Semnan, like many other Iranian cities, has gone through many ups and downs. In the passage of time it has witnessed many historic events, from the prehistoric times up to its invasion by Koorosh; from the capture by the Muslim army, to the invasion by the Turks of Ghaznavid; from the destructive invasion by the Mongols, to the deadly onslaught of Teymour Lang (Tamerlane) … It has also often experienced uprisings against oppressive rulers.Today, the city of Semnan covers an area of 19,991km, and is 1,130m above the sea level, at a distance of 228km from Tehran. Semnan region has produced a large number of poets and Sufis among who can be mentioned: the great Sufi Bayazide Bastami, Sheikh hasan Jori, Ebne Yamin and Abol Hasan Kharaghani. As bayazid Bastami, that great mystic, has said: “I went to the countryside and found it wet because of the rain of love that had poured on it. One’s foot would sink into love as it would into snow”.
Semnan province covers an area of 98,816 km2 and is the sixth largest province of the country. It lies on the southern slopes of Alborz Mountains, and is surrounded by the provinces of Mazandaran on the north, Isfahan on the south, Tehran on the west and Khorasan on the east. This province has capital by the same name and 18 large and small towns. Its other major towns are Damghan, Semnan, Garmsar and Shahrood. The population of this province is about 501,447. Semnan is one of Iran’s centers of animal husbandry, but because of climatic conditions, a large-scale agriculture has not developed in this province. Other active industries of this province are metal and non-metal minerals. The major mineral products are gypsum, coal, salt, silica, zinc, lead, potash, copper, sulphur and bauxite. Because Semnan borders on the Alborz range of mountains, the northern part of this province has cold winters and temperate summers, and the southern part, which is adjacent to the desert, Is arid. The outstanding feature of this province is that it extends from the Alborz range of mountains on the one extremity to the arid desert land on the other. The average temperature of the province is 21.3°C in spring, 29.8°C in summer, 14.5°C in autumn and 5.9°C in winter.
The average annual temperature of Semnan is 17.9°C; average humidity at 06:30 hours, 51% and at 12:30 hours, 35%; average annual rainfall is 140.3mm; maximum amount of rainfall on a single day, 41mm; average number of days per year with the temperature below 0°C, 49.6: average number of hours sunshine over the year is 2,992.7; maximum wind speed is 25 meters per second, bellowing in the direction of 270°C.
Major Geographic Features
The rivers of Semnan province do not have water in abundance, but naturally the amount of water in the rivers increases during the rainy seasons. The major rivers of this province are Shahrood, 66km long; Gol Roodbar, Kalshoor, Hable Rood and Ahmad Abad. Mineral water Springs of Semnan are considered to be useful in curing rheumastism, gout, etc… The major springs are: Shour spring in Ghamsar, Shour spring near the city of Sorkheh, Ab Morad in the north and Talkhab in the west of Semnan.
Semnan is rich in large expanses of greenery and forests, and there are a large number of natural and artificial forests and forest-parks in this province. The desert on the south has given the province a great deal of attraction. A very large number of people come to the province to study the biology of the desert, its flora and fauna, and the mode of living of the inhabitants of the desert who constantly struggle against harsh nature to survive. The Alborz range, stretching along the north of Semnan, has an average altitude of 3,220m, and separates Semnan from Mazandaran. It plays a great role in the water supply and climate of the region. Darband cave, situated in the north of the city of Semnan, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful caves of Iran. There are a number of stalactites and stalagmites in this cave which fascinate the viewer. This cave used to be inhabited by human beings in prehistoric times. Many ancient coins and earthenware objects have been found in this cave.
Museum of anthropology and monuments (Hazrati Bathhouse)
Shahrood Museum of Anthropology and Archeology
Name: Forty daughters’ Tower
Type: Tower and fire-temple. Description: This tower used to be fire-temple of Zoroastrians, and is said to have been built by forty nuns.
Type:Fair(Bazaar). Description: This brick-roofed fair is the major trade center of the city of Semnan.
Type: An ancient gate. Description: This beautiful monuments, which is the symbol of Semnan, has a remarkable façade depicting the battle between Rostam, the legendary Iranian hero, and the white demon.
Name: Imam Khomeini Mosque (Soltani Mosque)
Type: Mosque. Description: This mosque is located in the center of Semnan city, and is considered as one of the most prominent historic monuments. It possesses beautiful decorations.
Name: Tarik Khane Mosque
Type: Mosque. Description: This mosque is a combination of pre-Islamic architecture. In spite of being rather plain and simple, this monument has a special grandeur.
Name: House of Ebrahim Khan
Type: Building. Description: Two beautiful buildings with remarkable plasterwork situated 50km northwest of Semnan.
Type: Tower. Description: This Tower is located 45km southwest of Shahrood.
Name: Monastery of Bayazide Bastami
Type:Shrine. Description: The tomb of the famous Iranian Sufi, Bayazide Bastami.
Semnan: Lasgard castle, Sorkheh water reservoir, Nasar Bath, Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, Sheikh Hasan Joori’0.s tomb, Semnan fire-temple, Ebne Yamin’s tomb.
Shahrood: Party castle, Mayami castle, Flint Hill, Jame mosque, and tomb of Sheikh Hassan Kharaghani.0
Demghan: Mayan castle, Toghrol tower, Imam Zadeh Ebrahim’s tomb, Sobh fire-temple.
Garmsar: Ein-ol-Rashid palace, Haramsara palace, Deh namak caravanserai, Imam Zade aliakbar.
In this province, as in most other provinces of Iran, carpet weaving is the major handicraft. Other handicrafts are: felt making, jajim and shawl weaving, pottery and hand weaving of fine cloths.