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Gilan

Gilan Province, also Latinized as Guilan is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea, in Iran’s Region 3, just west of the province of Mazandaran, east of the province of Ardabil, and north of the provinces of Zanjan and Qazvin. It also borders the Republic of Azerbaijan in the north, as well as Russia across the Caspian Sea.

Gilan Province, also Latinized as Guilan is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea, in Iran’s Region 3, just west of the province of Mazandaran, east of the province of Ardabil, and north of the provinces of Zanjan and Qazvin. It also borders the Republic of Azerbaijan in the north, as well as Russia across the Caspian Sea.

The northern part of the province is part of territory of South (Iranian) Talysh. At the center of the province is the main city of Rasht. Other towns in the province include Astara, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyyeh, Fuman, Lahijan, Langrud, Masouleh, Manjil, Rudbar, Roudsar, Shaft, Talesh, and Soumahe Sara.The main harbor port of the province is Bandar-e Anzali (previously Bandar-e Pahlavi).

Gilan has a humid subtropical climate with by a large margin the heaviest rainfall in Iran: reaching as high as 1,900 millimetres (75 in) in the southwestern coast and generally around 1,400 millimetres (55 in). Rasht, the capital of the province, is known internationally as the “City of Silver Rains” and within Iran as the “City of Rain”.

Rainfall is heaviest between September and December because the onshore winds from the Siberian High are strongest, but it occurs throughout the year though least abundantly from April to July. Humidity is very high because of the marshy character of the coastal plains and can reach 90 percent in summer for wet bulb temperatures of over 26 °C (79 °F). The Alborz range provides further diversity to the land in addition to the Caspian coasts.

The coastline is cooler and attracts large numbers of domestic and international tourists. Large parts of the province are mountainous, green and forested. The coastal plain along the Caspian Sea is similar to that of Mazandaran, mainly used for rice paddies. Supposedly, due to successive cultivation and selection of rice by farmers, several rice cultivars including Gerdeh, Hashemi, Hasani, and Gharib have been bred.

In May 1990 large parts of the province were destroyed by a huge earthquake, in which about 45,000 people died. Abbas Kiarostami made his films Life, and Nothing More… and Through the Olive Trees based upon this event. Gilan is overwhelmingly Gilaki, with a minority of Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Armenians, Circassians and others.

Five Iranian languages are spoken in Gilan namely Gilaki, Rudbari and Taleshi and packets of Tati and Kurdish all belong to Northwestern branch of Iranian languages. Non-Iranian languages are Azerbaijani, Georgian, Armenian, Circassian, and some Gypsy (Romany) speakers.

Three million people speak Gilaki as first or second language. Although this language has flourishing literature and some newspapers, both Gilaki and Taleshi usage is diminishing in Tavalesh due to heavy immigration of Azerbaijani people.

Geocoding for Gilan, Iran: 37.2774°N 49.5890°E

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