Hidden in tiny alleys behind its modern facade, Zanjan retains some attractive mosques, a fantastic bazaar, a plethora of knife-grinders and some delightful teahouse restaurants. The city is a logical base for visiting the impressive Soltaniyeh mausoleum and a good staging point to reach Takht-e Soleiman via the scenic Dandy road.
Zanjan is the capital of Zanjan Province in northwestern Iran . It is an Azeri inhabited city. It lies 298 km (186 mi) north-west of Tehran on the main highway to Tabriz and Turkey and approximately 125 km (80 mi) from the Caspian Sea . At the 2006 census, its population was 341,801, in 89,829 families.
Zanjan is known for its beautiful handcrafts such as knives, traditional sandals, called charoogh, and malileh. Malileh is a handcraft made with silver wires. Zanjani artists make many things like various decorative dishes and their special covers as well as silver jewelry. In ancient times, Zanjan was known for its stainless and sharp knives. But this tradition is gradually becoming extinct by introduction of Chinese knives to the market which are far cheaper, more abundant and of course less artistic[ citation needed ]. Many villagers today are traditional carpet weavers. This is perhaps Zanjan's most popular handcraft.