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For the administrative subdivisions, see Qaen County and Qaen Rural District.
Ghayen, Qayen
Motto: Qayen is the capital of red gold (saffron)
Qaen is located in Iran
Location of Ghayen in Iran
Coordinates: 33°43′36″N 59°11′04″E / 33.72667°N 59.18444°E / 33.72667; 59.18444Coordinates: 33°43′36″N 59°11′04″E / 33.72667°N 59.18444°E / 33.72667; 59.18444
Country  Iran
Province South Khorasan
County Qaen
Bakhsh Central
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 32,474
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IDST (UTC+4:30)

Qaen (Persian: قائن‎‎, also Romanized as Ghayen, Qayen or Ghaen)[2] is a city in and the capital of Qaen County, in South Khorasan Province, Iran. Qaen is also called the City of Saffron[citation needed]. Saffron from Qaen is prized for its unique aroma and strong colour[citation needed]. The population at the 2006 census, was 32,474 in 8,492 families.[3]

Qaen is a place of great antiquity and complex history. The present city, which lies in a broad valley, was founded in the 15th century on the site of an ancient city. Later, the Uzbeks (a Turkic people) took possession of the city and held it until Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) expelled them. In the 18th century, Qaen fell under the control of Pashtuns which is why some of locals, though they speak Persian, still claim descent from Pashtuns (rather than Persians).

A mud wall surrounds the modern town. More affluent residential areas lie outside the wall. The city is a trading center, but it also has industries that produce felt and carpets. The surrounding area consists of hill ranges of 9,000 feet (2,750 m) running northwest-southeast and sinking to the Sistan depression in the south. The area is the main source of saffron in Iran[citation needed], but it also produces grain, vegetables, and wood.

There are several ancient places around the town, such as the Tomb of Bozorgmehr Qaini, 5 km to the south.

At least 2,400 people in Qaen and the surrounding region were killed in the Ardakul earthquake on May 10, 1997.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2006 National Census Archived June 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Qaen can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3078747" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2011-11-11.