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Updated:Tuesday 14th October 2014

Rasht Definition

City, north-central Iran. The capital of the Guilan province.Rasht is situated on a branch of the Sefidrood River south of the Caspian Sea. Its importance as the main city of the Guilan region dates from Russia's expansion southward in the 17th century. In the 20th century, it was severely damaged by Russian occupation during both world wars. Surrounded by rice fields and areas of half-cleared forests, it is a touristic center alongside a market and processing centre for rice, tea, peanuts, and silk.Rasht was first mentioned in historical documents in 682 CE, but it is certainly older than this. The Remainders of the Amlash Civilizations in Marlic Hills in Gilan date to 2nd Millennium BC. Some excavations have revealed artifacts as old as 10,000 years.The people of Rasht also played a major role in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran.Some Suburbs of Rasht:• Golsar• Manzariyeh• Masjad Safi• Chomarsara• Lakaan Shahr• ChalleKhaneh• Noghredasht• Ostadsara• Pirsara• Rashtian• Sagharisazan• Andisheh Complex• Park Shahr• Takhti• Tazeh Abad• Sabzemeydan• Lakani• Ziabari• Sam• Moalem• Estakhr• Hamidian• Bisotun• Motahari (Wikipedia) - Rasht
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For the administrative subdivision, see Rasht County. For the valley in Tajikistan, see Rasht Valley. Raŝt Country Province County Bakhsh Area  • Total Population (2012)  • Total Time zone  • Summer (DST) Area code(s) Website
Nickname(s): Rain City, Rasht-Heaven
Coordinates: 37°16′51″N 49°34′59″E / 37.28083°N 49.58306°E / 37.28083; 49.58306Coordinates: 37°16′51″N 49°34′59″E / 37.28083°N 49.58306°E / 37.28083; 49.58306
180 km2 (70 sq mi)
IRST (UTC+3:30)
IRDT (UTC+4:30)

Rasht (Persian: رَشْتْ or Raŝt‎ , Gilaki: Rèsht, also Romanized as Resht and Rast, and often spelt Recht in French and older German manuscripts) is the capital city of Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2012 census, its population was 622,209.

Rasht is the largest city on Iran''s Caspian Sea coast. It is a major trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali. Rasht is also a major tourist center with the resort of Masouleh in the adjacent mountains and the beaches of Caspian as some of the major attractions.

Historically, Rasht was a major transport and business center which connected Iran to Russia and Europe, and was therefore entitled the "Gate of Europe". The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major center of the silk trade with numerous textile workshops.

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Timeline
    • 1.2 Modern days
  • 2 Climate
  • 3 Language
  • 4 Culture
    • 4.1 Cuisine
    • 4.2 Sports
  • 5 Colleges and universities
  • 6 Transportation
    • 6.1 Railway
    • 6.2 International airport
  • 7 Notable citizens of Rasht
  • 8 Suburbs
  • 9 Twin towns – Sister cities
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

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For a more comprehensive treatment of the region, see the history section of Gilan.

An old mosque in Rasht, 1886.Tomb of Dana ye Ali, a famous resident of the Black Stalk Village in Rasht.Timeline
  • 682: Rasht was first mentioned in historical documents.
  • 1669: Stenka Razin, a Cossack warlord, plundered the city.
  • 1714: Rasht destroyed by earthquake.
  • 1722 - 1734: Occupied by Peter the Great during the Russo-Persian War, 1722-1723.
  • 1901: A major epidemic plague devastates the city.
  • 1917 - 1920: The Russian and British armed forces fight in the port city of Bandar-e Anzali and Rasht. The British retreat and the Russians occupy the area.
  • 1920 - 1921 - short-living Persian Soviet Socialist Republic was established with its capital in Rasht
  • 1937: A revolt, sparked by the desire to collect a "road tax" from the Russians, was suppressed.
  • 1974: First university established in Rasht.

Rasht was first mentioned in historical documents in 682 CE, but it is certainly older than this. It has seen the Sassanid era, the armies of Peter the Great and later Russian rulers, and British colonialism. The people of Rasht also played a major role in the Constitutional Revolution of Iran.

The name Rasht comes most plausibly from the verb reshtan, weaving. Rasht has, along with regions around Tabriz and Tehran, one of the earliest industry plants during the last quarter of the 19th century, prominently in fields such as fishing, caviar production, the Caspian sea oil pipeline construction and textiles. During the 20th century, until the mid-70s, Gilan and the Rasht region was the third-ranking industrial city in Iran by number of workers and per capital productivity. It lost its cultural and industrial status to a large extent after the 1970s.

The people of Rasht played a prominent role in instigation and radicalization of the Constitutional Revolution. Rasht is the birthplace of Mīrzā Kūchak Khān, one of the leading figures of the Constitutional Revolution (1905–1907). His own movement in Gilan, which went by the name of Jangalis, represented a pro-modern and social democratic program for reformation of Muslim rituals and traditions. Mirza established the short-lived Persian Socialist Soviet Republic in 1920 after the defeat of the constitutional forces and in coalition with Iranian communists. The republic had the support of the newly established Russian Red Army. The Soviet Government, after a turn of military and political strategy proposed by Trotsky, withdrew its support and the republic itself was tormented by the inner conflicts between the newly established Iranian Communist Party (1919) and the Jangalis and other factions. The republic was finally defeated by the Iranian army under the command of Reza Shah.

The first national library of Iran was established in Rasht under the Qajar dynasty. Furthermore, Nasim e Shomal as the first modern newspaper of Iran after the constitutional revolution has been published in Rasht, but later moved its headquarters to Qazvin. First Public Library of Iran was built in Rasht City. First Branch of the First Iranian Bank (Sepah Bank) was located in Rasht City. First branch of 24/7 pharmacy (Karoon pharmacy) was built in Rasht City. First school for girls and first fire station in Iran were also built in Rasht City.

Modern days

Rasht is growingly turning into an industrialized town like most of the Iranian large cities and province capitals. Enjoying the Kadus International Hotel and hundreds of tourist attractions, Rasht receives thousands of foreign tourists annually, mostly from Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, Australia, Japan and African countries like Senegal and Cameroon as well as countries from Oceania like Micronesia. Rasht is known for its famous building of municipality located in a square called the Square of Municipality which was constructed circa 1900 but being renovated each year. Due to the high amount of humidity in Rasht which damages and destroys the aged buildings, the native, older architectural texture of Rasht is gradually being replaced with the modern skyscrapers and apartments.

The culture of consumerism is prevalent among the people of Rasht as a cultural and urban center which is historically engaged in close commercial and political ties with the United Kingdom, Russia and France. Due to this background which makes the inhabitants much familiar with the industrial, cultural and political developments of the west, the finance and credit institutions are more willing to open representative offices and bureaus in Rasht and it has made the city a center of various banks and financial organizations. There are many commercial centers, malls and financial institutions in Rasht including one branch of the Exports Development Bank of Iran which is an international bank dealing with the Iranian exports. The organizers and directors of national Iranian or non-Iranian banks afford to spend considerable amounts of budgets to construct attractive and modern buildings for their offices in Rasht.

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, there have always been requests on behalf of Russian, Turkish and Azeri banks to open branches in Rasht and that is why the city is endowed as the "gate of Europe" in Iran. The head consulate of the Russian Federation government is located in Rasht and some of the other Caspian region countries are also keen to establish representative headquarters in Rasht alongside their embassies in Tehran. Some evidences are the University of Guilan which was constructed jointly by the governments of Iran and West Germany about 40 years ago, the building of IRIB representatives in Rasht which was constructed jointly by the Iranian and Belgian engineers.

Bigler Beigi Pavilion, built during the Qajar dynasty. Mohtasham Park in Rasht City Rasht municipality
Climate Climate data for Rasht Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Rainfall mm (inches) Avg. rainy days  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
30 (86) 31 (88) 34.6 (94.3) 37 (99) 37.6 (99.7) 37 (99) 37 (99) 37.2 (99) 40 (104) 37.4 (99.3) 36 (97) 32 (90) 40 (104)
10.8 (51.4) 10.9 (51.6) 13.1 (55.6) 19.0 (66.2) 24.2 (75.6) 28.3 (82.9) 30.5 (86.9) 29.9 (85.8) 26.8 (80.2) 21.7 (71.1) 17.7 (63.9) 13.6 (56.5) 20.54 (68.97)
1.9 (35.4) 2.5 (36.5) 5.1 (41.2) 9.3 (48.7) 14.2 (57.6) 18.0 (64.4) 20.2 (68.4) 19.8 (67.6) 17.2 (63) 12.8 (55) 8.3 (46.9) 4.2 (39.6) 11.13 (52.03)
−19 (−2) −18 (0) −6.4 (20.5) −2 (28) 3.6 (38.5) 5 (41) 11 (52) 9 (48) 7 (45) 1 (34) −4 (25) −10 (14) −19 (−2)
147.9 (5.823) 119.2 (4.693) 111.3 (4.382) 61.6 (2.425) 53.3 (2.098) 38.7 (1.524) 40.2 (1.583) 73.8 (2.906) 142.6 (5.614) 230.2 (9.063) 170.7 (6.72) 166.0 (6.535) 1,355.5 (53.366)
11.7 10.7 12.0 8.6 7.7 4.3 3.7 6.8 9.5 12.3 10.7 11.4 109.4
84 85 84 80 78 74 74 77 82 86 85 85 81.2
89.9 79.1 71.3 114.0 161.2 204.0 210.8 167.4 138.0 108.5 93.0 86.8 1,524
Source #1: World Climate
Source #2: Shahrekord Meteorology Database

The people of Rasht speak Gileki as the maternal language and Persian as the national language. Gileki is spoken by more than 3 million people. The vast majority of the speakers live in the Gilan Province of Iran. It belongs to the northwestern branch of the Iranian languages. The Iranian languages form a top-level constituent of the Indo-European language family. Gileki is closely related to Mazanderani and is subdivided into two main dialects: Bie-pas and Bie-pish. Bie-pas dialect is mainly spoken in west of Sepidroud including Rasht and Fuman while Bie-pish dialect belongs to eastern part of Gilan including Lahijan and Langrud.

In some rural areas near the Rasht, school teachers give their courses in Gileki rather than Persian.


Rashti people are said to spend much on books, clothes and food. They spend the leisure times going to cinemas, art exhibitions, music concerts and international book fairs that are being held in the city most of times in a year. Also the municipality kicks off sports, cultural or IT-related competitions to involve the youth in healthy and constructive activities. The most beloved competition is the annual blogging competition which awards the top young bloggers each year.


The dominant cuisine of Rasht people is the various types of fish. Mirza-Qasemi, Vavishka (a type of Haggis), Nargesi, Baqala Qatoq and Ashpal are some other popular local dishes of this city. Between the local cookies of Rasht, Reshte Xoshkar is a well-known one. Zeitoun Parvarde is a kind of delicacies prepared from olive and it is a popular seasoning in Rasht City.


The people of Rasht have always been regular fans of football which is the beloved sport in the city. Most of them are the fans of Damash Gilan F.C. which is a professional football club playing in the Iranian premier football league, Persian Gulf Cup. Damash Gilan F.C. is the newer version of former Pegah FC football club that belonged to the municipality of Rasht, but purchased later by the mineral water factory of Damash and changed its name and properties to Damash Gilan F.C.. The home stadium of Damash Gilan F.C. is Dr. Azodi Stadium which is an old stadium dating back to almost 40 years ago and its capacity is 11,000 people. Sardar e Jungle Stadium is also in Rasht City.

Sardar Jangal Stadium of Rasht

Following football, wrestling, judo and weightlifting are the most popular sports of youth in Rasht and that is due to the enchanting appearance of Iranian wrestlers and weightlifters in the international competitions like Olympics. The outstanding figure of world weightlifting and the two-time olympics Gold medal winner Hossein Rezazadeh is a main inspirer of Rasht youth to try Weightlifting as their professional job. Asghar Ebrahimi who was the squad captain of Iranian weightlifting team at the 2008 Olympics is from Rasht and a successful example of those youth from Rasht who tried this national field of sport after Hossein Rezazadeh.

Colleges and universities
  • University of Guilan
  • Gilan university of medical sciences
  • Islamic Azad University of Rasht
  • Jaber ebn Hayyan Institute of Higher Education
  • Payame Noor University
  • Institute of Higher Education for Academic Jihad of Rasht
  • Guilan Technical & Vocational Training Organization
  • Gilan Advanced Skills Training Center
  • Transportation Railway

    Rasht is served by Rasht railway station.

    International airport

    The Rasht International airport is the only airport in the small province of Gilan and was established in 1969 with an approximate area of 220 hectares. At first, the airport just handled domestic flights to Tehran and Mashhad, but after it was renamed to Sardar Jangal International airport in 2007, additional routes were established.

    The airport is in close affiliation with hundreds of flights by national and international airlines, including Mahan Air, Iran Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Kish Air and receives more than 2000 flights annually.

    Notable citizens of Rasht
    • Mīrzā Kūchak Khān One of the martyrs of freedom in Iran
    • Khosrow Golsorkhi
    • Mohammad Khatam
    • Prof. Majid Samii President of The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
    • Mahmoud Behzad The father of modern biology of Iran
    • Fazlollah Reza Former Iran''s ambassador to UNICEF
    • Valiollah Ardeshiri Former Physics teacher
    • Mohammad Moein A famous linguistics and literature researcher
    • Hushang Ebtehaj The intellectual poet of 20th century in Iran
    • Aydin Aghdashloo (Born 1940)
    • Ebrahim Poordavood (Born 1885)
    • Mahmoud Namjoo The world''s weightlifting champion
    • Arsen Minasian The Armenian founder of the first modern sanatorium in Iran
    • Ardeshir Mohassess A cartoonist from Rasht
    • Sadeq Saba Head of BBC Persian Service
    • Susan Taslimi Actress
    • Dariush Ramezani, Cartoonist
    • Anoushiravan Rohani Musician
    • Marjane Satrapi World award-winning film director
    • Hamideh Kheirabadi Former Actress
    • Youcef Nadarkhani Christian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam
    • Golsar
    • Manzarie
    • Driving Tips
    • Safi Mosque
    • Diyanati
    • Chomar Saray
    • Lakan Shahr
    • House of Challe
    • Silver Desert
    • Ostad Saray
    • Pirsara
    • Rashtian
    • Sagharisazan
    • Andishe Complex
    • City Park
    • Takhti
    • Tazeh Abad
    • Sabze Meydan
    • Lakani
    • Ziabari
    • Sam
    • Moalem
    • Estakhr
    • Hamidian
    • Bisotun
    • Motahari
    • Shahrak e Qods
    Twin towns – Sister cities

    Rasht has signed the treaty of city twinning with the following cities:

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