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(käzvēn`), city (1991 278,826), Tehran prov., NW Iran. A road and rail-transport center, the city has textile and flour mills, and wineries. Qazvin was probably founded by Shapur II, king of Persia, in the 4th cent. A.D. It was captured by the Arabs in 644. Hasan-i Sabbah, the founder of the secret Ismaili AssassinAssassin
, European name for the member of a secret order of the Ismaili sect of Islam. They are known as Nizaris after Nizar ibn al-Mustansir, whom they supported as caliph; the European term Assassin is derived from the Arabic for "users of hashish.
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 order, seized (c.1090) the nearby fortress of Alamut and made it the headquarters of the order. Shah Tahmasp I embellished the city with many fine buildings. It was the capital of Persia from 1548 to 1598. In 1722 the city was temporarily captured by the Afghans. During World War I it was occupied by Russian forces. In 1941 the city was bombed by the Soviet air force and after World War II was a stronghold during the brief Soviet occupation of N Iran. The city is also known as Kazvin and Kasbin.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



or Kazvin, a city in northwestern Iran, near the southern foothills of the Elburz Range, in Tehran Province. Population, 92, 000 (1971).

Qazvin has a railroad station and is a highway junction. It is the commercial center for an agricultural region that produces grain, grapes, and pistachios. It has vegetable-oil presses, flour mills, and textile mills and is a major rug-weaving center.

Qazvin has been known since the time of the Sassanids. In the Middle Ages trade routes from Iran to Transcaucasia passed through the city. In 1220 after bitter resistance it was captured by the Mongols and destroyed, but was later restored and became one of the cultural centers of Iran. Qazvin was at its peak in the 16th century, when it was the capital of the Safawid state (1548 to 1597–98). The city gradually lost importance in the 18th century. The Afghan conquest in 1722 led to a major anti-Afghan rebellion (December 1722-January 1723) and to the expulsion of the Afghans from Qazvin.

Two major architectural monuments have been preserved. The main hall of the Mosque of the Congregation dates from 1106–14 and the portal from the 17th century. The Haideriyeh Mosque was built in the early 12th century and is decorated with carved stucco.


Hannibal, A. Qazwin—capitale oubliée. Tehran, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.