Kermanshah is an important city of about half a million inhabitants. Kermanshah also known as Bakhtaran, is located 525 kilometres from Tehran in the western part of Iran. People mostly speak Southern Kurdish and Persian. Briefly renamed Bakhtaran in the 1980s, the city is a melting pot of Kurds, Lors and other Iranians, many on pilgrimage west to the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala.
Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. Kermanshah has a climate which is heavily influenced by the proximity of the Zagros mountains, classified as a hot dry summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). The city's altitude and exposed location relative to westerly winds makes precipitation a little bit high (more than twice that of Tehran), but at the same time produces huge diurnal temperature swings especially in the virtually rainless summers, which remain extremely hot during the day. Kermanshah experiences rather cold winters and there are usually rainfalls in fall and spring. Snow cover is seen for at least a couple of weeks in winter.
It is thought to have been founded during the reign of the Sassanian king Bahrain IV, at the end of the IV century AD. Because of its location on the main roads leading to Baghdad and Kirkuk and its proximity to the Mesopotamian border, it has been repeatedly attacked during its history. It suffered badly during the wars between the Ottoman and Safavid empires (the last occupation of the town by the Turks was in 1915) and more recently in Iran-Iraq War. From September 1980, the border region around Qasr-e Shirin, Sar-e Pol-e Zahab and Gilan-e Gharb (less than 200 kilometres, 125 miles, from Kermanshah) became one of the two main fronts of the war, and Kermanshah, with its large oil refinery, was a prime target for Iraqi shelling. As a result, much of the town has been rebuilt recently.
Kermanshah sights include Kohneh Bridge, Behistun Inscription, Taghbostan, Temple of Anahita, Dinavar, Ganj Dareh, Essaqwand Rock Tombs, Sorkh Deh chamber tomb, Malek Tomb, Hulwan, Median dakhmeh (Darbad, Sahneh), Parav cave, Do-Ashkaft Cave, Tekyeh Moavenalmolk, Dokan Davood Inscription, Sar Pol-e-Zahab, Tagh e gara, Patagh pass, Sarab Niloufar, Ghoori Ghale Cave, Khaja Barookh's House, Chiyajani Tappe, Statue of Herakles in Behistun complex, Emad al doleh Mosque, Tekyeh-e Beglarbagi, Hunters cave, Jamé Mosque of Kermanshah, Godin Tepe, Bas relief of Gotarzes II of Parthia, and Anobanini bas relief.