During the 20th century, until the mid-70s, Gilan and the Rasht region was the third-ranking industrial city in Iran by number of workers and per capital productivity.
It lost its cultural and industrial status to a large extent after the 1970s.
The city has a history that goes back to the 13th century but its modern history dates back to the Safavid era during which Rasht was a major silk trade center with numerous textile workshops.
Rasht was first mentioned in historical documents in 682 CE, but it is certainly older than this and appears on the Peutinger Map of late antiquity.
First school for girls and first fire station in Iran were also built in Rasht City.The name Rasht comes most plausibly from the verb reshtan, weaving.Rasht has, along with regions around Tabriz and Tehran, one of the earliest industry plants during the last quarter of the 19th century, prominently in fields such as fishing, caviar production, the Caspian sea oil pipeline construction and textiles.Furthermore, Nasim e Shomal as the first modern newspaper of Iran after the constitutional revolution has been published in Rasht, but later moved its headquarters to Qazvin.First Public Library of Iran was built in Rasht City.