Hegmatane Hills | The First Capital of Iran

Hegmatane Hills | The First Capital of Iran

Irantrawell in its travel to Hamedan, which is the history and civilization capital of Iran and one of the oldest cities in the world, visited the Hegmatane hills to introduce to you the historical wealth from different historical eras. This historic site is the largest archaeological site in Iran, and many parts of this site have not been explored yet. The main reason is that Hegmatane or Ekbatan is exactly under the new texture of the city of Hamedan and everywhere you drill in this place you will find a trace of history and civilization. You will find signs of the civilization of Mad, Achaemenid, Sassanid, and even Islamic periods, during all those time Hamedan was always a key and prosperous city.

History of Hamedan’s Hegmatane

This ancient city is the first Iranian capital, and along with Athens in Greece and Rome in Italy is one of the few ancient cities in the world that remains today and has importance. According to Herodotus this city was built by Diako and it had seven walls, each of which was the color of one of the planets. According to historical narratives, Hamedan was the first Iranian capital built by the Mad tribe in the millennium BC. Mads were a group of Aryan tribes living in the north, center, and west of Iran. Factors such as social and cultural growth, contact with indigenous groups on the Iranian plateau, the presence of powerful neighbors, and the sensation of new political and social needs forced them to unite and build a powerful government, in a way the most powerful people of that time, Assyrians, were forever wiped from the face of the earth by these people.

Hagmatana Castle
Hagmatana Castle

According to Herodotus, Hegmatane was chosen by Diako in the late 8th century BC as the capital of Mads. Herodotus describes a royal collection consisting of palaces, treasures and military houses built on a hill, and says that the complex was built with seven central walls, each inner wall taller than the outer wall.

After the extinction of the Mads, although Hegmatane did not become what it was and did not find its centrality again, but considering that the city was on the kingly road which connected Parse (Takhte Jamshid) to the Sard, it was considered as the Achaemenid summer capital and hence they made it prosperous.


When Darius III encountered Alexander, Hegmatane was but a ruin. But Darius III by the suggestion of his comrades ordered the construction of a large castle in the middle of the city called Sarough. In this castle there were thirty seven hidden huts for treasures and assets, made with eight iron doors, each hut with two floors and each floor about 12 meters.

Special Features of the Hegmatane Hills

In a book of the historians belonging to B.C. era, much has been told of the multi-colored castle and seven fences of Hegmatane. These colors are as follows: the color of the congresses of the first castle; white; second; black; third; purple; fourth; blue; fifth; orange, and the inside congresses were golden and silver. The outermost castle wall has been about the size of the fence in Athens. The Shah’s Palace, which was built in the last inner castle, has hundreds of rooms and people have also built their houses outside these castles and alongside it. At the request of Diako, the people of Mad tribe abandoned the small towns in which they lived and gave attention to the capital city and built houses around the castle of Shah. Perhaps this much strength of the fort, has converted Hegmatane hills into treasures which has caused the excavation of this region to discover the most valuable works of Iranian history. Though most of these discovered works have been transferred to reputable museums in Iran and the world, there is also a museum for less valuable works in the hill area.


According to the book of Hegmatane to this day (printed in 1332 Solar), eight pieces of golden and silver tablets have been obtained from the discoveries of the Hegmatane hills and Takhte Jamshid, of which 5 tablets of gold and one silver belong to the Hegmatane hills of Hamedan, and only one tablet of gold and one silver belong to Takhte Jamshid. This fact highlights the historical and ancient significance of the Hegmatane hills better than anything else. Among the features of the ancient city of Hegmatane is the architecture and design of this city, which is rare among the ancient artifacts obtained in the history. The discovered works indicate a regular and advanced water supply network in the government cities of Mads and Parts. At intervals between the water canals, there was an extension of 3.5 meters long, and the floor of these passageways were all decorated with square-shaped bricks and ordered neatly. Research has shown that there are two building blocks in the distance of 35 meters between the passages, each containing a central courtyard (hall), with rooms and storerooms around it, in such a way that each building unit occupies a space of 17.5 in 17.5 meters.


The Hegmatane hills only includes a part of the ancient city of Hegmatane, and a large part of the city of Mads remains unknown, but according to its location, the city is located just below the present Hamedan city. In the most recent excavations and during the construction of a fountain in the central square of the city, works from the Mad era were found, and it is hoped that this legendary city will once again put aside its mask made of soil.


Geographical Location

The area of the Hegmatane hills is about 30 hectares and considering the area that used to belong to this historical hill and on which new residential apartments were made the total area reaches over 40 hectares. This oval shaped hill is located in the current city of Hamedan on either side of Ekbatan (Aybatan) street. The name Hegmatane means the place to gather and it has been cited in the historical literature as Hegmatane, Ekbatan, Emdane, and Hamedan, and this historical site was registered in the year 1310 (Solar) with the code number 28 in the list of the national heritage of Iran.

Make Sure to Visit this page: Comprehensive Travel Guide to Hamedan

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I think losing your travel documents, money, and your phone in a foreign country is on the top place in the list of top things you must be scared of when you go abroad. You can google the list of the cities famous for their pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Now, if you’re coming to Iran, hearing the financial news in Iran might worry you a little; and in fact, the tourist centres and crowded areas are no exception in this case. But statistics show that Iran is almost a lot better and safer than other countries in this case. But, only in case you want to travel with peace of mind, keep these points in mind: • You don’t have carry your passport with you to everywhere you go; only a copy of that would suffice. No one usually asks for it. • You will need cash, but you shouldn’t carry all the cash you have with you. • I suggest you to put your eggs in different baskets, I mean split your money and put it in different places so in case you get robbed, you will have some money left. • It’t better to use bags and handbags instead of backpack in crowded places like bazaars; so you can always watch the zippers. • And always keep an eye on your phone!