union, started his uprising in the northern forests (Southern Caspian). Mirza Kuchak Khan's return to Rasht was not easy since he had been expelled from Gilan by the Russian consulate for five years. His cause seems to have been a mixture of that of the newly emerging national bourgeoisie and downtrodden peasants and therefore gained momentum soon after it started. The Jangal forces (locally referred to as 'Jangalis' i.e., 'forest people' in Persian) defeated the local governmental and Russian troops which added to their reputation as potential saviors of the ideas of the constitutional revolution.

On June 12, 1918 Manjil was the site of a battle between the Jangali troops and the joint British and White Russian forces. The latter force (led by General Dunsterville and Kernel Bicherakhov) although formally just trying to organize the return of Russian soldiers back home, in reality was planning to pass through Manjil as the only passage to the Caspian in order to reach Baku and fight against the newly formed Baku commune (led by Stepan Shahumian). General Dunsterville's private diaries and notes, including those kept during his command of the Dunsterforce Mission to North Persia and Baku, are transcribed from the original by General Dunsterville's great granddaughter, and are co-located on the Great War Primary Documents Archive [3]. Mirza Koochek Khan's troops were defeated in this war because of the use of artillery, armored car and airplanes by the joint forces. Mirza's field commander was a German officer (Major Von Pashen) who had joined the Jangal movement after being released by them from the British prison in Rasht.

The Jangal movement was further boosted and gained gravity after the victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia. In May 1920 the Soviet Navy led by Fyodor F. Raskolnikov and accompanied by Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze entered the Caspian port of Anzali. This mission was declared to be only in pursue of the Russian vessels and ammunition taken to Anzali by the White Russian counter-revolutionary general Denikin, who had been given asylum by British forces in Anzali.

Modern day[edit]

Municipality of Rasht.jpg

Rasht is growingly turning into an industrialized town like most of the Iranian large cities and province capitals. Enjoying the Kadus International Hotel and hundreds of tourist attractions, Rasht receives thousands of foreign tourists annually, mostly from Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Australia, Japan and African countries like Senegal and Cameroon as well as countries from Oceania like Micronesia. Rasht is known for its famous building of municipality located in a square named "Meidaane Shahrdari" meaning "the square of municipality" which was constructed circa 1900 but being renovated each year. Due to the high amount of humidity in Rasht which damages and destroys the aged buildings, the native, older architectural texture of Rasht is gradually being replaced with the modern skyscrapers and apartments.

The culture of consumerism is prevalent among the people of Rasht as a cultural and urban center which is historically engaged in close commercial and political ties with the United Kingdom, Russia and France. Due to this background which makes the inhabitants much familiar with the industrial, cultural and political developments of the west, the finance and credit institutions are more willing to open representative offices and bureaus in Rasht and it has made the city a center of various banks and financial organizations. There are many commercial centers, malls and financial institutions in Rasht including one branch of the Exports Development Bank of Iran which is an international bank dealing with the Iranian exports. The organizers and directors of national Iranian or non-Iranian banks afford to spend considerable amounts of budgets to construct attractive and modern buildings for their offices in Rasht. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, there have always been requests on behalf of Russian, Turkish and Azeri banks to open branches in Rasht and that is why the city is endowed as the "gate of Europe" in Iran. The head consulate of the Russian Federation government is located in Rasht and some of the other Caspian region countries are also keen to establish representative headquarters in Rasht alongside their embassies in Tehran. Some evidences are the University of Guilan which was constructed jointly by the governments of Iran and West Germany about 40 years ago, the building of IRIB representatives in Rasht which was constructed jointly by the Iranian and Belgian engineers.

The people of Rasht have always been regular fans of football which is the beloved sport in the city. Most of them are the fans of Damash Gilan F.C. which is a professional football club playing in the Iranian premier football league, Persian Gulf Cup. Damash Gilan F.C. is the newer version of former Pegah FC football club that belonged to the municipality of Rasht, but purchased later by the mineral water factory of Damash and changed its name and properties to Damash Gilan F.C.. The home stadium of Damash Gilan F.C. is Dr. Azodi Stadium which is an old stadium dating back to almost 40 years ago. The capacity is 11,000 people.

Following football, wrestling, judo and weightlifting are the most popular sports of youth in Rasht and that is due to the enchanting appearance of Iranian wrestlers and weightlifters in the international competitions like Olympics. The outstanding figure of world weightlifting and the two-time olympics Gold medal winner Hossein Rezazadeh is a main inspirer of Rasht youth to try Weightlifting as their professional job. Asghar Ebrahimi who was the squad captain of Iranian weightlifting team at the 2008 Olympics is from Rasht and a successful example of those youth from Rasht who tried this national field of sport after Hossein Rezazadeh.

The dominant cuisine of Rasht people is the various types of fish and Rashti people are said to spend much on books, clothes and food. They spend the leisure times going to cinemas, art exhibitions, music concerts and international book fairs that are being held in the city most of times in a year. Also the municipality kicks off sports, cultural or IT-related competitions to involve the youth in healthy and constructive activities. The most beloved competition is the annual blogging competition which awards the top young bloggers each year.

Rasht municipality

City of the Firsts[edit]

  • First Public Library of Iran[4]
  • First Branch of the First Iranian Bank (Sepah Bank) was located in Rasht [5]
  • First branch of 24/7 pharmacy (Karoon pharmacy)
  • First school for girls in Iran
  • First fire station in Iran



Rasht is served by Rasht railway station.

International airport[edit]

The Rasht International airport is the only airport in the small province of Gilan and was established in 1969 with an approximate area of 220 hectares. At first, the airport just handled domestic flights to Tehran and Mashhad, but after it was renamed to Sardar Jangal International airport in 2007, additional routes were established.

The airport is in close affiliation with hundreds of flights by national and international airlines, including Mahan Air, Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Kish Air and receives more than 2000 flights annually.

People and culture[edit]

The first national library of Iran was established in Rasht under the Qajar dynasty. Furthermore, Nasime Shomal as the first modern newspaper of Iran after the constitutional revolution has been published in Rasht, but later moved its headquarters to Qazvin.

The people of Rasht speak Gileki as the maternal language and Persian as the national language. In some rural areas near the Rasht, school teachers give their courses in Gileki rather than Persian.

Colleges and universities[edit]

  1. University of Guilan (دانشگاه گيلان)
  2. Gilan university of medical sciences
  3. Islamic Azad University of Rasht
  4. JaberEbn Hayyan Institute of Higher Education (موسسه آموزش عالی جابربن حیان)
  5. Payame Noor University (دانشگاه پیام نور)
  6. Institute of Higher Education for Academic Jihad of Rasht (موسسه آموزش عالي غيرانتفاعي جهاد دانشگاهي رشت)
  7. Guilan Technical & Vocational Training Organization اداره کل آموزش فنی و حرفه ای استان گیلان
  8. Gilan Advanced Skills Training Center مرکز آموزش مهارتهای پیشرفته گیلان


For a more comprehensive treatment of the region, see the history section of Gilan.

An old mosque in Rasht, 1886.

Rasht was first mentioned in historical documents in 682 CE, but it is certainly older than this. It has seen the Sassanid era, the armies of Peter the Great and later Russian rulers, and British colonialism. The people of Rasht also played a major role in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran.


  • 682: Rasht is first mentioned in historical documents.
  • 1669: Stenka Razin, a Cossack warlord, plundered the city.
  • 1714: Rasht destroyed by earthquake.
  • 1722 - 1734: Occupied by Peter the Great during the Russo-Persian War, 1722-1723.
  • 1901: A major epidemic plague devastates the city.
  • 1917 - 1920: The Russian and British armed forces fight in the port city of Bandar-e Anzali and Rasht. The British retreat and the Russians occupy the area.
  • 1920 - 1921 - short-living Persian Soviet Socialist Republic was established with its capital in Rasht
  • 1937: A revolt, sparked by the desire to collect a "road tax" from the Russians, was suppressed.
  • 1974: First university established in Rasht.

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Rasht has signed the treaty of city twinning with the following cities:

Notable citizens of Rasht[edit]


  • Golsar
  • Manzariyeh
  • Rahnemaie ranandegi
  • Masjad Safi
  • Diyanati
  • Chomarsara
  • Lakan Shahr
  • ChalleKhaneh
  • Noghredasht
  • Ostadsara
  • Pirsara
  • Rashtian
  • Sagharisazan
  • Andisheh Complex
  • Park Shahr
  • Takhti
  • Tazeh Abad
  • Sabzemeydan
  • Lakani
  • Ziabari
  • Sam
  • Moalem
  • Estakhr
  • Hamidian
  • Bisotun
  • Motahari
  • Shahrake ghods


  1. ^ http://bevoelkerungsstatistik.de/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=de&des=wg&srt=pnan&col=adhoq&msz=1500&geo=-106
  2. ^ Rasht can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3080876" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ http://bevoelkerungsstatistik.de/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=de&des=wg&srt=pnan&col=adhoq&msz=1500&geo=-106
  4. ^ Rasht, Iran: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data [1]. Retrieved on: June 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Climatological Norms of Iran synoptic stations [2]. Retrieved on: September 12, 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/gilani-visits-land-of-his-forefathers_100563463.html

External links[edit]