Astarabad, enormous advantage for tourism development in Golestan

December 31, 2020 - 0:50

TEHRAN- The historical texture of Gorgan, the capital of northern Golestan province, previously known as Astarabad, is a valuable advantage and a great capacity for boosting tourism in the region, the governor-general of the province has announced. 

Tourism development in Astarabad, as one of the main tourist attractions of the province, could lay the ground for attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, Hadi Haqshenas said on Tuesday. 

Some of the historical monuments and aging buildings of the [ancient] city are being restored and some are planned to be repurposed to traditional accommodation centers to develop tourism infrastructure in the region, the official added. 

He also noted that the tourism sector of the province needs to be prepared for the post-coronavirus era, when there will be more tourists.  

Astarabad is situated along a small tributary of the Qareh River, 37 kilometers from the Caspian Sea. The city, which was prosperous during the Achaemenid era (c. 550 – 330 BC), for long suffered from inroads of the Turkmen tribes who occupied the plain north of the Qareh River and were subjected to incessant Qajar-Turkmen tribal conflicts in the 19th century according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. 

It was renamed Gorgan in the 1930s after being devastated by a massive earthquake. In modern times the plain around Gorgan has become a flourishing granary.

Golestan is reportedly embracing some 2,500 historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous.

Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The UNESCO comments that the tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.

ABU/AFM

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