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Ardabil (Persian and Azeri: اردبیل) is a historical city in north-western Iranmarker. The name Ardabil probably comes from the Zoroastrian name of "Artavil" which means a holy place. Ardabil is the center of Ardabilmarker province. Its population is estimated to be around 340,386, the dominant majority of whom are ethnic Azerbaijanis . Famed for its silk and carpet trade tradition, the ancient Ardabil Carpets are considered some of the best of the classical Persian Rug creations. Ardabil is also known as the seat of the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponym of the Safavid Dynasty.

Location

Ardabil is located about 70 km from the Caspian Seamarker, 210 km from the city of Tabrizmarker. It has an average altitude of 1263 m and total area of 18.011 km².Neighboring on the Caspian Seamarker and the Republic of Azerbaijanmarker, this city is of great political and economical significance.The province of Ardabil has been blessed with splendid natural beauty and numerous sights.It is located on an open plain 1,500 m above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalanmarker (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring.

History



The province is believed to be as old as the Achaemenid era 2500 BC. It is mentioned in the Avesta, where prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalanmarker Mountains. During Parthian era the city had a special importance among the cities of Azarbaijan. Some Muslim historians attribute foundation of Ardabil to king Peroz I of Sassanid Empire. The Persian poet Ferdowsi also credits the foundation of the city to Peroz I. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Huns between 4th to 6th century AD. Peroz repaired those damages and fortified the city. Peroz made Ardabil the residential of provincial governor (Marzban) of Azarbaijan.

During the Islamic conquest of Iran, Ardabil was the largest city in North Western Iran, and remained so until the Mongol invasion period. Ardabilis fought the Mongols three times, however the city fell after the third attempt by Mongols. They massacred not only the Ardabilis but inhabitants of neighboring villages and killing everyone they could find. Incursions of Mongols and Georgiansmarker left the city in ruins for nearly three centuries til the advent of Safavids.

Safavid Shah Ismail I started his campaign to nationalize Iran's government and land from here, but consequently announced Tabrizmarker as his capital in AD 1500. Yet Ardabil remained an important city both politically and economically until modern times. She was sacked by Ottomans 14 times between 1514-1722 and in 1915 and by Russians in 1813, 1828 and in 1916.

On 28 February 1997, a destructive earthquakemarker hit the Ardabil area. At least 965 people were killed, 2,600 injured, 36,000 homeless, 12,000 houses damaged or destroyed and 160,000 livestock were killed. Severe damage was observed to roads, electrical power lines, communications and water distribution systems around Ardabil.

Climate

Cold and semi-arid, many tourists come to the region for its cool climate during the hot summer months maximum temperatures reaching to 35 °C . The winters are long and bitter cold, with a temperature plummeting to -25 °C. The annual rainfall is around 380 mm.

Demography

  • Population (Metropolitan): about 650,000
  • Religion: Mainly Shi'a Islam
  • Ethnicity: Mostly Iranian Azeris
  • Language: The majority of the population speaks Azerbaijani Turkish , however, most of Ardabil's population could understand and speaks Persian as well.


Attractions

Ardabil Museum
Yeddi goz bridge.
(Seven eyes bridge).


Historical

  • The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili: is an impressive ancient monument, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Isma'il, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the famous dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior. (Virtual tour)


  • Masjid Jameh : Ruins of once magnificent and unique Mosque.


  • Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school : This comlex dates back to Qajar period


  • Ardabil bazaar : This beautiful Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.


  • Ardabil bridges : Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.


  • Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum : The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago.


  • Saint Mary church : This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.


Being a city of great antiquity, the origins of Ardabil go back 4000 to 6000 years (according to historical research in this city). This city was the capital of Azerbaijan province in different times, but its golden age was in the Safavid period.

The other significant historical monuments are as follows: the mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il, located 2 km north of Ardabil, the old but always lively bazaar, the babadavood anbaran the Friday mosque, and a few ancient bridges. In addition to these, in many villages of Ardabil, relics of ancient monuments, including tombs have been found.

Geographical



Many hot springs and beautiful natural landscapes are in Ardabil and around which attract tourists. The mineral springs of Ardabil are Beele-Darreh, Sar'eyn, Sardabeh and Booshloo, being famous for their medicinal qualities throughout Iran.

Many beauty lakes: the largest of which are Ne'or, Shorabilmarker, ShoorGel, NouShahr and Aloocheh that are the habitats of some species of water birds. The beautiful Lake Ne'or is located in a mountainous area 48 km south-east of the city of Ardabil. It covers an area of 2.1 km² and has an average depth of 3 metres. It is fed by springs in the lake bed.

  • Lake Shorabilmarker: located in a hilly area south of the city of Ardabil and covers an area of 640,000 m². The surface of the lake is covered with a thin white layer of minerals, being useful for healing skin diseases and rheumatism. Near the lake there is the leisure complex of Shorabilmarker.


  • Baliqly Chay River :
Meaning "a river with many fish" in Azarbayjani language, this river originates from the Sabalan Mountains and passes through Ardabil city. As a result, many villages and townships have settled around this river. It also irrigates much of the agricultural lands in this province.

  • Sabalan (Savalan) mountain:


Sabalan (in Persian سبلان Sabalân; also called Sāvālān) is an inactive stratovolcano in Meshkinshahrmarker Ardabil provincemarker of northwestern Iranmarker about 20 miles west of Arbadil. Sabalan is the third highest mountain in Iran and a permanent crater lake has formed at the summit. Sabalan has a ski resort (Alvares) and different tourist areas such as the Sareinmarker spa. The mountain is known for its beautiful vistas, including the Shirvan gorge, where few climbers ever venture.

Music

Colleges and universities



Economy

The economy of Ardabil is partially agricultural, partially tourist based, with some industries in operation.

The Iranian government in 2006 announced plans to build "the largest textile factory of its kind in the Middle East" in Ardabil.

Arta Industrial Group (AIG) has one of the largest textile conglomerates in Iran.which is located in the provinces called Qazvinmarker and Ardabil. The group has received numerous awards for being one of the top 20 exporters and industrial groups in Iran since 1998. It is the first company to produce high-density fiberboard (HDF), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), laminate flooring and multi-layer films in Iran.

AIG has the first private industrial site in Iranmarker in the city of Ardabil, which has fifteen main factories owned by (AIG). This Industrial zone covers an area of 100 hectares and Residential Area for engineers and managers of the company.

Famous people from Ardabil



Arts and music



Clergy and Religious



Poets and writers

Politicians and reformers



Scientists



Sport



Photo gallery



Image:Sheykh safi02.jpg| Sheikh Safi's tomb.Image:Bazaar of Ardabil01.jpg| Bazaar of Ardabil.Image:Ardabil museum01.jpg| Ardabil museumImage:Sheikh_jabraeil.jpg| Sheikh Jabraeil's tomb.Image:Reza_zadeh_home10.jpg | An old houseImage:Reza_zadeh-home.jpg| An old house

Image:Shaheid_gah.jpg| ShahedgahImage:Janbazan_sq.jpg| Janbazan squareImage:University of Ardabil01.jpg| Mohaghegh Ardabili University.Image:winter ardabil01.jpg| Winter in ArdabilImage:Shorabil lake.jpg| Lake Shorabilmarker.Image:Ash dogh01.jpg| Ash Dough, Ardabil's famous food.



See also



References

  1. Iranian Provinces: Ardabil
  2. Huge textile factory, largest in Middle East to become operational in Ardabil


External links

  • http://www.irantour.org/Iran/province/ardabil.html.
  • http://www.travel-images.com/az-ardebil.html



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