Geographical Position, Semnan  

The province of Semnan covers an area of 96,816 square kilometers, to the east of which is Khorassan province, to the north are the provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran, to the west stand the provinces of Tehran and Qom, and to its south is Esfahan province. The various townships of the said province are, Semnan, Damqan, Shahrood and Garmsar. In the year 1996, the province had a population of about 501,000 of which 68.3 % were in urban areas, and 31.7 were rural dwellers. In 1996, Semnan cSemnan Mapity (the capital of the province) had a population of 91,000, and the city of Shahrood, which accounts for being the largest city of this province, had a population of 105,000.

Semnan province is located in the southern skirts of the Alborz Mountain Ranges, with a downward gradient from north to south, ending at the deserted plain. The said province is divided into two,i.e., a mountainous region and the plains at the foot of the mountains. The former offers a scope for recreational activities as well as being a source for minerals. Whereas, the latter encompasses ancient cities of Iran.

Climate, Semnan  

The mountainous region of the province experiences a cold climate, whereas the mountain skirts and around the fringes of the desert are temperate and warm respectively. The city of Damqan, has cold weather in winter with moderate summers, being influenced by the strong northern rain bearing winds from Golestan and Mazandaran regions. The city of Semnan experiences warm summers and moderate winters, Shahrood in its northern sector proves to be cold and in the central and southern regions temperate, and warm respectively. Furthermore, the city of Garmsar has extremely hot summers with comparatively cold, rainy winters, as this city is located in a dry and desert-like region.

History and Culture, Semnan  

Semnan province can be said to be divided into sixteen sectors from the olden days dating to the time of Avesta. During the Medes and Achaemenian periods, it accounted for being as one of the largest provinces of the Parthians. Likewise, this region held its importance during the Sassanide period, and thence in the post Islamic era was part of the historical region of Gomess or 'Komesh'. Needless to say, this province was witness to wars, defeats and victories in the past. The 'Silk Road' paved its way from the midst of this region.

Besides which a number of historical relics such as, palaces, buildings, castles, ancient inns or 'caravansaries', water reservoirs, towers, rampart and… have created an imprint here. To state a few examples such as, the palaces of Aqa Mohammad Khan and Fathali Shah in Damqan, the palaces of Shah Abbas, Einol Rashid and the Haramsara or special apartments for the women (of the palace) of Soltani in Garmsar. Edifices belonging to the daughters of Naseredin Shah in Damqan, the castles of Saroo, Kushmoqan and Pachenar in Semnan, the castles of Lasjerd and Benkooh in Garmsar and ... are interesting historical relics of the province.

In addition to the above , there are various religious and sacred places and mosques such as, the Soltani Mosque, the Jame' Mosque, the Tarikhaneh Mosque of Damqan, the Jame' Mosque of Bastam and ... are such examples. 

Semnan province is one of the most attractive regions from the aspect of natural beauty. These picturesque scenes can be viewed alongside the river banks, natural and mineral springs, recreational areas, forests, open spaces, protected areas, summits and peaks, caves, and special desert features account for the numerous natural attractions of the region.  

Moreover, the province encompasses various cultural traditions and rituals. These can be related to national or religious festivities, marriage ceremonies and both public and private mourning ceremonies including religious rituals, which hold their own and differ from other parts. This province can boast of scholars and poets such as, Manoochehri Damqani, Ebne-Yameen Forumadi, Forouqi Bastami, Yaqma'ie Jandaqi, and Zowqi Bastami. Regarding scholars and Gnostics of this region, such personalities can be named as, Bayazid Bastami, Sheikh Abol Hassan Kherqani, Sheikh Allaoddoleh Semnani, Sheikh Sakak and Bibi Manjomeh Semnani are worth mentioning. 

As to the reputed contemporary personalities, Haj Ali Semnani, Feyz Semnani, Zabiollah Safa and Ali Mo'alem can be quoted as examples. One of the outstanding rituals of the region is the refraining from wearing black clothing during mourning ceremonies, thus revealing a basic revulsion towards the 'black flag' of the Abbasian dynasty.



Parthian Castle, Shahrood

Friday, 04 January 2008 12:58 administrator
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 This castle is located 6 km. from Shahrood and is related to the Parthians and the Sassanide periods (2000 years ago). Within this structure is the remnants of a furnace used for baking bricks and earthenware related to that time. This castle is rectangular in shape and on four sides of which, arched ceilings in a ruined condition can be noted.

Pachenar Castles, Semnan

Friday, 04 January 2008 12:57 administrator
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 These castles are located in the south west of the Abuzar Sq. of Semnan. Some believe the same to be related to the Taherian period. The western castle of Pachenar with an elevation of over 13 m. has two round watch towers to the radius of 2 m.

Mayan Village Castles, Damqan

Friday, 04 January 2008 12:57 administrator
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 These three castles are known as the "upper castle", "lower castle" and the "haram castle". These are located to the south of the said village. The upper castle dates back to 700 years. This square castle has 4 towers rising to the height of 8 m. Three of these towers are in a state of ruin.

Darol Hokumeh (Government Seat), Semnan

Friday, 04 January 2008 12:56 administrator
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 This structure is located in the Abuzar Qafari Sq. of Semnan and its date of construction is from the Qajar period (Fathali Shah). It has two narrow corridors connecting the structure to the outside. Besides which there is a large courtyard with various chambers surrounding it. It has a square and tall wind trapper (Badgir) reaching a height of 10 m. This helps in the lightening and circulation of air, thus cooling the area. 

Arg Southern Gate, Semnan

Friday, 04 January 2008 12:56 administrator
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 This is a relic from the reign of Naseredin Shah Qajar. The upper structure of the southern gateway is in two storeys, with chambers on two sides of the corridor on both floors.

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