TABRIZ

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TABRIZ


Lying at an altitude of 1,340 meters above sea level, 619 km northwest of Tehran, the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960's and one of its former capitals ( with a population of 1,400,000 according to 1992 census), Tabriz is located in a valley to the north of the long ridge of Mount Sahand. The valley opens out into a plain that slopes down gently to the northern end of Lake Orumieh, 60 km to the west.
Provincial capital of Eastern Azarbaijan, it is 310 km southeast of Bazargan (Iran- Turkey frontier); 159 km south of Jolfa on Iran-Azarbaijan Republic border, and can be reached by good road; rail (742 km from Tehran, with connections to Europe and Moscow), and air from Tehran and other major cities.
The 160-km long Aji ,Chai or Talkheh River is the major river of the city, formed by merging of three smaller rivers, namely the Ab Nahand, Quri Chai, and Ojan Chai, all of which originate from the Sabalan Mountain and the heights in the southeastern part of the town. The river and streams join the Orumieh Lake after passing through the valleys between the Sorkhband and Yekkeh Chin mountain north of Tabriz and Osku district. Mehran River or Maidan Chai, also called Liqvan River, originates from the peaks between Karim and Sultan mountains overlooking the Liqvan village (a: major center of cheese production in Iran) near Esparakhoun and Qeshlaq.

 

By virtue of its situation, Tabriz has an agreeable summer climate, but the cold in winter is severe. Altogether, it has a continental climate with row humidity. The average annual rainfall is 288 mm.
Its worst natural disadvantage, however, is its vulnerability to earthquake,s, one of which utterly destroyed the city in 858. Rebuilt in a minor key, it was again devastated in 104 I, when more than 40,000 people lost their lives.
The town has along and checkered history: Although the early history of Tabriz is shrouded in legend and mystery, the town's origins are believed to date back" to distant antiquity, perhaps even before the Sassanian era (224-651 AD). The oldest stone tablet with a reference to Tabriz is that of Sargon II, the Assyrian King. The tablet referrers to a place called Tauri Castle and Tarmkis. The historians believe that this castle was situated on the site of the present Tabriz.

 It was the capital of Azarbin the 3rd century AD and again under the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-13 53), 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 1 glory and Impotance. Many great artists and philosophers from allover the world  traveled to Tabriz. During this same period 1 Khajeh Rashid od-Din Fazlollah, the i..: learned historian and Minister of Ghazan , Khan, built the famous Rob'e Rashidi center.
In 1392, after the end of Mongol rule, the town was sacked by Tamerlane. It was soon restored under the Turkman tribe of r 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 Iranians, Ottomans and Russians and struck by earthquake and disease.

Tabriz was the residence of the crown prince under the Qajar kings, themselves of Turkish stock, but the town did not return to prosperity until the second half of the 19th century .The greatest boost to Tabriz came with the opening up of Persia to the West at the turn of this 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 center of a revolt against Mohammad Ali Shah, which was only put down with the brutal intervention of the Russians.
In the second Irano-Russian War the city was occupied by the Czar 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 Iranian Constitutional Revolution originated in Tabriz and culminated during the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah of Qajar dynasty (1779-1925). Sat tar 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 this century, including most of both world wars. A railway line to the border at Jolfa, built by the expansionist Russians, was of little importance until recently, but it has increased in significance in the '90s as a result of Iran's friendlier relations with its northern neighbors.
With a very rich history, Tabriz used to house many historical monuments. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed in repeated invasions and attacks of foreign forces, 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 unrivaled masterpieces of architecture.
The Shahrdari Square is the center of the town, on the south-west of which stands the imposing edifice of Municipality. The railway station (5 km from the center of the town) is at the western edge of the town. The Quri Chai river runs through Tabriz, and most places of interest to the visitor are to the south of this river and alone or north of Imam Khomeini Avenue.

Constitutional House
The edifice is located next to the Tabriz grand bazaar, on Motahari Ave. 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, Seqat ol-Eslam and Haji Mirza AqaFarshi.
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 colorful glasses and mirrors.

Other Places of Interest
Other buildings and places of interest in and around Tabriz are: the Poets' Mausoleum; the Ostad Shagird Mosque (mid 14thcentury) on Ferdowsi Ave, built in 1332 AD by Amir Hossein Chupani known as Ala od-Din; the Hojjat al-l slam Mosque (an old building which has been much restored); the Mausoleum of Seyed Hamza; the Shrine of Ain Ali (situated on the summit of a hill to the east of the city); the Municipality Building (a modern building which stands on the site of the former Ali Qapu and the Shams ol-lmara to the southwest of Shahrdari Square); Aji Chai Bridge; Sangui Bridge; and the Railway Station.

Tabriz Mosque
Tabriz Museum
Tabriz Bazaar
Tabriz Park

EXCURSIONS AROUND TABRIZ

KANDOVAN
A living example of human adaptation to exceptionally unusual natural surroundings, Kanddvan village is located 50 km to the south of Tabriz, Osku, on the northern slopes of a valley at the foothills of Mount Sahand. A river originating from the Sahand peaks passes through the valley. There are a number of natural springs to the north of the river, the water from which has traditionally been used for the treatment of kidney stones, according to the locals. The physical structure of the village looks like images from fairy tales. Natural cones, scattered over a vast area, serve as human dwellings on rock formations which themselves seem to have been the work certain sculptors. The road from Tabriz goes through this natural artwork. On getting nearer to the dwellings, the visitor finds out that large families are living inside twor three of these hollow interconnected cones with features such as openings on their surface playing the role of actual windows. The lowest cones are used as stables and those on top as the living quarters.

The interiors of the dwellings, usually divided into a living and a bed room, are dimly lit; however, the villagers are used to it. The interconnecting corridors are very narrow. From the outside, the dwellings look so similar to each other that one may easily get lost in the village. Steep pathways and steps are made of rock pieces for animals as well as human beings.

 

As the legend goes, the first people to settle here were the soldiers involved in military operations nearly 800 years ago, who found the cones by chance and used them as their temporary camouflage and accommodation. However, among archaeologists, it is considered to be of Pre-Islamic Period.

         

ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS.

ACCESS AND DISTANCES:
624 km to Tehra~. 278 km to Zanjan. 216 km to Ardabil. 297 km to Orumieh. 482 km to Rasht 553 km to Hamadan

 ACCIDENTS: 115,35051-5.
 AIR AGENT:
 1. Iran Air office is in its own building in Abressani Inters~ction 34515.
 2. Iran Seyr, Imam Ave, Beheshti Intersection 531941.
 3. Jahan Seyr, Imam Ave, near Bagh-e Fajr Sq 55600.
4. Tabriz Seyr, 17th Shahrivar St, corner of Taleghani St 550303.
AIRPORT:
Taxis are available from the airport (865602-3) into town and vice-versa. There is no airport bus. Flight Information 79079. Air Ticket 35501.
BANKS AND EXCHANGE OFFICES:
 1. Bank Mellat, Jomhuri Ave 60061-5.
 2. Bank Melli Iran, north side of Shohada Square 25151-4.
 3. Bank Sepah, Imam Ave, Taleghani Junction 557650, 552172..
 4. Bozorgui Exchange Office, Jomhuri Street 29000.
 5. Entezari Exchange Office, Shohada Street, Mohammadi Shopping Cen73773.
 6. Kebria Manesh Exchange Office, Imam Khomeini Ave 340018.
BUS TERMINAL:
Jomhuri Eslami Ave 57134 Buses usually leave punctually. There are local services to all major towns provincial centers from Tabriz.
CITY DIALING CODE NUMBER:
The dialing code for Tabriz is 041.
EMERGENCIES: 115, 118,or35053.
GOVERNOR'S OFFICE:
Ostandari, east of Bank Melli Iran on Shohada Square 22696. For visa extension go to the police headquarters near the Arg, Kucheh Arg
.

MEDICAL SERVICES:
The casualty clinic is close to Darvazeh Tehran on the far eastern edge of town Here is a list of some hospitals in Tabriz
 I. ASAD ABADI, Shahid Ranjbar St, 807263-6.
2. AZAR, Khayyam St, 57851-3.
3. IMAM KHOMEINI, Tabriz University, 347045-9.
4. TALEGHANI, Railway Station, 442071-3.

MUNICIPALITY:
In the southeastern side of Shahrdari Square.

POLICE:
Kucheh Arg, near the Arg 110, 30322, 470.50, 44533.
POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS:
The main post office is at the east side of Shohada Square, opposite Bank Melli Iran 22084. The main telegraph office is in Seqat 01Eslam Ave, immediately to the south of the river
RAILWAY STATION:
There are two overnight daily trains to Tehran 47666
RESTAURANTS:
There are more than a dozen of restaurants and places to eat in Tabriz One of the bestchelo kababis of Tabriz is Ulduz (not marked in English) on the south side of Imam Khomeini Ave, which has good veal schnitzel as well as steaks and some other Continental dishes. In addition to all sorts of dishes found in Iran, Tabriz is the best place for abgusht or dizi, a stew made of tatty meat, usually beef or mutton, thick chunks of potato and split peas, traditionally served in a pipkin and eaten in a bowl with a spoon. A pestle is provided for grinding up the meat and potatoes. It is a good idea to take a local with you the first time you try this triumph of Iranian cuisine. Here is a brief list of some restaurants in Tabriz
1. BORDBARI, Bazaar-e Shams, 68534.
2. EFTEKHARI, 17th Shahrivar Ave, 66544.
3. HAl ALl, 29th Bahman Blvd, 307007.
4. MOMTAZ, Sharifi St, 57187.
5. MAHTAB, Dr Shari'ati Ave, 50131.
6, LUNA PARK, El Guli, 309912.
TAXI:
You can take shared and solo taxistrom outside the bus terminal, railway station, and the airport These places can best be reached by a taxi, too. Getting around is a matter of saying mostaghim (straight), as in Tehran and most other towns.
TOURIST MAP:
Available in English and Persian.
TOURIST OFFICE:
Locally known as Ershad-e Eslami, it is a few meters west of Daneshsara Square 806071.

 

 
 
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