Damghan’s Cheshmeh-Ali to be ceded to private sector

January 11, 2023 - 18:47

TEHRAN – Cheshmeh-Ali, a popular tourist destination in the city of Damghan, north-central Semnan province, will be temporarily ceded to the private sector in order to receive further care and maintenance, a local tourism official has said.

The historical complex will be handed over to a private investor through a tender process in the near future, Mojtaba Akbarpur explained on Wednesday.

The complex is planned to be repurposed into a tourist complex after being fully restored, the official added.

Over the past couple of years, tens of historical places and monuments have been temporarily ceded to the private sector under the supervision of the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places.

Affiliated with the tourism ministry, the Fund is in charge of concession with the aim of historical sites receiving better maintenance by repurposing them into thriving boutique hotels, eco-lodges, traditional restaurants, or other profitable niches.

The country boasts hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The main population centers of Semnan province lie along the ancient Silk Road (and modern-day Imam Reza Expressway), linking Rey (Tehran) with Khorasan (Mashhad). While few visitors spend much time in the area, driving through you can easily seek out several well-preserved caravanserais (notably Dehnamak and Ahowan), cisterns (the Cafe Abenbar in Garmsar is a special treat), and ruined mud citadels (Padeh is lumpy but fascinating). The large, bustling cities of Semnan, Damghan, and Shahrud (Bastam) all have a small selection of historic buildings and Semnan has a fine old covered bazaar.


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