[ker-mahn-shah, -shaw, ker-, ker-mahn-, kur-]
Kermanshah, city (1991 pop. 624,084), capital of Kermanshah prov., W Iran. It is the trade center for a rich agricultural region that produces grain, rice, vegetables, fruits, and oilseed. Manufactures include carpets, canvas shoes, textiles, refined petroleum, refined sugar, and other processed foods. Kermanshah has numerous caravansaries that are crowded semiannually with Shiite pilgrims to Karbala, Iraq. Kurds form the majority of the population. Kermanshah was founded by the Sassanids in the 4th cent. A.D. and became a secondary royal residence. It was captured by the Arabs in the 7th cent. Later it was a frontier fortress against the Ottoman Turks, who occupied it a number of times, including the period from 1915 to 1917. Nearby are the famed Behistun Inscriptions and notable Sassanian rock reliefs.
Behistun inscription is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون ; Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the god's place or land") is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Behistun.

The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. A British army officer, Henry Rawlinson, had the inscription transcribed in two parts, in 1835 and 1843. Rawlinson was able to translate the Old Persian cuneiform text in 1838, and the Elamite and Babylonian texts were translated by Rawlinson and others after 1843. Babylonian was a later form of Akkadian: both are Semitic languages. In effect, then, the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.

The inscription is approximately 15 metres high by 25 metres wide, and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media (Babylon and Ecbatana). It is extremely inaccessible as the mountainside was removed to make the inscription more visible after its completion. The Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns; the Elamite text includes 593 lines in eight columns and the Babylonian text is in 112 lines. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius, holding a bow as a sign of kingship, with his left foot on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him. The prostrate figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata. Darius is attended to the left by two servants, and ten one-metre figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, representing conquered peoples. Faravahar floats above, giving his blessing to the king. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was (oddly enough) Darius' beard , which is a separate block of stone attached with iron pins and lead.

Mo'avenalmolk Mosque

This mosque is unique because it has many pictures on the walls that relate to shahnameh,despite some of its more religious ones.

Khaja Barookh's House

Khaja Barookh's House, is a house located in the old district of Faizabad in a Jewish neighborhood of Kermanshah. It was built by Barookh, a Jewish merchant of the Qajar period. The house, importasnt in its Iranian architecture, is now known as Randeh-Kesh house, after the last owner, is a "daroongara"(pro-interior)house and is connected through a vestibule to the exterior yard and through a corridor to the interior yard. Surrounding the interior yard are rooms, brick pillars making the iwans(porches) of the house, and step-like column capitals decorated with brick-stalactite work. This house is among the rare Qajar houses with a private bathroom.


Kermanshah is now a fairly important industrial center; industries include petrochemical refinery, textile manufacturing, food processing, oil refining, carpet making, sugar refining, and the production of electrical equipment and tools.

Higher education

Notable Residents

See also

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