Ahvaz, the capital of the Khuzestan province, is the seventh most populous city in Iran, which is located on the bank of the Karoon River. With 9 bridges, Ahvaz has the largest number of bridges between cities in the Middle East which has led to it being known as the “city of bridges”. The Karoon River, located in the middle of the city, is the only navigable river in Iran.
In the past, Ahvaz used to be one of the centers of Christianity in Iran and with a daily oil producing capacity averaging 750,000 barrels it ranks among the cities with the highest oil production capacity. Ahvaz’s climate is desert and subtropical with long, hot summers and short, cool winters. The months of September, October, March and mid-April are the best to travel to this city. The white metal bridge built over the Karoon River with 501 meters long and 9 meters wide is not only the eighth largest suspension bridge in the Middle East, but also the fourth that was inaugurated in the world in 1936.
Being the only navigable river in Iran, today, due to drought, it plays a key role in supplying fresh water. The river originates in the Zard Kuh mountains of the Bakhtiari district, passes through the port city of Khorramshahr and reaches Iraqi territory. Karoon, on the border between Iran and Iraq, suffered a rather dramatic situation during the war between the said countries (1980-1988), until Khoramshahr was conquered by the Iraqi army, but then “liberated” and reconquered during the Iranian nationalist operations. Finally, it should be noted that the white color of the Iraqi military aircraft, which devastated much of the west and south-west of the country, had covered the skies of Ahvaz, Abadan, Khorramshahr and other cities.
Bridges of Ahvaz
Among the most important tourist attractions in Ahvaz are the bridges, witnesses to the history of the country. Currently, there are about ten bridges over the Karoon River: the Sefid Bridge (white) and the Siah Bridge (black), which have doubled the beauty of the city thanks to their unique architectural style.
Fishing is the profession of many people in Ahvaz and there is also a fishing festival held every year in May. In the center of Ahvaz there is a lively central market where many people sell and buy local products and objects typical of the region, such as fans, made with palm leaves, dates, fresh fish and the typical local coffee. There is also a famous dish called Ghelye Mahi which is a fish broth with vegetables and aromatic herbs and then the specialty of this region which is undoubtedly the famous sandwich, Falafel.
Moein Al Tojjar’s House
After Naser al-Din Sah allowed foreign ships to navigate the Karun River, Haj Mohammad Taqi Moein Al Tojjar decided to build this caravanserai on the bank of the river. Also, he built a bath, a bazaar and a mosque near this place. Located near the port, Moein Al-Tojjar caravanserai was considered an ideal place to do business as well as being a famous place for sailors to stay.
The abundance of water and fertile land have transformed the Khuzestan region into a rich and productive land. The variety of agricultural products such as wheat, barley, oilseeds, rice, eucalyptus, medicinal herbs; the existence of numerous citrus and palm trees; the fact that there are mountains suitable for growing olive trees and, of course, sugar cane demonstrate the potential of this fertile plain.