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Rasht, capital of Guilan province is Seven meters below sea level and 15 km inland from the Anzali Lagoon, to which it is connected by the Seyah Rud. Rasht is the largest settlement of the southern Caspian, an industrial center of the region, and one of the wettest places in Iran, which can also be very humid.

Its present population amounts to more than 750.000, occupying an area of 1,489 square kilometers. It is one of the most densely-populated towns in Iran.

The town itself has nothing of major architectural value. There are many points of interest, however, besides natural beauty.

Nowhere else in Iran will you see the red tiled roofs and broad verandahs of Rasht and Mazandaran, which may even have been the prototype of the Persian architectural columns seen at Pasargadae and Persepolis.

Rasht, a flat and fairly featureless city, grew into a town around the 14th century, soon becoming the major settlement in Guilan.

Sights to See

  • Museum
    The Rasht Archaeological and Ethnological Museum established in 1970, it holds a small collection of archaeological exhibits.

  • Bazaar
    The uncovered Bazaar of Rasht is bounded by Imam Khomeini and Dr. Shari`ati Streets.
    The best place to buy Caviar.

  • Safi Mosque
    This mosque is strikingly impressive for its plaster and tile works.

  • Municipality Building and Square
    This square, in which the municipality building is located, is one of the tourist centers of Rasht.

  • Other Monuments in Rasht
    Kolah Farangi Building, Post Building, Mirza Kuchak Khan`s Tomb, Clock Tower, House of Divan Beygi, Jame Noor Mosque, Imamzadeh Ebrahim, Seyed Abol Ghasem`s Tomb & Shapur School.

Excursions around Rasht

  • Bandar-e Anzali
    Out of Rasht, the air becomes purer with the tang of the Caspian, but the lagoon to be crossed is called Mordab-e Anzali (Anzali Lagoon), in an altitude of 20 m above sea level and 360 km to the northeast of Tehran. An ornithologists` paradise for the variety of fowl to be seen here. The beach of Bandar-e Anzali and its naval dockyard Ghazian are 40 km northwest of Rasht.

  • Naval Military Museum
    Also called Mian Poshteh Palace-Museum is one of the most beautiful districts of town.
    Articles shown here include weapons, naval models, and palatial items.

  • Astaneh Ashrafieh
    Located at the entrance to Bieh Pish region (east Guilan), it is a major peanut and fragrant medicinal herbs producing town.

  • Astara
    This is a border town with a mountainous road to Ardabil city. Its suburbs attract a great number of tourists during summer time.
    Kilim and jajim weaving are among its main handicrafts.

  • Lahijan
    Occupying an area of 1,428 square kilo meters and 41 km to the east of Rasht, Lahijan is a beautiful agricultural town with an outstanding historic past. Its main product is tea.

  • Langrud
    Within a distance of 50 km to the east of Rasht and 10 km to the sea, it occupies an area of 900 square meters in an open plain. Chamkhaleh, one of the most beautiful and scenic beaches along the Caspian, is just within 15 km of the town and attracts thousands of tourists during summer time.

  • Masuleh
    56 km southwest of Rasht and 1050 meters above sea level, this is actually the most breathtakingly beautiful village here.
    It's formed of several irregular levels of terraced, pale cream houses with gray slate roofs, interspersed with evergreen trees. So steep is the slope that the familiar Iranian network of narrow alleys is entirely absent, and instead the flat roof of each level of houses forms a pathway for the level above.

  • Rud Bar
    On the west bank of Sefid Rud River and 70 km to the south of Rasht on Tehran-Rasht road, it is surrounded by dense forest and olive grove. Olive is the main agricultural product of the region.
    The historic sites here are Marlik Tappeh, Gerd Kul Tappeh, Panj Tappeh and Abbasi Caravansary.

  • Soume`eh Sara
    Occupying an area of 618 square kilo meters in the west of Rasht, Soume`eh Sara enjoys a high reputation in terms of sericulture and tobacco cultivation. Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali the famous Muslim revolutionary of Guilan has been active in the adjacent Kasma region.