By far the largest and busiest city in central west Iran, Kermanshah developed in the 4th century AD astride the Royal Road to Baghdad. Its strategic position has brought both prosperity and attack. Most recently it suffered missile damage during the Iran–Iraq War. Briefly renamed Bakhtaran in the 1980s, the city is a melting pot of Kurds, Lori and other Iranians. its backdrop of glowing redrock mountains is impressive and, if you’re passing through, don’t miss Taq-e Bostan.