Sunday Apr 5, 2020


History behind the name of Anzali:

In the era of Pahlavi dynasty, Anzali's name had been altered to "Pahlavi Port" but after the revolution of 1978 (1357) it took its old name back. Among the various definitions found for Anzali, the most acceptable definition is the one defining Anzal as Anchor or Anchorage. Anzal is synonym to Anshan. The word Anzali itself has been distorted. Anshan means Gate; according to many written works, Anzali was called The Gate of Europe and Iran.

Anzali's Location:

Anzali's city population has been equal to 110,643 based on the statistics from 2006. Anzali has an area of 275 Km2, 4,931 Km2 of which is dedicated to the city area. As we see, Anzali Port is one of the most crowded cities of Iran.

Anzali and the firsts:

Anzali enjoys a 300-year-old customhouse, more than 200 years of port administration experience and local associations. First municipality in Iran was established in this city. Department of education was also established before 1892 (1271), adult education with high school courses before 1897 (1276) that was administered by municipality. Printing office was established before 1907. The first hospital was constructed before 1897 and was administered by municipality. Lion and Sun Organization established in 1925. Anzali was the first city of Iran that enjoyed electricity before 1900 (1279). Telephone came to the city before 1898 (1277). The city was also provided with post and telegraph services before Iran's other cities. Law enforcement department also was established before 1907 (1286). Railway facility was established around 1870 (1269) in a rural area of Anzali city. Meteorological department was established before 1901 (1280). Fishery department with 150 years of experience and the first fridge were established in Anzali and Hassan Kiyadeh. The first airline was also established in Anzali in a land known as Plane Land. The first flight in Iran was from Anzali Port to Tehran and then to Isfahan. Cars were also seen in Anzali for the first time. Anzali's cinema theater was also a pioneer in movie screening and having cinema hall. The city was also a pioneer in various sports.



Anzali Port is one of the most beautiful cities of Iran where lagoon, sea, shore and grass make wonderful scenery. Having lovely and natural attractions, Anzali Port is host to millions of tourists from all around the world and Iran also. Due to special climate conditions and having similarities with other beautiful cities in the world, Anzali has successfully signed various agreements with France, Italy, Poland and etc regarding town twining. Another unique characteristic of this port is its potentiality in fields of science, arts and sports which has played a great role in achieving national and international glories. High educational rates and frequent communication with domestic and foreign tourists have caused cultural growth among the citizens.

Anzali at the peak:

People of Anzali had become familiar with western culture and were in a high level of thought growth due to their travels to Russia and specially Azerbaijan (former Russia) and other travelling Iranians or foreigners who used to cross this port to reach Europe and vice versa. Therefore, they were shoulder to shoulder with people of Rasht in political movements, especially in constitutional revolution and forest movement and for a period of 350 years they acted like a guard for Iran in Bolshevik wars against Caucuses of Iran and in fighting against occupying foreigners. From the social point of view also they were pioneers in the establishment of modern schools, municipality, hospital, public interest institutions and charities such as orphanages compared to other big cities of Iran. They also were so interested in education and establishment of night classes that in the early days of constitutional government, daily newspaper issues were a total number of 525 which compared to Anzali's population was not seen before in Iran. Nowadays, Anzali's children are occupied with studying in great scientific and university centers of the world in Europe, America, Canada and Australia or enjoy high scientific positions. By 1992 (1371)          Anzali had had 151 primary and secondary schools and high schools and one nursing college in which a total number of 36,500 students used to study. In 1986 (1365), Anzali ranked first in Guilan province by having a population, 77/7% of which was constituted of educated persons. In 1991 (1370) however, it ranked as the first city after Tehran which had 85% of its population educated. Since there were many educated persons who used to go to Tehran from various cities of Iran we probably can say that Anzali was the first city with educated population at that time.

People's Occupation in Anzali Port:

Anzali's citizens were occupied with boating, fishing and hunting. Lots of people from Khalkhal also used to work in hunting place of Bareh Kosh. Fishing activity was performed in lagoon and seashore and rivers using nets. Nowadays, nearly 6000 fishers work in cooperative companies. Boatmen who used to form a great population were enjoying an orderly organization. There were more than 500 huge boats in Anzali. According to the evidence if each boat has had 6 to 12 boatmen then it turns out to be a great number. These boats were demolished upon the establishment of roads. Kilka fishing also has been so increased in recent years that every evening a great number of fishers go to the sea and come back to their jetties with a big bulk of Kilka fish next day morning. Matting is also one of those occupations which have a high income. Mat of Ghazian enjoys a special fame among people. Thousands of mats are annually exported to domestic and foreign cities. These mats used to be as carpets which we use today. It should be said that mat of Aabkenar has also been famous among people. Due to the development of modern carpets, hundreds of women who used to do matting lost their jobs. Despite land shortage in Anzali that has caused it to be in a lower position in field of agriculture, various rice, vegetables, watermelon, melon and peanut are cultivated in Anzali and several villagers are also occupied with sericulture specially in Aabkenar that has great experiences in the said field.


Tourism Attractions in Anzali Port:

Anzali Lagoon:

Anzali lagoon is world's most beautiful and biggest lagoon, shores of which are beautifully embellished with canebrakes and sea tulips that attract everyone's eye. The lagoon used to be larger in the past. Boats and the boatmen used to move in the lagoon and transport goods and passengers from one village to another via Anzali to Pir Bazaar and vice versa. Rasht and Anzali were connected to each other through the lagoon. Sometimes lagoon used to become so stormy that old men recall the waves much huger and horrifying than the waves of Caspian Sea.

Lagoon's area used to be about 280 Km2 before tide and its depth varied from 1/25 meter to 2/80 meter. Due to the rapid increase in the water level of Caspian Sea in recent years, a huge area of the shores related to the lagoon has been immersed making the lagoon larger and deeper. There are many rivers flowing into the Anzali lagoon and there are also many small and huge islands existed in the lagoon. Thousands of birds, especially swans, migrate to the lagoon making it much more beautiful. Various fish species are grown in lagoon and there are many plants floating on and into the water. Whether it is a rowboat or a motor boat, it would be an unforgettable treat to sail on the lagoon. As it is said: "seeing is believing!" fishing with a hook is also another entertainment that has a relaxing effect due to the concentration it requires whether you are on a boat or standing near the rivers. Anzali lagoon attracts tourists from all around the world. It is hoped that in the near future it would attract more visitors from Iran and even newly independent neighboring countries located in northern, western and eastern Caspian Sea coasts which can play a great role in the economic lives of Anzali citizens.

Anzali Minaret (Clock Tower):

Anzali's Clock Tower can be seen from long distances. According to history books and itineraries Khosrokhan-e-Gorji, Guilan's Ruler, built it in 1815 of brick. The goal of building it was using this tower as sentinel of the sea and lighthouse so that the sailors could find the coast through the lights of minaret and steer their boat into the canal. Accordingly a light was set on the top of it and a guard was appointed to watch the sea.

In 1928, after restoration of the tower, a clock was mounted on the top of the Minaret. The municipality had bought that clock from Germany. Unfortunately, after some years, the clock did not work anymore, until 1990 when the municipality replaced the old clock with a new digital one.

The Minaret's height is 28 meters.

Surf Breakers

Before the construction of Anzali's surf breakers the canal between Anzali and Ghazian was like a gulf where commercial ships were docked to load and unload the goods and to be protected against sea waves and storm. But sea waves still attacked the canal and damaged the boats and ships there. Hence, a need for building surf breakers emerged. And so the construction contract was signed in 1895 between Iran's government and Anzali-Ghazvin Road Constructor Company. The surf breaker's length was 750 meter and its width was 520 meter. The construction procedure was finished completely in 1914. To build this a railway was constructed between Talesh's Poonel Mountain and the western end of Kapoorchal gulf. Rocks were mined from the mountains and then stonecutting was done, and then they were transferred to Kapoorchal waterfront. Finally from there, they were transferred to the surf breakers' construction location on boats. The surf breakers were constructed under the supervision of two Russian engineers, Aliov and Planatov. This huge structure has been mounted on wooden beams put on the sea floor.

The beach

The beach of Anzali is about 20 km and Ghazian's is 15 km; they are of the best swimming spots. Swimming is beneficial for health and relaxation. Smelling (Iodine) arose from the sea especially in the evenings is like a drug for those who suffer from nervous disorders or goiter disease. The beach should be kept clean so that everyone can use this nature gift.


Two of the Anzali's beautiful and spectacular structures are Ghazian and Anzali bridges. In the past, most of the commutes between Anzali and Ghazian were done by boats until a decision was made to connect Anzali to Ghazian-Rasht road through building 2 bridges. One of them was a bridge between Ghazian and Mianposhteh which was about 210 meters long, 10 meters wide, and 6.85 meters high with 5 spans. One of its spans was mobile.

The other bridge was between Mianposhteh and Anzali which was 127 meters long, 10 meters wide, and 6.5 meters high with 3 spans. One of its spans was mobile too.

Both bridges were made of reinforced concrete. The construction procedure was started in 1935 an ended in 1937 and the bridge was opened in 1938. These two bridges were built by a German company accompanied by some other companies (like a Swedish one). With construction of these bridges the communication road of Azerbaijan, Rasht, Ghazvin and Tehran was established. Recently to protect the bridges, heavy trucks' passing on is prohibited.

Mianposhteh Palace

This palace is placed between Anzali and Ghazian bridge in Mianposhteh area. Before its construction, there was a beautiful and majestic palace there called "khoshtaria" which was burned in 1928 and ruined. The construction of this palace was started in 1929 and ended in 1935. The building area is 1168 square meters. The walls were made of concrete blocks and have 11 bedrooms, one drawing room and 4 bathrooms.

Inside the rooms are designed with plasterwork. A large chandelier hangs in the hall of the palace.

Since 1988, after overhauling, the navy has converted the palace into a military museum and variety of cool weapons and firearms are kept there exposed to public. Visit this military museum is open to the public.

Anzali's Park (Bolvar)

The park is over 85 years old. First its upper part was built, and since 1928 the other parts have been gradually added to the park. The area of this park is ​​35,000 square meters. Due to being in canal coast, three sides of it are overlooking the river. In the northern part of the park, the two surf breakers are placed which make a beautiful scene that attract many visitors.


Shanbeh Bazar (Saturday Market)

Every Saturday vendors from neighboring areas come to Anzali to put their goods on the riverside street to sell. More than 650 vendors sell everything, even the rare drugs. The shouts of the sellers who invite you to buy their goods make very pleasant scenery. Shanbeh Bazar with more than 100 years old is still thriving and spectacular.

Old buildings

Anzali had some Castles, military bastions, and a few minarets. Unfortunately among the whole minarets just one has remained. Now the oldest building in Anzali is Motamedi Mansion (police building) in upper Bolvar which has the same age as the Clock Tower (the Minaret). Justice Building is one of the buildings which were built between 1925 and 1927. Music playing place (which is called Hafeziyeh) and City Hall that current Helale ahmar Theater is placed in it were built between 1931 and 1933 too.

There are some other buildings in anzali with more than 120 to 150 years old.


Hotels of the City:




Sepid Kenar

Anzali-Astara Road, 5th Kilometer



Kenar Gozar Road, Swan Beach



Pasdaran St.



Anzali Square



Pasdaran St. across Bozorg Hotel


West Anzali Tourism Compllex

7th Kilometer of Astara Road, After epid Kenar


Nemooneh Tourism Guesthouse

5th Kilometer of Astara Road, Next to the International Exhibition


Narges-e-Ziba Kenar

Rasht-Anzali Road, Ziba Kenar



Anzali Square, Next ot Quds Park


Sepid Kenar Matin

5th Kilometer, Anzali-Astara Road



Anzali Square