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About Kermanshah

Located in the western part of Iran, Kermanshah, the capital city of Kermanshah Province, was founded in the 4th century AD under the patronage of the Sassanids. As the largest city in the west of the country, Kermanshah is situated on the foothills of the Zagros Mountain Range, 525 km from Tehran, the capital of Iran and has a total of 371 kilometers of shared border with Iraq. Enjoying a population of around one million people, it is also the 9th populous city in the country. Being situated in a mountainous region, the city enjoys a mountain climate with colder winters and milder summers, although owing to global warming and subsequent climate change the summers might get hotter than it is expected. The hottest month of the year in Kermanshah is July, with an average high of 38°C and a low of 18°C. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average low of -3°C and a high of 8°C.


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Being surrounded by several rolling mountains and hills, having a large number of natural springs, rivers, lakes, gardens, and farms, as well as a myriad of historical sites and monuments, the city offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty and diversity. With its generous nature, the city also enjoys exquisite food culture with unique wildflowers and aromatic herbs to give a different touch of flavor to foods. Having about 80 types of food, 11 sorts of bread, 20 types of sweets, and various kinds of snacks, Kermanshah was registered as the 37th creative city of gastronomy in 2021.


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As to people, Kermanshah residents are both nationally and globally well-known for their amiability and unique hospitality. They speak both Persian and various dialects of Kurdish language including Kalhori, Hawrami, and Sorani. The majority of inhabitants are Shia Muslims, but there are also Sunni Muslims, Christians, and followers of Yarsanism who have lived together in harmony and with mutual understanding in terms of culture and religion for centuries. Kermanshah has a rich history of culture and is one of the oldest centers of civilization, possessing monuments illustrating its people’s values for life and humanity throughout historic and prehistoric periods.


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Overall, its natural beauty and diversity, people’s various dialects and religious beliefs, numerous historical sites and cultural centers, and exquisite local foods and pastries have made the city quite unique in the region and a paradise for tourists as well as international students choosing to continue their education at one of the several top-ranked universities in this beautiful historical city in the western part of Iran.


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Top Tourist Attractions

Bistoon (Behistun) Historic Site

Located 30 km from Kermanshah in the northeast, Bistoon Historic Site is one of the country's most outstanding archeological sites. The site became a UNESCO world heritage in 2006. It houses the famous rock relief of Darius and a number of cuneiform inscriptions inscribed on a cliff at the base of Mount Bistoon. Being the world's largest inscription, Bistoon inscription has been written in three languages (Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian) and refers to legends describing the king and the rebels.


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It is believed that Darius placed the inscription in an inaccessible position to make it tamper-resistant. However, the existence of a pool of water and a beautiful scenery at the bottom of the cliff has led to attraction of a large number of people to the area and the consequent damage to some of the figures.


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Taq-e Bostan (Bostan Arch)

Built in the 3rd century AD, Taq-e Bostan, one of the most popular and top-rated tourist attractions in Kermanshah, is located northeast of the city. This complex, which is known for its magnificent bas-reliefs (rock carvings) and lithographs (inscriptions) of Sassanid origin, consists of a series of properties from prehistoric to historical periods. The site, which consists of a series of rock reliefs carved on a mountain near a spring streaming into a pool at the base of the mountain, has been turned into an archaeological park in which a series of late Sassanid and Islamic column capitals have been brought together.


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Taq-e Bostan historical complex comprises a rock relief standing on its own and several more reliefs associated with two rock-cut arches. They illustrate the investiture ceremonies of the kings Ardashir II, Shapur II, Shapur III, and Khosraw II (also known as Khosrow Parviz). The reliefs also depict the hunting scenes of Khosrow Parviz.


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Shah Abbasi Caravanserai

Shah Abbasi Caravanserai belongs to the Safavid period and is located in Bistoon, Kermanshah, an area where monuments from almost all historical periods can be found. This caravanserai, which is listed as an Iranian national heritage, was built during the rule of Shah Abbas I, the most famous ruler of the Safavid dynasty. There is also an inscription from Shah Suleiman, the eldest son of Shah Abbas II. The infrastructure of this building was made of stone and its walls of brick and mortar. The caravanserai consisted of four porches and two alcoves, 22 rooms with porches for passengers to rest, and 5 storehouses to keep the goods and caravan establishment. However, today the halls are used for reception and various celebrations, restaurants, and cafés for public use.


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Moaven Al-Molk Tekiyeh

This Tekyeh (a place for Shia religious ceremonies and mourning), which is considered as one of the architectural and religious masterpieces of Iran, is located in the center of Kermanshah. As one of the historical buildings of Kermanshah built during Qatar era, Moaven Al-Molk Tekiyeh, with its stunning architecture and decorations, is a perfect example of the Iranian art and culture. It is well known for its exclusive artistic tiling, depicting the scenes of early Islam battles and the story of Karbala next to the illustrations of Persian kings and Persepolis elements. The Tekyeh comprises of 3 buildings (Abbasieh, Hossaineh and Zeinabieh), two courtyards, and a building in the center.

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Traditional Bazaar

The Traditional Bazaar in Kermanshah, the primary structure of which dates back to the Qajar period, is one of the main sections of this city and one of the largest indoor markets in Iran and as well the largest indoor market in the Middle East at the time of construction. The bazaar which was divided into four parts due to the construction of main streets around it consists of several markets such as the Bazzazha Bazaar, Box Maker Bazaar, Bonakdar Bazaar, Mesgarha Bazaar, Turkish Market, Kalimiha Bazaar and Chal Hassan Khan Bazaar. You can find local colored apparel, handicrafts like Giveh (a local Kurdish foot-ware), shoes, carpet, Kilim rug, wooden kitchenware, and leather and hand-woven articles in this traditional bazaar.

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Kermanshah has a climate which is heavily influenced by the proximity of the Zagros mountains, classified as a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. The city's altitude makes precipitation a little bit high, but at the same time produces huge diurnal temperature swings especially in the virtually rainless summers. Kermanshah experiences rather cold winters, and snowfall is observed for at least a couple of weeks in January and February. Precipitation commonly occurs in fall and early spring.

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There are both traditional markets and modern shopping centers in the city. The Traditional Bazaar in Kermanshah is one of the largest indoor markets in Iran from which you can buy local clothing, souvenirs, and handicrafts. The construction of the main and new streets divided the traditional bazaar of Kermanshah into four areas.


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As one of the mostly visited modern malls in Kermanshah, Arg Shopping Center is a popular commercial center located in Kermanshah offering a variety of shops and services across its multiple floors. The ground floor is home to men's clothing stores as well as a shop dedicated to bags and shoes. Moving up to the first floor, you will find a wide selection of women's clothing. Mobile phones are sold and repaired on the third floor of the mall. Additionally, there is a floor selling and fixing laptop computers. Furthermore, on the lower level, there is a jewelry store where you can explore and purchase exquisite pieces. Known for its bustling atmosphere and serving as one of the prominent shopping destinations in Kermanshah, Arg Shopping Center attracts a large number of locals as well as tourists.