Hamedan reopens sights, museums as viruses release

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TEHRAN – Museums and other cultural heritage sites in west-central Hamedan province have been allowed to reopen to the public as restrictions on the coronavirus pandemic have been relaxed, the provincial tourism chief has said.

Virus-related health protocols are strictly enforced for visitors, the CHTN said Thursday, citing Majid Jahangirian.

Earlier last week, officials announced that the Ali Sadr Water Cave, which is one of the province’s top tourist destinations, has opened its doors to visitors.

Located about 70 km north of Hamadan in west-central Iran, Ali Sadr is a gigantic water-filled cave believed to date from the Jurassic era.

Known in classical times as Ecbatane, Hamedan was one of the largest cities in the ancient world. Lamentably few vestiges of Antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are devoted to excavations. Ecbatane was the capital of Media and subsequently a summer residence for the Achaemenid kings who ruled Persia from 553 to 330 BC.

Hamadan has had many names: it was perhaps the Bit Daiukki of the Assyrians, Hangmatana, or Agbatana, among the Medes, and Ecbatana among the Greeks. One of the middle capitals, under Cyrus II (the Great; died 529 BC)

Around 1220, Hamedan was captured by the sweeping army of Mongol invaders. In 1386, it was sacked by Timur (Tamerlan), a Turkish conqueror, and the inhabitants massacred. It was partly restored in the 17th century and then changed hands often between the ruling Iranian houses and the Ottomans.

Sitting on a high plain, Hamedan is gracefully cool in August but prone to snow and freezing cold from December to March. In summer, the air is often foggy. Ali Sadr Cave, Ganjnameh Inscriptions, Avicenna Mausoleum, Hegmataneh Hill, Alaviyan Dome, Jameh Mosque and St. Stephanos Gregorian Church are among the attractions of Hamedan just to name only a few.

ABU / MG

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