Karaj (Persian: Karaj – کرج pronounced [kæˈɾædʒ]) is the capital of Alborz Province, Iran. Hosting a population around 1.96 million, as recorded in the 2011 census, it is the fourth-largest city in Iran, after Tehran, Mashhad, and Isfahan.
The earliest records of Karaj date back to 30th century BC. The city was developed under the rule of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties, and is home to historical buildings and memorials from those eras. Until the second half of the 20th century, it used to be known mainly as a summer resort. Today, it is a major industrial city, with factories producing sugar, textiles, wire, and alcohol.
Karaj city has been hosting communities since 3000 years BC.The Xurvin region of Karaj has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and the Kelāk region on the left bank of Karaj River since the Iron Age.
The stone built Taxt e Rostam, located on a mount in the west of Šahriār County, was built in the Parthian era as a Zoroastrian fire temple.
Until the late 20th century, the city was mainly crossed into by a stone bridge built in the Safavid era. The stone built Šāh-Abbāsi Caravansary, located at the southeast of Towhid Square, was built in the same era, under the rule of Šāh Esmāil
In the 1810s, the Palace of Soleymānie, which included four towers surrounded by gardens and walls, was built as a summer resort by the order of Šāhzāde Soleymān (Soleymān Mirzā), an old prince governor of Kermānšāh.Granted in the Pahlavi era by Rezā Šāh Pahlavi, it is now housing the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Tehran.
The Morvārid Palace was constructed in nearby Mehršahr district, during the Pahlavi era. It was designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Taliesin Associated Architects) on instructions from Shams Pahlavi, elder sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Majority of the structure is now controlled by the Basij Organization, and some sections of it are open to public under the operation of Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran.
Other historical sites of the city include the Mausoleum of Šāhzāde Soleymān, EmāmzādeRahmān, Emāmzāde Zeyd, and Palang Ābād e Eštehārd