Kermanshah (Persian: کرمانشاه, Kermãnshãh,Kurdish: کرماشان, Kirmaşan; also known as Bakhtaran, Bākhtarān, Kermānshāhān and Qahremānshahr) is a city in and the capital of Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 784,602, in 198,117 families. The languages spoken by the people is kermanshahipersian, Kermanshahi Kurdish and laki. Kermanshah is located 525 km from Tehran in the western part of Iran. Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. The religion of most of the people is Shia Islam.
Given its antiquity, attractive landscapes and rich culture, Kermanshah is considered as one of the cradles of prehistoric cultures such as Neolithic villages. According to archaeological surveys and excavation, Kermanshah area has been occupied by prehistoric people since the Lower Paleolithic period, and continued to later Paleolithic periods till late Pleistocene period. The Lower Paleolithic evidence consists of some handaxes found in the Gakia area to the east of the city. The Middle Paleolithic remains have been found in the northern vicinity of the city in Tang-e Kenesht and near Taqwasan. Neanderthal Man existed in the Kermanshah region during this period. The known Paleolithic caves in this area are Warwasi, Qobeh,Malaverd and Do-Ashkaft Cave. The region was also one of the first places in which human settlements including Asiab, Qazanchi, Tappeh Sarab, Chia Jani, and Ganj-Darreh were established between 8,000-10,000 years ago. This is about the same time that the first potteries pertaining to Iran were made in Ganj-Darreh, near present-day Harsin. In May 2009, based on a research conducted by the University of Hamedanand UCL, the head of Archeology Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization announced that the one of the oldest prehistorian village in the Middle Eastdating back to 9800 B.P., was discovered in Sahneh, located west of Kermanshah. Remains of later village occupations and early Bronze Age are found in a number of mound sites in the city itself.
In ancient Iranian mythology, construction of the city is attributed to Tahmoures Divband, the fabulous king of Pishdadian dynasty, however it is believed that the Sassanids have constructed Kirmaşan/Kermanshah. Bahram IV called Kirmaşan/Kermanshah gave his name to this city. It was a glorious city in Sassanid period about the 4th century AD when it became the capital city and a significant health center serving as a summer resort for Sassanid kings. In AD 226, following a two-year war led by the Persian Emperor, Ardashir I, against Kurdish tribes in the region, the empire reinstated a local Kurdish prince, Kayus of Medya, to rule Kirmaşan/Kermanshah. Within the dynasty known as the House of Kayus(also Kâvusakân) remained a semi-independent Kurdish kingdom lasting until AD 380 before Ardashir II removed the dynasty’s last ruling member.
Kermanshah was conquered by the Arabs in AD 640. Under Seljuk rule in the eleventh century, it was a major cultural and commercial centre in Western Iran and the southern Kurdish region as a whole. The Safavids fortified the town, and the Qajars repulsed an attack by the Ottomans during Fath Ali Shah‘s rule (1797–1834). Kermanshah was occupied by Ottomans between 1723–1729 and 1731-1732.