Markazi province, with an area of 29,127 square kilometers is 14th province of Iran in terms of area. This province is neighboring the provinces of Tehran, Alborz, Qazvin, Hamedan, Lorestan, Isfahan and Qom. Markazi province has 12 counties and its center is Arak. Different ethnic groups reside in the province and use Persian, Turkish and local Tati language. The highlands of Zagros Mountains and the flat and fertile plains are scattered in the province, causing three types of climate in Markazi province; the mountainous weather at high altitudes, the temperate mountainous weather in the foothills, and the semi-arid climate in flat plains.
The antiquity of the province dates back to several millenniums B.C. The Greeks considered the area as part of the Media and Islamic geographers called it Jabal (Jebal) or Persian Iraq. In the early centuries after the flourishment of Islam, indigenous people of this area preserved their religion and remained as the followers of Zoroastrian. During the Seljuk period, the region came to be known as Persian Iraq and was later progressed during the Safavid period. The attention of the Qajar kings to clerical and religious scholars has led to an ever-increasing expansion of mosques, Tekyeh, Maktab (school buildings) and historical buildings in the area. This resulted in appearance of the great men including Mirza Muhammad Taghi Khan Amir Kabir (a Qajar minister) and Mirza Ghaem Magham Farahani (a Qajar minister), who came from Persian Iraq region to reform the country’s politics.
Beautiful nature and historical sites of the Markazi province attract tourists. Interestingly, one of the important attractions of the province is Mahallat – the city of flowers –which is famous as Netherlands of Iran and has a long history of cultivating diverse flowers. Due to its vast production of flowers and plants, Mahallat city is also known as the greenhouse of Iran, and annually large amount of flowers are exported from this city. Hydrotherapy Complex of Mahallat, Arak Market, Four Seasins Bathhouse, tomb of Pir-e Morad (mystic), the Meighan Wetland, the historical village of Hezaveh, Jameh Mosque of Saveh and the historical texture of Vafs village are among the other major attractions of the province.
Ebrahim Abad Qanat of Arak (from the Iranian Qanat collection) has been registered in UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most important handicrafts of the province are carpet-weaving, Gabbeh, Calligraphy, Pottery, Copper-smithing, copper dishes of Tafresh and Kilim of Saveh. The most important souvenirs in the province include Fatir, Pomegranate and honeydew of Saveh, various Ornamental plant, melons, cotton, pomegranate sauce, grape syrup and local soaps. Some of the local cuisine of the region include Local Bread, Shetil Ayr, Damlameh, Abgoosht-e-Doroghin, Bereshtook, Aush with Tarhana, Pomegranate stew and rhubarb Abgoosht (meat stew). Mirza Muhammad Taqi Khan Farahani (Amir Kabir), Ghaem Magham Farahani, Fakhr Al Din Iraqi (Sufi and Mysticism master), Abbas Eqbal Ashtiani (Literary Scholar and historian) and Abolqasem Sahab (Human Science Scholar and researcher) are among the most famous figures of Markazi province.