Past Cities

Bandar-e-Anzali, Gilan, Iran

Bandar-e-Anzali is a historic port city located in the province of Gilan, in northern Iran. With a rich history dating back centuries, this vibrant city has witnessed numerous significant events that have shaped its identity and influenced the lives of its inhabitants. Situated on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, Bandar-e-Anzali has been greatly influenced by its unique geographic location, as well as the ever-changing political environment of the region.

The origins of Bandar-e-Anzali can be traced back to the 17th century when Shah Abbas I, the great Safavid king, established it as a port for trade and commerce. Initially known as "Anzali Port," it quickly gained prominence as a strategic center for maritime activities, connecting Gilan with various parts of the world. The city flourished under the Safavid dynasty, becoming a hub for the silk and spice trade routes that connected Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Throughout its history, Bandar-e-Anzali has experienced the ebb and flow of political power, often finding itself at the center of regional conflicts. During the 19th century, the city came under the control of the Russian Empire, following the signing of the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828. The Russian presence had a profound impact on the city's demographics and cultural makeup, as many Russians settled in Bandar-e-Anzali, contributing to its cosmopolitan character.

In the early 20th century, Bandar-e-Anzali played a crucial role in the constitutional revolution in Iran. The city became a hotbed of political activism and a center for revolutionary movements that sought to establish a constitutional monarchy. The residents of Bandar-e-Anzali actively participated in demonstrations and rallies, demanding political reforms and greater civil liberties.

During the reign of Reza Shah in the 20th century, Bandar-e-Anzali experienced extensive modernization and development. The city's infrastructure was improved, and the port was expanded, solidifying its importance as a major trading center. However, the political climate in Iran underwent significant changes following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The city witnessed a transformation as religious and cultural values took precedence over previous Western influences.

Bandar-e-Anzali's geography has played a crucial role in its development and prosperity. Situated on the Caspian Sea coast, the city has a natural deep-water harbor, making it an ideal location for maritime activities. The surrounding region, known for its lush green landscapes and fertile soil, has contributed to the city's agricultural and fishing industries. The combination of a favorable climate, fertile land, and access to the sea has made Bandar-e-Anzali an important hub for agriculture, fishing, and seafood processing.

In terms of population, Bandar-e-Anzali has experienced significant growth over the years. As of the latest available data, the city is estimated to have a population of around 150,000 people. The inhabitants of Bandar-e-Anzali are primarily of Gilaki descent, with a rich cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in the region. The local dialect spoken in the city is Gilaki, which has its own unique linguistic characteristics.

Today, Bandar-e-Anzali continues to be a vital economic and cultural center in northern Iran. Its port remains a key gateway for international trade, handling a wide range of goods, including agricultural products, textiles, and machinery. The city's waterfront is lined with bustling markets, seafood restaurants, and recreational areas, attracting tourists and locals alike.