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This new province was created as a result of the division of Mazandaran province into two smaller administrative units. It borders on Tukmanistan Republic to the north, Khorasan province to the east, Semnan province to the south, the Caspian Sea and the Guilan province to the west. Its climate varies greatly under the influence of a number of geographical factors such as the altitude, 1atitude, trend of Alborz mountains, distance from the sea, Turkman Sahra (Turkman Desert), Siberian plain to the north of Russia, local and regional. winds, displacement of northern and western air masses, as well as the dense forests. It receives maximum amount of precipitation during autumn and the least in summer months. Part of the province is occupied by inhospitable steppe and marshland. The Turkman Desert occupies the strip south of the Atrak River, which forms a part of the border with Turkmanistan Republic. In the northeast, the forest is less dense and the peaks are lower than further west. The more fertile Dasht-e Gorgan (Gorgan plain), between the Desert and the mountains, formed, until recently, the boundary between the settled and nomadic populations. The population is largely T, and the threat posed to the settled communities by this previously wild and nomadic tribe only receded at the end of the last century. Like Mazandaran, Golestan province and its surrounding areas were settled much earlier than Guilan, and the Gorgan plain in particular is believed to contain some of the most important archeological sites (older than 6000 years) in west Asia.

Gorgan Museum
The handsome building of Gorgan Museum in Shohada Avenue, located to the west of the cemetery, was completed in 1976. It c611?ists of two floors, a basement and a courtyard, being distinguished by the semi- circular vaults on its facade. The first floor of the museum is allocated to the exhibition of archaeological items excavated in Turang Tappeh, Nur (Behshahr), and Gorgan itself. The basement floor houses ethnological articles. Ancient tombstones and stone inscriptions are also exhibited here. A major part of the museum's collections range from the prehistory to the present.
Visiting hours: 08:00 am to 19:00 PM, except Fridays. Tel: (0371) 2453.

Gorgan Museum of Natural History

Situated in Golestan National Park, it is a single-story building opened to visitors in 1984 by the Environment Protection Department of Gonbad and Gorgan. Taxidermic samples of various sof rare animals and insects from the region are exhibited here.
Visit Hours: everyday 08:00 am to 18:00 PM. Tel: (0271) 8010.2609.

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. Its short and stocky brick minaret, decorated with brick designs, a Kuffic .inscription, and topped by a wooden roof, IS the only part of the structure remaining from that period. Inside, are an interesting tiled mihrab ( altar) dated 1108 AD and a 15th-century (i454 AD) wooden minbar (pulpit). Within the lecture-hall of the mosque, a number of historic firmans (decrees) have been carved on stone (the latest from 1804 and the earliest from 1502 AD). In a frame fixed" above the pulpit, there 1s an inscription iriThulth caHigraphy which bears the name of Abul Qassim Babar Bahadur..theTimurid General.

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. It consists of a simple circular brick shaft and a conical double- shell dome. On the shaft, a number of holes can be seen which were used for the erection of mason's scaffolding at the time of construction. According to two Kuffic inscriptions, its construction works commenced in 1016 AD by Abu Ja'far Mohammad ibn-e Wandarian Bavandi an army General from Tabarestan to be used as his tomb (and completed in 1020 AD by Ahmad ibn-e Omar) The portal overlooks a cliff. On top of the portal, there has been another Kuffic inscription that has been removed and taken abroad. Internally, it is looks very simple. It has some brick and plaster decorations as well. The tower is known as the Radekan West so that it is not confused with Radekan East tomb tower near Mashhad.

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 history, 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.

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