Kermanshah, Also known as Bakhtaran (meaning: west), is the center of Kermanshah Province in the west of Iran 525 kilometers away from Tehran and 1350 meters above sea level. With 946,681 residents according to the 2016 census, Kermanshah is the biggest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran and the most important city in the west of Iran in terms of economics and politics. and the majority of the residents are Kurds with a majority of Shia Muslims and a minority of Sunni Muslims. Kermanshah is one of the historical and cultural cities of Iran and one of the must-see destinations in Iran, which is usually visited on the Iran Kurdistan Tour.
According to the myths, the foundation of the city of Kermanshah has been attributed to Tahmuras the legendary king of the Pishdadian Dynasty.
Being located in the heart of the Zagros Mountain Range with many natural caves and shelter, Kermanshah has been resided by the first men since the Stone Age, and this city is one of the best areas in western Asia for studying the remains of the houses left from the prehistoric era. The oldest evidence of life in Kermanshah is related to Paleolithic Era and includes some stone-made axes and tools, and means from Mesolithic Era. The people residing in Kermanshah, were the first humans who moved from the caves and started sedentism, and the first men who used adobes in building houses. The residents of Kermanshah, were also the inventors of pottery, a skill that led to industrial advancement.
During the 4th millennia BC, this area was an important trading spot. According to the Babylonian and Assyrian documents, the Lullubi and Gutian tribes who lived in this region had several battles with the Mesopetomians but stood against the invaders and managed to save their lands. Kermanshah was one of the most important cities during the Sassanid Dynasty and the spring capital of Khosro Parviz the great Sassanid king, where he enjoyed hunting in lush gardens and pastures. Kermanshah has remained an important city after the Muslim conquest and during the Islamic kingdoms ruling Iran like the Seljuks, Safavids, Qajarids.
Being surrounded by mountains, the climate, flora, and fauna of Kermanshah are influenced by the mountainous land of Zagros. The city’s high altitude has caused it to receive a high amount of rain and snow during winter and intense sunshine during summer, which causes this city to be very hot. In July and August, which are the hottest months of the year in Kermanshah, the average temperature reaches 43°C, while in January the temperature decreases to -27°C.
Behistun Inscription is the world's largest rock relief and the oldest Persian text available. This famous rock relief, which is inscribed as a UNESCO heritage site, is one of the most important historical documents in the world and it portraits the commemoration of the Achaemenid king, Darius I over his rivals. Behistoun is a multilingual inscription written in three cuneiform script languages, including Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian.
Meaning Arc of Garden, Taq-e Bostan is another ancient attraction in Kermanshah which dates back to the Sassanid Dynasty and is so worth visiting. This includes two arcs with series of rock reliefs showing the investiture, huntings, and victories of Sassanid kings which are among the most well-preserved reliefs from this era and great sources for studying the royal art of Sassanids. It also includes some inscriptions which are precious historical documents.
There are two ancient Iranian Temples of Anahita in Iran, which are attributed to Anahita, the goddess of water, fertility, and wisdom. One of the temples is located in Bishapur, in Fars Province and the larger one is located in Kangavar, in Kermanshah Province. The Temple of Anahita in Kangavar was built around 200 BCE during the kingdom of Parthians and this construction shows a combination of Hellenistic and Persian architecture, built with enormous blocks of dressed stone and very solid columns. Some recent studies show that this temple might be constructed during the Sassanid Dynasty.
This monument is a unique and eye-catching Islamic monument left from the Qajar Period in the city of Kermanshah, and was used as a religious place for holding Muharram ceremonies. Tekkiye Mo'aven ol-Molk is well-known for its amazing decorations and exclusive tilings showing various pictures including religious scenes, Quranic scenes, and also Achaemenid kings, and Shahnameh kings. This monument has three parts including Husseinyeh, Abbasiyeh, and the Anthropology Museum.
Kermanshah is one of the richest cities of Iran in producing Persian carpets especially rugs and kilims, which are found in the house of every local. The handmade colorful kilims of Kermanshah are among the best souvenirs you can take home from this city as they are original Persian handicrafts and are not heavy for carrying in a suitcase.
Kaak is the traditional pastry that is made in Kermanshah and Shiraz, however, it is called Youkheh in Shiraz. This is a crispy and delicious sweet made with thin layers of dough and topped with pistachio, and coconut powder.
Known as one of the most famous Iranian handicrafts, Giveh is a traditional handmade shoe that has been widely used by Iranians in different cities for a long time. This shoe is very comfortable and is the best choice for hot summer days.