Chehel Sotun


When Qazvin took its turn as Iran’s capital, this attractive, colonnaded cube was Shah Tahmasp’s royal palace. Built in 1510, it was greatly remodelled in the Qajar era. Set in the town’s central park, it looks especially photogenic at night, with its delicate balustrades floodlit and its back-lit coloured-glass windows glowing through the foliage. It now serves as a calligraphy museum.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Qazvin Museum

0.06 MILES

This spacious modern museum predominantly features 19th-century decorative arts, but the bottom floor has some 3000-year-old bronzes and ceramics from the…

2. Sa'd-al Saltaneh Caravanserai

0.19 MILES

This huge, beautifully restored Qajar-era caravanserai is now the design centre of Qazvin. The long, vaulted passages house independent artists showcasing…

3. Ali Qapu


The massive Ali Qapu was originally a 16th-century gateway to the royal precinct, a kind of forbidden inner city. Today it’s a police post, so don’t take…

4. Nabi Mosque

0.27 MILES

This Qajar-era mosque has a distinctive long, narrow courtyard that acts as the demarcation line between the old bazaar and the renovated Sa'd-al Saltaneh…

5. Anthroplogy Museum


In a beautifully restored, multichambered subterranean bathhouse dating from the Sassanian period, lifelike mannequins document the different cultural…

6. Covered Bazaar

0.35 MILES

Now that the Sa'd-al Saltaneh caravanserai has been transformed into a modern arts-and-crafts precinct, the remains of Qazvin's original covered bazaar…

7. Kantur Church

0.35 MILES

The 20th-century Kantur Church has a blue-brick belfry dome and sits in a tiny Russian graveyard.

8. Amineh Khatun Shrine

0.41 MILES

Dedicated to the daughter of the sixth Shia Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq, this colourfully domed 14th-century shrine has a fine blue conical spire and Kufic…