Qom province (Persian: استان قم, [ɢom]) is located in the central part of Iran. Due to uneven land and different altitudes varying from 600 meters to 3330 meters. It is hot and dry in plains and cold in mountainous areas. The important attractions of this province are the Salt Lake, Hoz-e Soltān Lake, South Desert, Salt Hills, Mountains and Beautiful Gardens of the west and south west. The people of this province speak Persian. In the past, people were mostly involved in husbandry and handicraft activities, since the land of this province is barren with tough, hot, long summers. Carpet weaving, carpentry and inlay works are among the common handicraft activities. Nowadays, Qom is a religious city whose economy is based on religious tourism. Archeologists believe that civilization of this region dates back to the new Stone Age and many objects found in the Qomrūd area confirm and prove it.
The plains and the hills to the south west have been among the most important places where Aryan tribes lived. Castles, residential areas and graveyards of the Aryan tribes have been found in the province. The fact that many ancient temples, towers, castles, bridges and caravanserais have been discovered in the area indicates that Qom was an important part of Iran, especially during the Sassanid dynasty (224-651).
After Iranians adopted Islam, Qom flourished into an important city. One of the great grandchildren of Prophet Mohammad living in 8th century, Hazrat-e Ma'sūmeh (SA) is buried there. Therefore, little by little, Qom’s role changed into the spiritual capital of Iran.
Holy Shrine of Hazrat-e Ma'sūmeh (SA)
Hazrat-e Ma'sūmeh complex, one of the most important Islamic constructions of all time in Iran, is located at the city center. This structure is built on the tomb of Hazrat-e Ma'sūmeh, daughter of Imam Mūsā Kāzem (the Seventh Shiite Imam) and the sister of Imam Reza (the Eighth Shiite Imam). This structure includes the holy shrine, an old courtyard, a new courtyard and the tombs of the Safavid (224-651) and Qājār kings (1789-1925). The decorations of this structure are mirror-works, title-works, plaster-works, stone-works and calligraphy.
The Salt Lake
This lake which is the remaining part of a sea in the past is in fact a part of the salt desert in Iran and is located to the east of Qom. Only in winters there is water in the lake and all through the other times of the year the bed is covered with layers of salt.
Bazaar of Qom
This market consists of two old and new parts. The old part of the market is adjoining the Arabestān neighborhood which is the Islamic center of the city of Qom. Carpentry is the common activity of the old part and other kinds of businesses are active in the new part. These parts date back to the Seljuk dynasty (1037-1194). The internal decoration of this market is simple and is made of plaster and bricks.
The City of Qom
Qom is one of the most important religious and pilgrimage cities of Iranians and the Shiites of the world. Its role in political and national changes is another feature of the city. Religious ceremonies like feasts and mourning customs are held regularly every year. Iran’s most important seminary is also located in this city.
Masjed-e Jamkarān is located to the south east of Qom and hosts many Iranian and foreign pilgrims. The construction of the mosque dates back to the 8th century CE.