RESHT, the capital of the province of Gilan in Persia, in 37° 17' N., and 49° 36' E., on the left bank of the Siah-rud (Black river), which is a branch of the Sefid-rud (White river), and flows into the Murdab, lagoon of Enzeli. The distance from Enzeli, the port of disembarcation from Russia, on the S. shore of the Caspian, to Resht is 14 m. in a direct line, and is accomplished in an open boat, or (since 1892), depth of water permitting, in a small steamboat to Pir-i-Bazar and thence 6 m. on a good road by carriage. Resht has a population of 60,000 and is the residence of English, Russian, French and Turkish consuls and the seat of the governor-general of the province of Gilan. The town is situated in low, malarious ground, and was originally buried in jungle, but the Russians during their occupation of the place in 1723-34 cleared much timber and jungle and made some open spaces. The houses are red-tiled and raised from the ground, with broad verandahs and overhanging eaves. Conflagrations are frequent, particularly in the months of January and December, when hot, dry winds resembling the Fdhn of the Alps come down from the snow-capped Elburz. A good carriage road constructed and worked by a Russian company and opened to traffic in 1899 connects Resht with Teheran via Kazvin.
The value of trade probably exceeds 2,000,000, principal exports being rice, raw silk, dry fruit, fish, sheep and cattle, wool and cotton, and cocoons, the principal imports sugar, cotton goods, silkworm "seed" or eggs (70,160 worth in 1906-7), petroleum, glass and china., The trade in dried silkworm cocoons has increased remarkably since 1893, when only 76,150 lb valued at 6475 were exported; during the year 1906-7 ending 10th March, 2,717,540 lb valued at 238,000 were exported. There are telegraph and post offices and branches of the Imperial Bank of Persia and Banque d'Escompte.
ENZELI, the port of Resht in the S.E. corner of the Caspian, is 14 m. N. of Resht, in 37° 2 9 ' N., 49° 28' E. Pop. 4000. Between it and other ports in the Caspian communication is maintained by the mail-steamers of the Caucasus and Mercury Steam Navigation Company and many vessels of commercial firms with head offices chiefly at Baku. (A. H.-S.)
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