A modern city with great industrial potential and a merchandise distribution center. Situated in a valley north of Mount Sahand, it is the capital of the East Azerbaijan province and the fourth most populous city in the country, the majority of which are Azeris. Given its location, it enjoys mild summers, which makes it a perfect place for the summer. The antiquity of Tabriz dates back to the time of the Parthians and Sassanids, and it was later chosen as the capital of the Ilkhanate empire, which resulted in its development considerably. Later it continued to be the capital of the Timuris, Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu until the dominion of the Safavids, who moved the capital to Qazvin due to its proximity to the Ottomans in order to defend them against their threat. During the Qajar era, Tabriz was chosen as the prince’s city, where princes studied and received government instruction. Due to the existence of the first Iranian chamber of commerce in 1906, the first Iranian school for the deaf, the first national newspaper, the first cinema, the first public library and the first police station in Tabriz, this city is known under the name ” City of the First ”. Another point in favor of this city are its delicious foods that attract many tourists annually, among them; kufteh Tabrizí, dizi sangí, kabab Bonab, ash-e goje, ash-e mast and dolme. The main tourist attraction is the Old Bazaar of Tabriz, the largest covered bazaar in the world that has been included in the UNESCO list. In this place you can find all kinds of crafts including; carpets and rugs, leather goods, Lighvan cheese and Sabalan honey. Other historical monuments of Tabriz are: Blue Mosque, Arg-e Alishah, Azerbaijan Museum, churches, Kandovan, Yanghyn Tower and Qari Bridge.
Ancient monuments of Tabriz
Built in 1465 under the rule of the Kara Koyunlu dynasty, of Turkish origin. Being one of the most magnificent buildings of its time, its surface covered with turquoise ceramic tiles and the elaborate calligraphy stand out. The main brick building is built in the peculiar style of Azerbaijani architecture. Having been devastated by the 1780 earthquake, restoration work is still ongoing. From the large courtyard with a pond in the middle, you can see the panoramic view of the mosque, crowned by a huge dome. Except for the main dome, there are seven others that are smaller. Beautiful turquoise blue tiles and wall paintings along with the marble interior walls have lent elegance and beauty to the mosque. The mosque was built at the request of daughter Jahan Shah and two tombs are found here, probably belonging to them.
Tabriz Great Bazaar
This mythical and labyrinthine bazaar, considered to be the largest covered bazaar in the world with an area of more than 50,000 square meters, extends over 7 square kilometers. Due to the fact that the bazaar is located where the caravans of the Silk Road passed and the presence of the prince in Tabriz, this city enjoyed great importance and due to its proximity to the European and Turkish markets it had the largest amount of exports to Europe. Beneath 22 impressive vaulted galleries, it had 24 caravanserais, 4 schools, 29 mosques, 6 public baths and 2 libraries along with wooden doors and brick arched rooms. Each type of product can be found in a different section such as carpets, fabrics, nuts, spices, jewelry, natural leather and copper objects. In the past, more than 25% of the country’s total trade was carried out through this bazaar. Holes in the roof of the bazaar allow air circulation in addition to illuminating the interior. This historic bazaar has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
It is located next to the Grand Bazaar. The origin of the main mosque in Tabriz dates back to the Qajar and Seljuk dynasties. The oldest part is formed by the spacious hall consisting of vaults and domes covered in delicate plaster. The current mosque, built by the ruler of Tabriz, Hossein Qoli Khan Danbali, in the early Qajar period, has suffered a series of earthquakes over the centuries. Consequently, it was restored later. The rest of the building is modern.
Saheb-ol Amr Mosque
This historic mosque built in the Safavid era under the Shah Tahmasb is regarded as the royal mosque. Having been destroyed after the attack by the Ottomans in the seventeenth century, its restoration began at the end of the eighteenth century. The building has an area of more than 2000 square meters within which is a 3 meter high marble rock with some carved verses from the Koran, persisted since the time of Shah Tahmasb. The two minarets have been placed well away from the dome. The interior walls have bronze trim, plasterboard, and inscriptions, creating a beautiful sight.
In the years 1370-71, Consulting Engineers Group 4 began designing the Pars El Goli Hotel in Tabriz, starting construction in 1995 on an area of 37,000 square meters and an infrastructure of 28,000 square meters. Then, in a six-year term in September 2001, the work was completed and from March 29, 2001, they began accepting passengers. The main hotel building has 17 floors and restaurants.
Ali Shah Citadel
Built in the 13th century by the mandate of Taj-al Din Ali Shah, prime minister of the time, in order to show the power and architecture of the Ilkhanate government in Tabriz. First, the mosque was built and then the building’s school and monastery were added. It is the tallest brick building in Tabriz of which only 25 meters remain today. 7 meters of the walls have been placed under the ground providing it greater resistance. Due to the strength and thickness of the walls, Prince Abbas Mirza commanded the soldiers to build an arsenal and smelting factories behind them to face the Russian army. Russian troops attacked the citadel and conquered it. You can still see the bullets fired into the walls.
One of the historic bridges in Tabriz, built at the expense of an old lady during the Qajar period, for which it is also called the Old Bridge. Characteristics of this bridge are the beautiful ram-shaped pillar heads and installed old lights. The bridge joins a bazaar north of Tabriz with a length of 100 meters and a width of 5 meters.
The country’s first fire department tower was built a century ago in the Qajar era. The 23 meter high octagonal tower has a skylight in each direction. The interior of the building has a circular shape and through the spiral staircases it connects to the top of the tower, where the sentries used to monitor the city and warn the firefighters through the bronze bell installed above the tower in case of fire. In addition, with a large lighthouse at the top, the tower served night travelers upon arrival in the city to find their way.
Constitution House of Tabriz
Quite close to the Jomeh Mosque, the building is built in the Azerbaijani architectural style and is privately owned by Qajar nobles of Azerbaijani descent. During the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, the owners made it the meeting place for the leaders and activists of the revolution. Covering an area of 1,300 square meters, the building consists of two floors. The unique features of the building are the traditional windows, inlaid doors and the pavilion. The house was regenerated in 1996 undergoing some changes in the rooms and corridors. Satar Khan’s pistol, a carpet from that era, some personal belongings of the Qajar kings and various documents corresponding to this political process are among the most important pieces exhibited in the museum.
The home of the Azeri poet Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar opens as a house museum today. The house is located in an old quarter of the city and represents a literary landmark not only in the Azeri language, but also in Persian poetry. After the poet’s death, this two-story house was bought by the Municipality of Tabriz.
Being the place where some main archaeological finds are exhibited, it is considered the second most important archaeological museum in the country, after the National Museum in Tehran. The 2,400-square-meter building consists of three floors containing 12,000 historical works belonging to the pre-Islamic period to the Qajar era. In the basement we can see a series of metal objects from the Achaemenid period and a Sassanian tray with reliefs, while on the ground floor there are stone objects thousands of years old and stones with cuneiform writing, and on the upper floor a collection of coins and Islamic art. Among the precious objects of the museum are: the pottery of Abbas Abad hill, dated 7 thousand years ago, the bodies of a woman and a man found near the Blue Mosque that date back 3,000 years, plates and inscriptions from the 10th century with Kufic writing, ceramics from the Ilkhanate period and a padlock from the 10th century BC.
This private house was built during the Zand government and the Qajar government in Tabriz. The house has 1500 square meters and consists of two buildings, each of them used depending on the season. In addition to two patios and a large basement used as a storage room, there are some rooms in the courtyard dedicated to the staff. On the walls and ceiling you can see beautiful paintings and elegant plasters. Due to the unique characteristics of this house, Behnam’s house is known as the most beautiful traditional house among all those in this city.
Parvin Estesami House
The house of the Persian poet Parvin Etesami, born in 1907. Currently, the building, belonging to the Pahlavi era, serves as a museum to bring together lovers of culture and poetry.
Amir Nezam House
Built by Amir Nezam during the reign of Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar with an area of 1500 square meters and a total of 3000 meters of infrastructure on two floors. Amir Nezam, Iran’s ambassador to France and Britain, was the first person to import a money printer, copier and dryer to Iran. He has also assisted in the construction of the Mozafariyeh and Roshdiyeh schools. Today this house is used as a museum whose unique features, demonstrating the traditional architecture of the Qajar era, attracts the attention of many travelers from Tabriz. The house has two patios with many trees, lush gardens and swimming pools that have doubled its beauty. 16 columns with astonishing heads maintain the main porch of the house and the doors and windows on the top floor have stained glass windows that are reminiscent of the Qajar era. Mirrors and stucco used in the interior have created beauty. The ground floor is known as the room for coins, glasses, porcelain, metals, fabrics, music and khatam. The upper floor includes 6 rooms for weapons, locks, stones, lanterns, architecture and urbanization.
The Amir Nezam House houses the Qajar Museum, officially opened in 2006 after some repairs. The Cultural Heritage Organization bought it in 1991. Pottery and clothing make up the majority of the museum’s content.
Quran Museum and Inscription
The museum houses a collection of precious Qur’anic manuscripts, 190 of 2,200 Qur’an-related works from different eras, and displays magnificent works by famous calligraphers. The most notable works are the clothing depicted in the verses of the Koran, the smallest manuscript of the Koran in gold, and an inscription in stone. Some versions of the Koran written by imams and calligraphers have been exhibited in this museum, among which the most impressive is a page of the Koran written by Imam Reza on a piece of leather.