The World City of Filigree Work
  • Country
  • Province
  • Population
  • Area
    6,763 km²
  • Time Zone


Zanjan is located in the northwest of Zanjan province in a mountainous area with the height of 1663 m above the sea level.

Uneven lands of this city are divided into north mountains and south mountains. This city enjoys a moderate summer and a highly cold winter. It consists of three parts naming “Zanjanrod“, ”Ghare Poshtlo” and “Markazi“, three cities and 12 rural districts.

Zanjan is the biggest and most significant city in Zanjan province and also one valuable city, according to its position on the Iran–Europe transit way and being a connecting point among central parts, the west and northwest of Iran.

Soltaniyeh, a great and glorious building in this city, is one of the Iranian biggest and of the most famous Islamic buildings registered on the UNESCO global heritage list.

The most famous rivers of this city are Ghezel Ozan and Zanjan Rud and the historical bridges on the Zanjan Rud River as the symbols of Iranian-Islamic architecture. The Climatic diversity of the city has resulted in a four season area with higher capacities in the field of natural tourism.

Handicrafts such as knife making, Glim bafi, Jajim bafi, Charogh dozi, pottery, filigree, carpet weaving, metalworking, coppersmith, silversmith, local music and theater, custom, other cultural and artistic properties as well as natural attractions like spa springs, and Zanjan historical buildings are highly significant agents in the economy of this city.

Zanjan people speak in Turki (Azarbaijani) with Zanjani dialect and they are Shia followers.

Zanjan; The World City of Filigree Work

Date of Registration: 2020

Zanjan city is the capital of one of the western provinces of Iran owes its reputation mostly to making the unique handicrafts is so far as some handicrafts are recognized specifically by the name of this city. Until the late of 1398 SH about 45 active handicraft disciplines have been introduced in Zanjan among which the traditional knife making and filigrees are the most important local and highlighted handicrafts.  Meanwhile, the project of filigree work succeeded to meet all standards of authenticity, high quality, historical background, innovation and creativity defined by World Handicrafts Council and be inscribed on the list of UNESCO world cities as “Zanjan: World City of Filigree” in Bahman 1398 SH (January 2020).

This art-craft had been popular in this city from thousands of years ago in so far as Zanjan is currently reputed as the birthplace of filigree work. The main material of filigree is silver. After transforming into the very thin wires, that are called silver threads due to their high tenuity, the artist makes complicated and delicate patterns using them. Jointing these silver wires together produces different volumes, decorative or functional, such as tea service, chocolate wares, vase, candlestick, photo frame, jewelry box, and various jewelries. Using filigree work in mixed products are of the innovations of Zanjan artists; they use the delicate filigree flowers and arabesques for decorating the upper layer of knifes’ handle and in doing so they create a local and unique mixed artwork. The important point in making Zanjan filigree is doing the whole process by hand, without using industrial methods. Considering this principle, the final product may surprise the viewer by this degree of elegance and delicacy. Due to the high purity of silver used in making these products, the shininess of filigree works is unexampled.

At present, about 230 filigree artists are active in 50 workshops in Zanjan. The authenticity of this handmade artworks in Zanjan is to such extent that some other cities like Tehran and Isfahan owes their filigree skills to the artists of Zanjan. In addition to the workshops, many other centers are now active in education, supply and sale of filigree works. This has led to a wide employment of different groups of people in Zanjan in this field.


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