Hamadan (Hamedan) is situated 336 km south west of Tehran on the slopes of Mount Alvand, 190 km east of Kermanshah and 530 km north west of Esfahan at the elevation of 1800 meters. The city is stretched around a star-shaped square. Out of this square which has preserved its beautiful style of architecture, six avenues diverge from the angles of the star. Hamadan has been developed and renovated to a great extent in recent years and gradually this has changed the city's old fabric. There are still old neighbourhoods with nostalgic names in Hamadan besides its large modern streets and beautiful parks.
Hamadan is one of the oldest cities of not only Iran but of the world. Its historical origins date back to several centuries before Christ. Hamadan was the Median Empire's capital before they formed a union with the Persians and also served as the summer capital of the Achaemenid Empire was then called Ecbatana or Hâgmatâna; meaning a place of assembly. The poet Ferdowsi says that Ecbatana was build by King Jamshid.
Hamadan is one of the cradles of Oriental civilization with legendary background. According to historical records, there was once a castle in this city by the name of Haft Hessar (Seven Walls) which had a thousand rooms and its grandeur equalled that of the Babylon Tower.
All the nations living around Iran coveted the prominent natural position of Hamadan from the times immemorial until recent centuries; and have invaded the city several times. First, the Assyrians destroyed Hamadan. It was ruined again and again during the invasion of Mongols and Tamerlane. Finally, in the recent centuries the Ottomans attacked the city several times; but Hamadan heroically stood against the enemies and courageously withstood all the losses it had sustained.
Hamadan is the homeland of great scholars and men of letters like Elnaighozat, Khajeh Rashidoddin Fazlollah, Adham Hamadani, Baba Taher Orian and Mirzadeh Eshghi; and the tombs of Avicenna and Baba Taher are located in this city. Hamadan has preserved its importance in the post-Islamic period.
Hamadan is a city of mild climate summer. Its natural beauty including Mount Alvand and its beautiful peak as well as the scenery of Morad Baig and Abbasabad Valleys will always be remembered by visitors. In this ancient city remains have been unearthed in archaeological excavations of Median and Achaemenid castles, forts and cities on the hills of Hegmataneh and Mossalla. The objects unearthed in those sites, like tablets, gold and silver plates, and tools are now is great museums.