City of Stars, Historical Capital of Qumis
The capital of Semnan Province, the city of Semnan is located south of the Alborz Mountain Range and north of the Great Salt Desert or Dasht-e Kavir. Semnan neighbors the city of Mahdishahr in the north, the city of Damghan in the east, the city of Sorkheh in the west and Dasht-e Kavir and Isfahan Province in the south. This city has dry weather but experiences all four seasons.
The history of Semnan dates back to ancient Iran when the city was part of the Median (678 -549 BC) empire. In the Parthian era (247 BC–224 CE) Semnan became part of Qumis Province (modern day Semnan Province). In Sassanid (226-651 CE) Iran, Semnan was the province that separated Arsacia (modern day Tehran Province) and Hyrcania (modern day Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan Provinces).
Some of Semnan’s famous historical and tourist attractions include Chehel Dokhtar Tower which was originally a Sassanid fire temple, Jame Mosque which was built in the 7th century, Pahneh Bathhouse which was built in the 14th century and is currently the location of the city’s Archeology and Anthropology Museum, and Soltani Mosque which was built during the Qajar era (1785-1925).
Semnan is a city with exceptional natural attractions. Many nature enthusiast visit the city during spring in order to fully appreciate its beauty. Some of Semnan’s most notable natural attractions include Ezhdeha or Dragon Mountain, Semnan Thermal Spring that is said to treat epilepsy, Parvar Protected Area and Arvaneh Caves.
In addition to the Persian language, the people of Semana speak in a dialect known as Semnani, which has over 12,000 unique words.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Komaj – A traditional round cookie sprinkled with cinnamon powder and served with black tea.
- Carrot and Pistachio Stew- A sweet and sour stew made with chicken breast, pistachio slivers, chopped carrot, verjuice and saffron. This dish is served with white rice.
- Khalal Poplo or sliver rice- A white rice dish that is decorated with fried orange peel, carrot, pistachio and almond slivers, small meatballs, and saffron.