Situated in the central Iran on the edge of the Kavir Desert, the city of Qom as the capital of Qom Province is one of the holiest cities in Iran and the Middle East and is entrenched in centuries of history since archeological discoveries indicate it was a residential area from the 5th millennium BCE.
The city is famous for the shrine of Fatima Masumeh (AS), Imam Reza’s sister, the eighth Shia Imam which is a highly respected shrine, making it a significant destination for pilgrimage along with its fine interior designs introducing the splendid Islamic architecture to the world.
Outside the city, Jamkaran Mosque is reserved as a sacred and popular pilgrimage place particularly for Shia Muslims. Considered as one of the main centers of the Shiite Muslims, the city hosts the largest theological college in Iran and has been used for religious studies in Iran for long and the traditional bazaar and stalls around the Holy Shrine do a roaring business selling religious objects such as prayer-beads, prayer-rugs and small tablets of compressed earth (Mohr) used in Muslim prayers.
The city comprises mountainous areas, foothills, plains, beautiful caves such as Kahak as well as two large salt lakes, namely Hoz-e Soltan Lake in the north which is rich in natural spring water and Namak Lake in the east. The climate here varies between a desert and semi-desert climate. As it is located near an arid region, it experiences a dry climate with low humidity and scanty rainfall.
The main attraction for tourists, aside from decoration or architecture, lies in the behavior of the crowds of pilgrims for whom the journey is the life-time experience. Of the delicious local sweets of the city, pistachio-brittle toffee known as Sohan can be mentioned which is produced locally and is available in almost any main street of the town and is the main souvenir of the city.
The hand-woven carpets of the city are world-famous as they are the best and finest silk carpets. Likewise, there are lots of eatery places in Qom ranging from old style Persian restaurants with more authentic cultural atmosphere to international restaurants serving good quality foods.