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The chances are that when you start your tour of northern Iran. first of all you land in Rasht, capital of Guilan province. 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. The city has sprawled enormously over recent years, sacrificing some of its charm for the sake of development. 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.

Only 324 km north of Tehran along a good motorway, Rasht is a very popular weekend or holiday destination for Tehran is, for whom the change in climate and scenery is enough in itself, and the city has few sites to offer the sightseer. For most foreigners Rasht is no more than a convenient staging post for a tour of the region. Good asphalt roads radiate from Rasht to all parts of the province.
The town itself has nothing of major architectural value.
There are many points of interest, however, besides natural beauty. Visit a silk factory at Rasht, look at the rice paddies at the sea-level, and the tea plantations on the stony, volcanic soil of the foothills. Most tea factories can be visited on request: between spring and autumn you can seethe processing of the leaves. The houses and the farm buildings of the region are peculiar to the Caspian: 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. The city has been occupied by the Russians several times in its history, most ruinously in 1668 when almost the whole population was massacred by the rebel forces of the Cossack brigand Stenka Razin, who had already destroyed the Persian Navy in the Caspian Sea, and whose sole aims in life appear to have been rape and pillage. During WWI the city was again occupied by Russians, and in 1920 Bolsheviks destroyed much of the bazaar, driving many of the inhabitants into temporary exile. Nowadays Rasht is the center of distribution for the local rice and silk cocoon industries, although the cocoon industry had declined in recent years.
The town's three main streets, Dr Shari'ati, Sa'di, and Imam Khomeini, converge at the main square, which is called Shohada. Most of the major points of interest are within walking distance of this square, to the north, south or east, although the hotels are spread out at some distance.
Here, if you go into a chaikhaneh (tea house) and call for a chai (tea), you will have the opportunity to watch the faces of those drinking tea with the abstracted air of a philosopher occupied with higher problems, or see others arguing, in front of a bowl of .soup and a flat loaf.


Other Places of Interest
1 .Ghodss Park (Bagh-e Mohtasham).
2. Imamzadeh Hashem, 30 km on Rasht- Tehran road.
3. Mausoleum of Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali, on Rast-Soleimandarab road.
4. Municipality Complex.
5. Safi Mosque, belonging to] 5th century, and attributed to Safi Mirza, son of the Safavid Shah Abbas.


Rasht Museum
Rasht Bazaar



 By air from Tehran and other provincial capitals, and by road from the following towns. Ardabil 266 km. Astaneh Ashrafieh 20 km. Astara 182 km. Bandar-e Anzali 40 km. Fuman 25 km. Lahijan 41 km Langrud 56 km Manjil 72 km. Mllsuleh 56 km Rud Bar 66 km. Rud Sar 72 km. Tabriz 482 km. Talesh 110 km. Tehran 324 km. Zanjan 348 km.



1 Dorfak 669985
2. Guil Gasht Turang 73773
3. Homay-e Sabz 554927
4. Jam-e Jam 40950 5. Monjazi 724&0 6. Safar-eSabz 41401 7. Shad Gasht 30937



Rasht: Bank Melli Iran, on the south of Enghelab Square.
1 Astara Exchange Office, Imam Ave, Bazaar-e Ruz 4147, 4395.
2. Sa'id Exchange Office, Imam Ave, Shahrdari Square 5724.

Buses leave from the relevant bus company. Tickets can be bought the same day, but it's better to ask the day before as demand is very high. Some of the cooperative bus companies are listed below.
1. Company No 7, about 50 meters north of Shohada Square on the west of Sa'di Street 22599
2. Company No 8, on the east side of Imam Khomeini Ave 300 meters southeast of Shohada Square.
3. Company No 11 is immediately east of Shohada Square.

The dialing code for Rasht is 0231.
1. Sa'di, Sa'di Street 23963.
2. Razi, Taghi Street 31253.

For emergencies either call118 or go to the casualty clinic just southwest of Imam Khomeini Square.

Ostandari is in tnorthwest comer of tile City Park 32233, 32085-8.

1 Arya Hospital, Shahid Ansari Blvd 44881.
2 Poor-e Sina Hospital, Poor-e SStreet 32441,23971.
3. Razi Hospital, Sardar-e Jangal Street 23963,20028.

On the west side of shohaba square 2.

On the northeast side of Shohada Square 2210 I and 22105. Visa matters can also be inquired here,

The main post office is on the north of Shohada Square and the telegraph office is on the west side of Imam Khomeini Square.

1. Baba Taheri Restaurant, AI'lam ol-Hoda Street 28392.
2. Oerakhshan Restaurant, Shik Street 25460.
3. Kurosh Restaurant, Sa'di Street 28229.
4. Mo'menzadeh Restaurant, at the beginning ofManzarieh 60737,
5. No (New) Restaurant, Imanl Khomeini Ave 26531
6. Salar Restaurant, Sa'di Street 27551.

A taxi from the airport will cost something around 2000 Rials, There is no airport service bus,

Available in English and Persian. The tourist office has a combined map of Guilan which incorporates R~ht, Lahijan, and Bandar-e Anzali. (English details on these maps are not of much use to the tourist),

Rasht' Sa'di Street, as usual not marked in English, 22006, 22284, and 28119.lt is about five minutes walk north from Shohada Square, in a block next to Bank Tejarat Lahijan' 3535 Bandar-e Anzali 3423.

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