Semnan Province attractions

Architecture in Shahrud

Bezayit Bastami Complex

At the heart of ancient Bastam, now a village-suburb of Shahrud (around 7km from centre), is a collection of mostly 13th-century historical buildings. The main group is set around the relatively simple grave of Baya…
Gardens in Damghan

Cheshmeh Ali

Very popular as a picnic place in summer, Cheshmeh Ali's centrepiece is a pair of Qajar-era pavilions facing each other across a reflecting pool. It's almost worth the savari fare for the beauty of the 30km drive fr…
Bazaar in Semnan

Semnan Bazaar

Semnan's cross-shaped covered-bazaar marks the old heart of the city. While far less extensive than the great bazaars of Kerman or Tabriz, there is plenty of 19th-century vaulting and the north-south section (bisect…
Hot Springs in Semnan Province

Badab-e Surt

Badab-e Surt is a series of terraced travertine (limestone) pools – smaller than those at Turkey's Pamukkale, but more colourful and serenely isolated within a mountain-ringed valley, 23km east of the Damghan–Sari r…
Village in Semnan Province

Dehnamak Village

Once the fourth stop on the ancient Rey–Khorasan caravan route, Dehnamak is most interesting for its recently restored Safavid-era caravanserai, now a hotel and restaurant. The nearby village also has a scattering o…
Mausoleum in Damghan

Imamzadeh Jafar

Imamzadeh Jafar is a splendid, ancient pale-brick building with round side-towers, arched false-windows and a five-level dome culminating in a brick cone. It looks like a North African castle right off a movie set. …
Historic Site in Damghan

Tarikhuneh Mosque

This unique, partly ruined mud-brick structure has 18 extraordinarily sturdy rear columns that date from about AD 760 – reputedly making this the second-oldest mosque in Iran (though it may have started life as a Zo…
Village in Semnan Province

Padeh Village

Though not one of Semnan's classic caravanserai villages, Padeh's sizeable shattered citadel, dating back at least 1500 years, has been so eroded by water and weather that it seems to be an almost abstract sculpture…
Mosque in Semnan

Masjed-e Jameh

The extraordinarily high, if austere, west iwan of the Masjed-e Jameh dates from a 1424 rebuild, rising above a bare-brick octagonal prayer hall. But the mosque’s most lovable feature is older: the gorgeous, 32m-tal…
Notable Building in Semnan Province

Ahowan Caravanserais

Most motorists whizz by, oblivious of the two large, sturdy caravanserais stranded between the carriageways of the Mashhad Expressway, 42km east of Semnan. Especially impressive is the more easterly of the two, whic…