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Set at the northern edge of the Alborz, and at the southern frontier of the north-eastern steppe, Gorgan (formerly known as Astar Abad) has, for much of its long story, been the last secure outpost of Persian civilization. Settled since ancient times, it became an important caravan post and the main market town for the nomadic Turkmans, a meeting point of two diametrically opposed ways of life during the recent decades. But because of its proximity to the steppes, it was also raided on numerous occasions by the nomads, particularly in the 19th century.

Today, Gorgan is a busy provincial capital with a lively and colorful bazaar.


Sights to See

  • Friday Mosque and Its Minaret
    In the Center of Gorgan, in the bazaar, is the Friday Mosque (Masjed-e Jom`e), which was originally built during the Seljuk period, rebuilt several times since then, and recently restored.


  • Gorgan Museum
    The handsome building of Gorgan Museum in Shohada Avenue, located to the west of the cemetery, was completed in 1976.


  • Boq`e Imamzadeh Nur
    Also known as Imamzadeh Es-haq and located approximately 200 m to the west of the Friday Mosque, this Imamzadeh is a polygonal brick structure of the 15th century, as its brick decorations, the plaster ornaments of the mihrab (altar), the historic door and the precious wooden tomb-box suggest.



Excursions around Gorgan

  • Bandar-e Turkaman
    For a long time it was a major channel of trade with Russia, despite the attentions of Turkman pirates who were a scourge to shipping on these shores until the 19th century.
    The region is more famous as the caviar production center of Iran. In 1997, almost 50% of the country`s caviar was caught from Bandar-e Turkaman.

Bandar-e Turkaman - Kurdkoy Road




  • Radekan Tower
    Bearing close resemblance to the huge structure of Gonbad-e Qabus tomb tower in terms of construction and architectural technique, this 35-m high brick tomb tower in the vicinity of a village also called Radekan is located within a distance of 35 km to the south of Kurd Kuy and 54 km to the south of Gorgan.


  • Turang Tappeh
    Turang Tappeh is situated some 22 km to the northeast of Gorgan. This to gether with two other mounds (Shah Tappeh and Tappeh Hissar), is among the most ancient historic sites of the area excavated first in 1841 by Iranians and then in 1931 by an American Archeological Expedition from the University of Pennsylvania.


  • Sadd-e Eskandar
    The remains of a historical wall called Sadd-e Eskandar (Alexander`s Wall, Qizil Alang or Red Wall) streching more than 160 km to within about 5 km of the sea. probably built by the Sassanian kings of Persia in the 6th century (and therefore not by Alexander the Great) as a bulwark to protect the Plain against warring tribes to the north, this equivalent of Hadrian`s Wall has crumbled or been cannibalized for building materials along most of its length.


  • Nahar Khoran
    One of the nicest spots in the country is the pack of forest known as Nahar Khoran, only about 7 km south of Gorgan. Though there are some holidays cabins and the requisite ugly children`s playground nearby, the concrete mixers and bulldozers that have ploughed through the rest of the Caspian region have (so far) left this part of Iran almost pristine. There are plenty of hiking trails through dense forest which are easy to find and just begging to be explored.



  • Imamzadeh Rushan Abad
    Located on the road from Gorgan to Kurd Kuy, the Imamzadeh Rushan Abad is situated in the center of a cemetery and a garden thick with trees, and dates back to the 15th century AD.


  • Golestan National Park
    This is the first park in Iran that was named as the National Park; it occupies a mountainous area between the three provinces of Golestan, Korasan and Semnan.
    The Park, opened in 1957, covers some 92,000 hectares and is one of the most interesting in the country from the point of view of wildlife and plants.

Urial Sheep - Golestan National Park


  • Gorgan Museum of Natural History
    Situated in Golestan National Park, it is a single-story building.
    Taxidermic samples of various species of rare animals and insects from the region are exhibited here.


  • Gonbad-e Qabus
    The tower known as the Gonbad-e Qabus (the Dome of Qabus, or Mil-e Gonbad, as the tower is known locally) inside a large, beautiful, and modern park, is situated in the north-eastern Iran. This tomb tower was built at the orders of Shams ol-Ma`ali Qabus ibn-e Woshmguir Al-e Ziyar, one of the Ziyarid rulers of Tabarestan (what is now occupied by the provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran), in early years of the 11th century in order to house his remains and last forever.