Historical bridge, madrasa, fortress added to Iran national heritage list

September 7, 2021 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Seven historical structures including a bridge, madrasa, and a fortress, situated in Iran’s Semnan province, have recently been added to the national list for cultural heritage.

Two hammams (public bathhouses), a kiln, and an oil workshop are other properties added to the prestigious list in a decree issued to the governor-general of the north-central province by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, CHTN reported on Monday.

Experts say hammams in Iran were not only places for bathing and cleaning up. They had a social concept for people who gathered at these places weekly. It was a place where people talked with each other about their daily life and shared humor and news. There are still functional bathhouses in various Iranian cities but they do not have their social function anymore since most people have bathrooms in their homes due to the modern lifestyle.

Semnan is well placed to give swift access to both the Alborz Mountains and the vast Dasht-e Kavir desert, while still being an easy some 200km drive by expressway from Tehran. Since Sassanian times it has been a key stop on the Silk Road, attracting wealth and regular destruction in equal measure.