Semnan is the capital of Semnan province in Iran near Tehran.
Name: In Old Persian Koomes. Situation and access: Provincial Capital. Altitude 1100 meters, 218 km to S-W of Tehran, 63 km to the S-W of Damghan by a good asphalt road.
Three to four hours by motorcar on an asphalt road will get you from Tehran to Semnan. Semnan has three cities named Shahrood, Damghan and Garmsar. It is bounded on the west by Ray and Tehran cities, on the east by Damghan, on the north by Gorgan and Sari cities and on the south by central Desert. It is said that Semnan was of the main provinces of ancient Iran. Its inhabitants speak in a specific language which seems to be one of the ancient Persian dialects. The Seljukian Minarret with an epitaph in Koofi script on it and the Friday Mosque beside the Minarret are of the valuable monuments of Semnan.
Jami' Mosque, 11th century was probably built in the first half of the eleventh century, many of the beautiful brick patterns on the minaret are similar to those seen in the monuments at Damghan. The balcony rests on a projecting series of stalacties. Originally the minaret may have been freestandin
Shahrood, which is 400 kms far from Tehran, is aboundant in fertile lands and orchards. The ancient city of Bastam, located 3 kms north-east of Shahrood, includes the Tomb of Bayazid Bastami. Damghan city is the other city of Semnan Province with a 6000-years old history. The Mausoleum of Pir-e-Alamdar and the Minarret of Tari-Khaneh Mosque can be named of its famous monuments.
Damghan, Tari, Khana Minaret, 8th century. This is the oldest extant mosque in Iran and although in the simple Arab plan it retains many elements recalling Iran's pre-Islamic heritage. The massive piers and the shape of the arches follow Sasanian prototypes. Although its foundation dates from the eighth century and it has been restored on several occasions, the mosque will keeps its originial plan and impressive simplicity.