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.