Hamadan is one of the oldest centers of civilization. The city has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium BC. In the 7th century BC the city, by that time known as Ecbatana, was the capital city of the Medes. After an alliance between the Medes and the Persians, the city was renamed to Hagmatana and became the first capital of the Persian Empire.
In Hamadan there are a lot to see:
- Mausoleum of Avecina, who was a great medicine doctor, poet, scientist and philosopher of 10th century. Abu-Ali-Sina known as Avicenna in the west, among a lot of other achievements, wrote a medical encyclopaedia that has been mandatory reading for every medical student in Europe until the 19th century. His other works as a poet and philosopher are still studied today.
- Tomb of Baba Taher: The rocket – like tomb of the 11th century great and popular poet of Iran.
- Stone Lion: This ancient sculpture is believed to have been carved at the command of Alexander the Great.
- Alavid Dome: An exquisite 12th-century Seljuk monument which is believed to be a burial place;
- Esther and Mordechai synagogue: Since Achamenian period, there have been a Jewish community living in Hamadan.Their main synagogue is also the shrine of Esther, the Jewish wife of King Xerxes, and her uncle Mordechai. Although, some people claim it isn’t Esther who is buried here, but another Jewish Queen by the name of Shushan Dokht.
- Ganjnameh inscription: Inscriptions bearing words of Achamenian kings, Darius the Great and Xerxes (5th century B.C) written in three ancient languages. There are located in the valley of Ganj-Nameh with a waterfall and traditional tea houses, a popular and pleasant place for locals.
- Ali Sadr Cave: One of the most astonishing natural sights in Iran, with vast underground lakes.