(both: gēlän`), province (1991 pop. 2,204,047), 14,709 sq mi (38,106 sq km), NW Iran, bounded in the N by the Caspian Sea and in the SE by the Elburz Mts. RashtRasht
or Resht
, city (1991 pop. 340,637), capital of Gilan prov., NW Iran, near the Caspian Sea. It is an administrative and trade center for a fertile agricultural region where rice, cotton, silk, and peanuts are produced.
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 is the capital and chief city; other cities include Zanjan and Bandar-e Anzali. Much of the province has a subtropical climate. Fish, caviar, and rice are important products; tobacco, fruit, and tea are also produced. Textiles are manufactured. There is a dam, an airport, and a natural-gas pipeline. Gilan was ruled by the Mongols in the 13th and early 14th cent. and was incorporated into Persia by the Safavid dynasty in the late 16th cent. It was occupied by Russia from 1722 to 1732. In the 19th cent. it was divided among Iran, Great Britain, and Russia. It was (1920–21) a Soviet republic before being returned to Iranian control in 1921.



a historical province in Iran located on the southwestern coast of the Caspian Sea and bordered on the south by the Elburz Mountains. Area, approximately 15,000 sq km. Population, 1,754,000 (1966, census).

More than three-quarters of the people are Gilaki. Gilan is part of the region of Gilan. The largest cities are Rasht (144,000 inhabitants in 1966), Pahlavi, and Lahijan. Approximately 1.5 million hectares (ha) are forested. Gilan has deposits of oil and coal and iron and copper ore. The main occupation is agriculture. Irrigated crops on the lowlands include rice (on more than 60 percent of the arable land), kenaf, mulberries, and citrus trees; in the foothills, the basic crops are tea, tobacco, and olives. After the Safid hydroelectric complex began operating in 1964, the area of cultivated land increased by 220,000 ha; in 1961, only about 275,000 ha were cultivated. Gilan’s industries are textiles, food processing (tea and rice polishing), fishing, and handicrafts. Highways and air routes connect the province with all major regions of the country.

In antiquity, the Gel tribe (ancestors of the Gilaki) inhabited Gilan. In the eighth and ninth centuries it was conquered by the Arabs, although the mountainous region, Deilem, remained independent. In the ninth and tenth centuries Islam spread into Gilan. From the tenth to the early 14th centuries, it was governed by semiindependent sovereigns. From 1307 to 1370, Gilan was ruled by the Mongols. From 1370 until the 16th century the independent Seid government ruled the eastern part of Gilan, Lahijan. In the beginning of the 16th century Gilan became part of Iran; before 1592 it had been a vassalage of the Safawids and after 1592 became a domain of the Safawid shahs. In the 16th and 17th centuries there were sporadic anti-Safawid rebellions (1570-71, 1592, and 1629). In 1909, Gilan was one of the major centers of the Iranian Revolution of 1905-11; on June 5, 1920, a republic was proclaimed in one of Gilan’s cities, Rasht. The Gilan Republic existed until Sept. 29, 1921.


Bartol’d, V. Istoriko-geograficheskii obzor Irana. St. Petersburg, 1903. Pages 153-59.
Petrushevskii, I. P. “Narodnoe vosstanie v Giliane v 1629.” Uch. zap. In-ta vostokovedeniia AN SSSR, 1951, vol. 3.
Ivanov, M. S. Noveishaia istoriia Irana. Moscow, 1965. Chapter 2.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thirty people were injured by the earthquake in Gilan Province in the north of Iran, authorities said.
The meeting was held after Azerbaijan first peace, friendship naval fleet docked in Bandar Anzali, in the Northern province of Gilan.
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Baghdad / NINA /-- Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, asked Turkish acting Ambassador in Baghdad, fa Gilan receiving him clarifications from the Turkish government regarding the agreement concluded with the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK, according to which the armed guerrillas of the PKK recently stationed in Iraqi territory without the knowledge or coordination with the Iraqi government.
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According to the Daily Mail, Persepolis defender Mohammad Nosrati appears to place his hand near to Sheys Rezaei's bottom as players of the team huddled together to celebrate a goal against Damash Gilan in a televised match on Saturday.
After his conviction was upheld by an appeals court in Gilan province in September 2010, Nadarkhani turned to the supreme court.