Museum of the Holy Sanctuary
Located in Astaneh Square next to the Holy Sanctuary of Hazrat-e Ma'sumeh, originally established in 1935 and relocated to the present premises in 1982, the museum consists of two large halls with walls decorated with exquisite mosaic tile work (from 13th century AD), and houses a variety of highly valuable Korans, manuscripts, ancient ware, textiles, brocades, etc. Collection of rugs and Joshaghan carpets dedicated by the Safavid kings, can be seen here.
Visiting hours: Every day from 08:00 to 12 AM and 15-00 to 17.00 PM. Tel: (0251) 32333.
Tehran's largest neighbor with an area of 10, 743 square km on a low plain and 930 meters above sea level, Qum Province borders on Tehran and Semnan provinces to the north, Esfahan to the south, and Central Province to the East. On route to Esfahan, Kashan, Yazd, and Kerman by train or bus (on Tehran-Qum highway), Qum as the capital of the province has easy access to Saveh and Tafresh to the northwest; Mahallat and Delijan to the southwest, and Kavir and Salt Lake to the east. Its population according to the latest census amounts to more than 1,200,000 inhabitants. It can be conveniently visited in a day from Tehran.
With an average annual rainfall of 14 mm according to the meteorological reports of the last 20 years, it lies in a hot sandy hollow between the mountains of Kashan and the Great Salt Desert, and thus, it belongs in climate, scenery and architecture to the desert rather than to the Alborz region; here you see the first bad- girs (wind-towers) and aab-anbaars (water-storage buildings), and a few kilometers further on the first palm trees.
Qum has always been a leading center of Shi'ism. The late Imam Khomeini and countless other religious figures studied and thought theology here, and the town played a particularly strong role in the anti-Shah movement, as well as throughout the Islamic Revolution. It is a major pilgrimage site (with more than 300 Imamzadehs buried therein), and aspirant mullahs come here from all over Iran and other countries of the world for training in numerous seminaries of Howzeh-ye Elmieh, consisting of many mosques and schools.
The most famous seminaries of Qum are:
I. Madraseh Feizieh, originally built about 600 years ago. This school was twice attacked by the Shah's secret police during the last thirty five years, as a result of which many religious students and teachers were either arrested and imprisoned or killed.
2. Madraseh Hojjatieh, used as a boarding school mainly for foreign students.
3. Madraseh Oar osh-Shafa, originally built during the Qajar period it was totally demolished and reconstructed after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
4. Madraseh Ma'sumieh, the construction works of which was completed in 1989, and started admitting students from the same year.