Skip to main content

Persia (Iran) - Hamadan

Hamadan is the capital city of Hamadan Province in modern-day Iran, 360 km south-west of Tehran, and is a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574 m Alvand Mountain.  Major Cyril Sladden, who was part of an allied military mission known as Dunsterforce, spent a week there in mid-August 1918.  It was from Hamadan that Dunsterforce, accompanied by armoured cars, set off on a 350 km journey across the Persian Hills to Baku.

Hamadan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BC; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BC.  Nowadays, the old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer, the main attraction being the Ganj Nameh inscription.

During the Great War, the city was the scene of heavy fighting between Russian and Turko-German forces.  It was occupied by both armies, and finally by the British, before it was returned to control of the Iranian government at the end of the war in 1918.

Letters mentioning this place: