Historical properties in Semnan to be ceded to private sector

May 11, 2022 - 20:30

TEHRAN –Four historical places and monuments across north-central Semnan province will be temporarily ceded to the private sector in order to receive further care and maintenance, the provincial tourism chief has said. 

The historical properties are to be found profitable for the private investors as they are planned to be repurposed into a café museum, tourist complexes, and accommodation centers, Amir Karamzadeh mentioned on Tuesday. 

Once the properties are completely restored, they can be used by the private sector, 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.