Azerbaijan comprises three provinces which are part of the Islamic
Republic of Iran: Eastern Azerbaijan, with its capital in Tabriz, Western
Azerbaijan, with its capital in Uromiyeh,
and Ardebil, whose capital is also
called Ardebil. A forth Iranian province Zanjan,
with the capital in the city of the same name, also has a dominant Azeri
population and there are important Azeri communities in and around Hamadan,
in Tehran, around Qom and Saveh, in the Khorasan province, and are scattered
throughout many other parts of Iran.
is built at an altitude of 1,400 meters in a valley to the north of the
beautiful Mount Sahand (3,707). The valley opens out into a plain that
slopes down gently to the northern end of Lake Orumieh, about 60 km to
the west. With a population of 1.2 million, Tabriz is Iran's fourth largest
city and second trade and industry centre. The opening of an Azeri consulate
has been agreed between the Iranian and Azeri governments.
Aji Chai is the major river of the city, formed by merging of three
smaller rivers of Ab Nahand, Guri Chai, and Ojan Chai which all originate
from the Sabalan Mountain range and heights in the south-eastern part of
the town. The Aji Chai and other streams join the lake of Orumieh after
passing through the valleys between the Sorkhband and Yekkeh Chin mountain
north of Tabriz and Osku district. Mehran Rud also called Liqvan rud originates
from the peaks between Karim and Sultan Mountains overlooking the Liqvan
village near the beautiful Esparakhoon and Qeshloq villages.
Tabriz has mild Summers which makes this
city an ideal Summer vacation spot for the Iranians from the more Southern
areas of the country. The Winters are cold, the temperature drops often
below -20 C, and the snow covered mountains of Tabriz are perfect
for the lovers of Winter sports. Tabriz has a continental type of climate
with low humidity of average annual rainfall of 289 mm.
Tabriz has been vulnerable to earthquakes
throughout its long history, one of which nearly destroyed the city completely
in 858. After being rebuilt, it was again devastated in 1041, when more
than 40.000 people lost their lives.
city is located a mere 160 km form the Iran-Nakhchivan border of Jolfa,
and about 650 km N-W of Tehran. The city's airport is served by Iran Air
services, with flights to Tehran, Mashhad, Rasht, Orumiyeh, Pars Abad (Moghan)
and Kish Island. Tabriz is also connected to Tehran via railway and highway
and is very close to the border city of Djolfa. Situated on the Iran-Europe
railway and highway, and bordering three neighbouring countries is make
Tabriz an important strategic point.
There are many factories and large industrial
sites in Tabriz which have changed it into one of the industrial centers
in Iran. Among the most important: tractors, machinery and
ball-bearing manufacturing factories, a refinery and several carpet weaving
city has a long and turbulent history: although the early history of Tabriz
is shrouded in legend and mystery, the town's origin is believed to date
back to distant antiquity, perhaps even before the Sassanian era (224-651AD).
The oldest stone tablet with a reference to Tabriz is that of Sargon
the second, the Assyrian King. The tablet refers to a place called Tauri
Castle and Tarmkis. The historians believe this castle was situated on
the site of the present day Tabriz.
It was the capital of Azerbaijan in the
3rd century AD and again under the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty (1256 - 1353),
although for some time Maragheh supplanted it. During the reign of
Aqa Khan of the Ilkhanids, as well as under the reign of Ghazan Khan, Tabriz
reached the peak of glory and importance. Many great artists and philosophers
from all over the world travelled to Tabriz.
1392, after the end of Mongol rule, the town was sacked by Tamerlane.
It was soon restored under the Turkman tribe of the Qara Qoyunlu, who established
a short-lived local dynasty. Under the Safavids it rose from regional
to national capital for a short period, but the second of the Safavid kings,
Shah Tahmasb, moved the capital to Qazvin because of the vulnerability
of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks. The town then went into a period of decline,
fought over by the Persians, Ottomans and Russians and struck by earthquake
Tabriz was the residence of the crown prince
under the Qajar kings, but the town did not return to prosperity until
the second half of the 19th century.
In the second Irano-Russian War the city
was occupied by the Tzar's troops. However, it was returned to Iran
following the signing of Turkmanchai Treaty, a peace and trade settlement
that ended the Irano-Russian War of 1826-1828.
The XIX century was also marked by the
shah's repression of the Babism faith, with the execution of its founder
- Mirza Ali Muhammad of Shiraz, alias the "Bab" (door). This event made
Tabriz a fulcrum place for the Baha'i religion, that derived from Babism
and has at its centre the Bab's teachings. (The Bab's remains now rest
in Haifa, on a shrine on mount Carmel).
The greatest boost to Tabriz came with
the opening up of Iran to the West at the turn of the XX century, when
it became the main staging post between the interior of Iran and the Black
Sea and, for a short time, the economic capital. In 1908 it was the
centre of a revolt against Mohammad Ali Shah, which was only put down with
the intervention of the Russians.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution originated
in Tabriz and culminated during the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah of Qajar
dynasty (1779-1925). Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan were the two most
prominent leading figures behind the movement.
Tabriz was occupied by Russians several
times in the first half of the XX century, including most of both world
wars. In the aftermath of the W.W.II Tabriz became briefly a capital again,
under Russian control it was the centre of the Independent Azeri
state declared by Jafar Pishevary, but suppressed by Iran after the Russians
removed their troops. A railway line to the border at Jolfa, built by the
Russians, was of little importance until recently, but it has increased
in significance as a result of Iran's friendlier relations with its northern
With such a rich history, Tabriz used to
house many historical monuments. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed
in repeated invasions and attacks, negligence of the ruling governments,
as well natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. What remains
now mostly dates back to the Ilkhanids, the Safavids, and the Qajars. Some
of the monuments are unrivalled masterpieces of architecture.
Some of the places in Tabriz
that you should not miss:
sources: Iran today, A Travel
Guide to Iran, Aturpat, Netiran,Osinga, Persia.org
Or Citadel Of Tabriz: 'Ark-e
Tabriz' in Persian (also called Masjid-e Alishah, Arg-e Alishah)
is the impressive remainder of a great and imposing building in the town.
The Arg, a huge and crumbling brick citadel, is a notable landmark that
was built in the early 14th century on the site of a massive mosque which
collapsed over 500 years ago, and which must been one of the largest ever
constructed. Inside the Citadel there is nothing except two arches
and an indication of the position of the mehrab; Ali Shah’s court has been
covered with ignoble buildings, the sanctuary walls have been rebuilt and
propped up, and it is hard to believe that any part of this place was ever
House: located next to the Tabriz grand bazaar, on Motahari
av. During the years which led to the Constitutional Revolution
and afterwards, the house was used as the gathering place of the leaders,
activists, and the sympathizers of the movement, among them Sattar Khan,
Baqer Khan, Seqatoleslam and Haji Mirza Aqa Farshi. The two-story building
was constructed in 1868 by Haj Vali Me’mar-e Tabrizi. It has numerous rooms
and halls. The most beautiful part of the house is a skylight and a corridor
decorated with colourful glasses and mirrors.
Mosque: (or Masjid-e Kabud) on the north side of town, is a
15th-century structure destroyed partially by one of Tabriz's recurrent
earthquakes. The entrance portal with its two minarets appears to have
been connected with the main prayer hall (Shabestan) under the largest
cupola of the mosque, by means of vaulted corridor. On both sides
along the corridor, there stand the remains of the chambers with vaulted
roofs. The walls of the mosque have been riveted with marble slabs
and decorated with superb mosaic tiles. Some of the blue mosaics
in the mosque's portal are heavily damaged and half missing.
Ostad and Shagerd
mosque, including a theological school dates back to 1340, and was
founded by Amir Sheikh Hassan Kushak. It was destroyed and renovated during
the Qajar dynasty.
King Hassan Mosque:
Hassan Padeshah) it was built in the 15th century and is located beside
the Saheb-Abad square, the adjacent theological school was partially demolished
it is located on the northern part of the main bazaar. The construction
of the mosque was completed in 1657 at the time of Safavid king, Shah Abbas
II. The monument has a sanctuary with columns and a number of cells.
Also called the National Park, the garden is one of the main recreation
centres of the city and covers an area of 53,000 square meters. It
was built some 70 years ago and has many huge pools surrounded by green
Goli / Shah-Goli: a pleasant hillside garden and park
around an artificial lake to the area of 54,675 square meters. El
Goli, only 4 km south of downstream Tabriz, is so lovely a place that it
deserves an illustration. It is a popular weekend resort for the
locals (there is a hotel at El Goli).
A hill in the eastern side of the park leads down to the pool with steps,
and a fountain from top of the hill flows down to the pool. In the
center of the pool there is a grand hexagonal building. The pool
itself is said to have been built during the reign of Aq Qoyunlu kings.
However, it was extended by the Safavids.
Museum: inaugurated in 1962, is on Khomeini av.
(next to the Blue Mosque). With an area of 300 square meters, it
consists of three main halls in which historical articles, costumes of
various tribes of Iran, works of renowned calligraphers, as well as a collection
of pictures, tracts, declarations, documents, and personal articles of
the leaders of the Constitutional Revolution are on display.
in the centre of Tabriz, one is reminded very forcibly that it is a commercial
city: one cannot miss its very large and 15th-century covered bazaar. It
is already much diminished in its variety of goods, but still a great place
for getting hopelessly lost amid its dusty architectural splendours. Its
architectural style, numerous caravanserais, mosques, and schools have
added further beauty and glory to this complex. Exact information on the
history and origin of the bazaar is not available; however, historical
buildings such as the Jam’s Mosque, Talebieh School, and Sadeqieh School
indicate that the complex is one of the oldest structures of the city.
The present structure of bazaar dates back to the closing years of the
Zand dynasty (1750-1779 AD).
From the earliest days of Christianity there has been a sizable Armenian
community in Tabriz, and the city boasts a number of churches, including
one mentioned by Marco Polo on his travels. Nowadays, Tabriz has
six churches, the most important of which are: Saint Serkis Church, located
in Armenian quarter of Tabriz, Baron Avak, which was renovated in 1845;
probably the most interesting and the oldest but substantially rebuilt
Church of St. Mary (Kelesa-ye Maryam-e Moghaddas) which was completed in
1785, on the corner of North Shari-ati av. and Jomhuri av.; Able Mary Church
which was built in 1910 and is on Miar Miar quarter of Tabriz.
Mausoleum - Maqbaratoshoara: interesting
modern architecture using concrete - a Trabizi pantheon for the local intelligentsia,
in particular poets. Great attention is dedicated to Iranian Azeri poet
Mohammad-Hossein Shahriar, famous for his Azeri work 'Heydar Babaya Salam'
and a supporter of the Islamic regime.
elegant residence built at the end of Zandiyeh dynasty. Some parts of it
the survived earthquake in Tabriz in 1780 (lunar year of 1194).
This building contains a summer house
and winter house.
Amir Nezam House:
the Qajar Museum of Tabriz - historical building in the Shesh-gelan district,
one of the oldest quarters of the city. The edifice covers an area of 1200
square metres. Built in the period of the Crown Prince Abbas Mirza (1789-1833).
Between 1993-2006 it was subject to an extensive renovation process and
has been granted the National Heritage status.
Village: known as the Iranian Cappadocia,
it is located in a cold mountainous area at 50 kms south of Tabriz and
on the slopes of Sahand Mountain. Kandovan's claim to fame results
from its cone shaped mountains with troglodyte homes. It is very cold for
about 9 months of the year, however the caves make very energy efficient
homes, with an almost stable temperature year round. The area is reputed
to have the cleanest air in the country.
Thermal Springs: There are so
many thermal springs in Tabriz Township which are used as a remedy by many
people, such as: Sofiyan, Kandovan, and Bostan Abad.
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