Found in: Iranian provincial capitals
Tabriz is the largest city in northwestern Iran. It is situated north of the volcanic cone of Sahand, south of the Eynali mountain. It is the capital of East Azarbaijan Province. Tabriz lies at the junction of the Komur River (Mehran River) and the Aji River.
With a population of 1,600,000, Tabriz is Iran's Fourth largest city, after Tehran, Mashhad and Esfahan.
The founding of Tabriz is shrouded in mystery and myth. Various sourcesDavid Rohl. Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation, Arrow Books, Ltd., 1998, ISBN 0712682295Jeffery Donley. The Everything History of the Bible Book, Adams Media, 2006, ISBN 1593375565, p. 59Etta B. Donaldson. "A Journey to the Garden of Eden", The American Magazine, Crowell-Collier Publishing Co., 1893, p. 439Andrew Burke and Mark Elliott. Iran, Lonely Planet, 2004, ISBN 1740594258, p. 133 name the city as the possible site of the Biblical Garden of Eden.
According to some sources,Gholam-Reza Sabri-Tabrizi. ''Iran: A Child's Story, a Man's Experience, International Publishers Co., 1989, p. 72, ISBN 0717806820 including Encyclopedia Britannica, the name Tabrizderives from "tap-riz" ("causing heat to flow" in Iranian languages), from the many thermal springs in the area. Other sourcesSamuel Graham Wilson. Persian Life and Customs'', Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, 1896, p.323 claim that in A.D. 246, to avenge his brother's death, king Khosraw I of Armenia defeated Ardashir I of the Sassanid Empire and changed the name of the city from Shahistan to Tauris, deriving from "ta-vrezh" ("this revenge" in Grabar). In A.D. 297, it became the capital of Tiridates III, king of Armenia.Edward Backhouse Eastwick. ''Journal of a Diplomate's Three Years' Residence in Persia, Smith, Elder and Co., 1864, p. 327
Medieval and renaissance history
After the Mongol invasion, Tabriz came to eclipse Maragheh as the later Ilkhanid capital of Azarbaijan until sacked by Tamerlane in 1392. Chosen as a capital by Arghun Khan, fourth ruler of the Ilkhanate, for its favored location in the northwestern grasslands,David Morgan, The Mongols'' p. 142 in 1295, his successor Ghazan Khan made it the chief administrative center of an empire stretching from Egypt to the Oxus River and from the Caucasus to the Indian Ocean. Under his rule new walls were built around the city, and numerous public buildings, educational facilities, and caravansaries were erected. The Byzantine Gregory Choniades is said to have served as the city's Orthodox bishop during this time.
From 1375 to 1468, Tabriz was the capital of Kara Koyunlu state in Azarbaijan, and from 1469 to 1501 the capital of Ak Koyunlu state.
In 1501, Shah Ismail I entered Tabriz and proclaimed it the capital of his Safavid dynasty. In 1514, after the Battle of Chaldiran, Tabriz fell for a few months to the Ottomans, yet was returned and remained a capital of Safavid Iranian empire until 1548, when Shah Tahmasp I moved Safavid capital to Qazvin.
The Ottomans occupied Tabriz on a number of occasions during and after the Safavid reign, including the period from 1585 to 1603. Nevertheless, by the 17th century it was a major commercial center, carrying out trade with the Ottoman Empire, Russia, central Asia, and India. Later, the city was again occupied (1724) by the Ottomans, and it was held by Russia in 1828.
Tabriz was the city where the Constitutional Revolution of Iran startedEdward Shirley. ''Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey Into Revolutionary Iran, Westview Press, 1999, ISBN 0813335884, p. 170: "The 1906-11 Constitutional Revolution, Iran's first attempt to limit the power of its shahs, started in Tabriz, then the most Westernized Iranian city."'' in 1906 and where its leaders, Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan came from. An American who died defending the Constitutional Revolution, Howard Baskerville, is buried in Tabriz.
Because of the location of Tabriz (as a gate to the west for Iran), many signs of modern life in Iran have first appeared in this city. Because of this, Iranians have described Tabriz as a "City of firsts". These include:
The first printing house of Iran was founded in Tabriz (1811).
The first modern school of Iran was founded in Tabriz by Hassan Roshdieh (1888). The language of instruction was Persian and Azari Turkish.
The first Iranian special school for deaf children was founded in Tabriz by Jabbar Baghcheban (1924).
The first Iranian special school for blind students was founded in Tabriz by a German mission (1926).
The first Iranian kindergarten was founded in Tabriz by Jabbar Baghcheban (1923).
The first modern-style municipality and city hall in Iran were founded in Tabriz.
Tabriz Chamber of Commerce was the first of its kind founded in Iran (1906).
The first public libraries in modern Iran were founded in Tabriz.
The first movie theater in Iran was founded in Tabriz (1900). Also the first movie theater in Tehran was founded by a Tabrizi (1921).
Tabriz was the first city in Iran that got a Telephone system (about 1900).
The famous Iranian historian, Ahmad Kasravi, was born in a nearby village called Hokmavar. Samad Behrangi, a famous writer and musicians, as well as Ali Salimi, Vahid Houseini, and Bigjeh-Khani were Tar (lute) specialists from this city.
After World War II, the Soviets set up the communist Azerbaijan People's Government in North Western Iran with its capital at Tabriz. The new communist government, under the leadership of Jafar Pishevari, held power for a year from 1946, then Tabriz was taken back by Iran (on 1947) after the forced Soviet withdrawal.
4 BCE: It is the capital of Media Atropatene ,named after Atropates, an Iranian governor of the province (appointed by Alexander the Great).
297: It becomes the capital of Tiridates III, the king of Armenia.
791: Tabriz is rebuilt by Zubaidah, wife of Harun al-Rashid, after being destroyed by an earthquake.
858: An earthquake destroys large parts of Tabriz.
1041: An earthquake destroys large parts of Tabriz.
1501: Ismail Safavi crowned as Shah in Tabriz, founding the Safavid dynasty
1548: Tabriz is replaced by Qazvin as the capital of the Safavid kingdom. Tabriz was considered too exposed to a potential Ottoman invasion.
1721: An earthquake destroys large parts of Tabriz.
1780: Another earthquake destroys large parts of Tabriz.
1826: Tabriz is occupied by the Russians.
1828: Qajar army enters back in Tabriz.
1850: Bab, the founder of the Babi Faith and Forerunner of Baha'u'llah is executed in Tabriz.
1906 - 1908: Tabriz becomes the centre of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution.
1927: An earthquake destroyed large parts of Tabriz.
1941: Tabriz occupied by the Soviet troops.
1945: December: Becomes the capital of a short-lived Soviet-backed autonomous Azerbaijan People's Government.
1946: Tabriz University is opened.
1947: Iranian troops take back Tabriz.
In 2002, during a construction project behind the Blue Mosque (Part of Silk Road Project), historical graves buried in a special way have been found. The construction company had hidden the finding for several months. Finally, the site was revealed by one of the workers who was involved at the construction site. Analysis has shown that the background of the graves to be more than 2000 years old.
There is another excavation site in Abbasi alley where the Robe Rashidi was.
City authority lies with the mayor, who is elected by a municipal board. The municipal board is periodically elected by the city residents.
Tabriz City Hall (Saat Tower building) is used as the Municipal central office.
Tabriz has a dry continental climate (Koppen BSk). The annual precipitation is around , a good deal of which falls as snow during the winter months. In the summer, the weather is typically hot, dry and clear.
The predominant language in the city is Azerbaijani. Almost all inhabitants of the city also can speak and understand Persian as well.
The music and folksongs of Tabriz are popular and traditions have a long history among its people. Prominent Iranian Azeri poet Mohammad Hossein Shahriar was born in Tabriz. The handicrafts in the Bazaar of Tabriz, and in particular the Tabriz rug is famous worldwide. The culture, social values, language and the music is a mixture of what exists in rest of Iran as well as the.
Tabriz also has a special place in Persian literature, as the following sample of verses from some of Iran's best poets and authors illustrates:
Oh Sarban, have camels' cargo unloaded, For Tabriz is neighborhood of the beloved. Molana
A beloved lived in Tabriz away from sight,who was always alert and awake at nightBustan of Sadi
As long as I live in Tabriz, two things I need not worry of,The half loaf of bread and the water of Mehran River are enough!Khaqani
Art of Rug
Tabriz is the number one center for production of the famous Iranian Rugs.
Nowaday Tabrizian carpets are the most wanted in world markets, having many customers in western countries from Europe to California.
Tabrizian rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and indigo motifs. Rugs and carpets often have very symmetrical and balanced designs. They usually have a single medallion that is surrounded with vines and palmettos and are of excellent quality.
Tabrizian modern rugs are in many different designs and colors.
The classical music of Azerbaijan is called mugam ("mugam"), and is usually melded with poetry and instrumental interludes. The sung poetry sometimes includes tahrir segments, which use a form of throat singing similar to yodeling. The poetry is typically about divine love and is often linked to Sufi Islam.
In contrast to the mugam traditions of Central Asian countries, Azeri mugam is more free-form and less rigid; it is often compared to the improvised field of jazz.
UNESCO proclaimed the Azerbaijani mugam tradition a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" on November 7, 2003.
Ashiqs are travelling bards who sing and play the saz, a form of lute. Their songs are semi-improvised around a common base.
Food and Confectionary
kufta Tabrizi is a special food prepared in Tabriz. Some restaurants offer kufta Tabrizi on their menu but the quality is not as good as when it is prepared by Tabriz families at home.
Another traditional food is "Garniyarikh' ("the torn abdomen" in Azeri).That is some kind of Dolma that is filled with meat, garlic, almonds that is so delicious.
Tabriz is also famous for its delicious cookies, some of which are Tabriz specialities, including Ghorabiye, Eris, Nogha and many others. They can be bought at markets: the most famous markets for this purpose are Rex (in Imam Ave near to Ferdowsi Ave.), Tashrifat (Abrassan Sq.), Karimi (Valieasr Quarter) and Eftekhari (Mansour Street)," Ayubi"(Abrassan Sq.) ,"Tesaj"(serah Sq.)
Several times in its history , Tabriz was devastated by earthquakes which wiped out most of the historic monuments. One important monument that has survived these earthquakes is the Tabriz Citadel (Ark-e Tabriz or Ark-e Alishah), a ruin of vertical book-shaped elements. The Blue Mosque of Tabriz ( Gouy-Masjed) is another important monument in the city. Here is a list of city's monuments:
Aji River Bridge, an old bridge on the Aji River, beside the airport street
The Amir Nezam House
Armenian church of Adontist
Armenian church of Saint Mary
Bagh Golestan park
Baghlar Baghi park
Bazaar of Tabriz
The Behnam House
Goy Masjid (Blue Mosque)
Bogh'e Imamzade Ibrahim
Catholic church of Tabriz
Charm Sazi-e Khosravi (Faculty of Applied Arts)
Shrine in Eynali Mountain
Ghari Bridge, 2 Historical Bridges on the Mehran River
Jameh Mosque of Tabriz, located at raste-koucheh
Maqbaratoshoara (Tumb of Poets)
Saat Tower (Tabriz City Hall)
Saheb ol Amr
Seyed Hamzeh Grave
Shah Gholi (Pool Of King) park
Tabriz Fire Fighting Tower
Tabriz Railway Station
The House of Boulourchian
The House of Mashrouteh (constitution)
The House of Sheykh-al-Islam
2-Kamal Tomb,in Abbasi street
sharbatoglu house , in seqat ol eslam street ,sorkhab alley no 62.
There are eight major museums in Tabriz:
Museum of Azarbaijan in Khomeyni Street
Tabriz Constitution House (Museum of Constitution Revolution) in Bazaar
Shahryar Literature Museum (House of Late Poet Shahryar) in Maqsoudieh Quarter
Museum of Ostad Bohtouni in Laklar Quarter
Museum of Qajar in Sheshghelan Quarter
Museum of Nature in Azadi Street near to Abresan Crossway
Museum of Iran municipalities history in saat (municipality) tower of Tabriz
'Hotel Pars (Hotel El Gholi) in Shah Goli
Shahryar International Hotel (5 star) in Shah Gholi Street
Hotel Gostaresh (4 star) in Abresan Sq.
Tabriz International Hotel(4 star ) in Abresan Sq.
Hotel Azarbaijan in Shahnaz Street
Hotel Ark in Shahnaz Street
Hotel Darya (3 star) in Khomeyni Street
Hotel Park in Khomeyni Street
Hotel Sina, in front of Golestan Park (Gunga Bashi)
Hotel Marmar, in Darvazeh Tehran road
Kandovan Tourism Cliff (Rocky) Hotel (5 star), located at Kandovan touristy village. It is the first of its kind in Iran and the second in the world after Turkey's rocky hotel.
and many hostels (with low cost) in Ferdowsi Street
Since ancient times Tabriz has been known as a transportation center between West and East. It lies on the ancient Silk Road.
Currently Tabriz is linked to the world by Sento International Road, Iran Railways and Tabriz International Airport.
Tabriz has taxi and public bus network. There are also some private groups which provide taxi services.
Metro Network (Subway Urban Train Network)
Tabriz does not have a completed subway train network at the moment. The government of Iran had planned to finish 6km of line No.1 of subway urban train network of Tabriz in 2006 but they could not reach to this goal because of financial problems.
Education & Research
Universities & Research Centres
Tabriz University is one of Iran's most prestigious schools of higher education. A list of the universities and research centers in the city follows:
University of Tabriz
Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
Sahand University of Technology
Jahad Daneshgahi(ACECR) Higher Education Institute,East Azarbaijan branch , located at Jaam Jam Street
Payame Noor University of Tabriz
Khajeh Rashid University
Imam Hossein University, Tabriz Branch
Azzahra College of Technology, Tabriz, girls college
State Organization of Technical and Vocational Training
Roshdieh School is the first modern Iranian school which was established by Haj-Mirza Hassan Roshdieh. Currently its building is used as the Tabriz branch of the National Iranian Documents and Library Office.
Memorial School (American School of Tabriz) was opened on 1891 and is one of the most famous schools of its type. After World War II the school's name was changed to Parvin High School under Iran education ministry's management. Currently it is divided into three separate high schools and the original building is under reconstruction.
Vahdat Technical College is another famous school in Tabriz. It was developed by the Germans during World War II. The main building has the shape of an A (the first letter of Germany in German Language).
Ferdowsi High School is one of the largest and most prominent academic high schools in Tabriz. The original building was constructed by German Engineers before World War II (to serve as Hospital). The building has an aerial view as H.
Teezhoushan School(Shahid Madani)(Farzanegan) (SAMPAD/NODET) middle and high schools established in 1989 for high I.Q talented students.
Valiiasr religious school
Talebiieh Islamic Sciences School
Tabriz National Library ( Central Library of Tabriz ) was the biggest library in Tabriz. It has been reconstructed during last decade. It has numerous pieces of hand written Iranian literature.
Library of Helal Ahmar.
Library of Farhangsara Tabriz.
Library of Shahid Motahhari.
Library of Shahryar.
Tabrizi people are fans of soccer. The city is the site of four Iranian major soccer teams:
Machine Sazi F.C.
Iranian Tractor Manufacturing Co F.C. (ITMCO)
Shahrdari Tabriz F.C.Tabriz Petrochemical Complex F.C.
Tabriz also has two stadiums for soccer:
Bagh Shomal Stadium, with 20,000 Capacity
Yadegar-e-Emam Stadium with 71,000 Capacity
Politicians and reformists:
Sattar khan, nationalist revolutionary leader
Baqer khan, nationalist revolutionary leader
Mohammad Khiabani, cleric, a political leader during Iran's constitutionalist revolution
Hasan Taqizadeh, politician (former President of the Iranian Senate), Diplomat and Scholar.
Ahmad Kasravi, politician and author
Mirza Abdul'Rahim Talibov Tabrizi, intellectual and social reformer.
Ali Soheili, Prime Minister of Iran
Ebrahim Hakimi, Prime Minister of Iran
Mahmud Jam, Prime Minister of Iran
Ali Sadri,poet.and famous politician
Qatran Tabrizi, poet
Homam Tabrizi, poet
Parvin E'tesami, poetess
Mohammad Hoseyn Behjat Tabrizi (Shahriyar), poet
Mirza Taqikhan Raf'at Tabrizi, poet, writer, funder of Raf'at Literary School
Yadollah Maftun Amini, poet
Abu'l Majd Tabrizi, compiler of Safina-yi Tabriz and also a writer
Samad Behrangi, Famous Children's books writer
Reza Baraheni, novelist, poet, critic and political activist
Gholamhossein Saedi, writer, novelist, and political activist
Naser Merqati, Poet, writer,
Fariba Vafi, novelist
Mohsen Hashtroodi, Mathematician
Javad Tabatabaei, political philosopher, historian and a distinguished university professor.
Allameh Tabatabaei, one of the most prominent thinkers of contemporary Shia Islam
Allameh Mohammad Taghi Jafari, philosopher , thinker
Farhad Fakhredini, musician, Conductor of National Orchestra
Kamal Tabrizi, movie producer
Tahmineh Milani, film director, screenwriter, and producer
Resam Arjangi, painter
Behrouz Jamali, musician
Karim Bagheri, footballer
Feridoun Jam, Marshal and previous head of Iran Imperial Army Core
For a complete list see: List of people from Tabriz
Tabriz is one of Iran's most important industrial cities. Its products include cement, machine tools, vehicles, petrochemical and many other industrial products. Some of the major industrial complexes in the city are listed below:
Machine Sazi-e-Tabriz , Producer of machine tools
Iran Tractor Manufacturer Company (ITMCO) , Producer of various types of vehicles
Tabriz Petrochemical Complex , One of main pertrochemical companies in the country
Tabriz Oil Refinery Complex , The main oil refinery in the north west of country
Iran Khodro Tabriz , It is a branch of Iran Khodro Indistrial Group, producer of a variety cars
Rakhsh Khodro Diesel,Tabriz , Producer of various types of heavy vehicles and cars
I.D.E.M. Co. Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing Co. , The leading manufacturer of diesel engines in middle east
Charkheshgar Co. , The leading manufacturer of different types of auto gearbox in Iran
Motogen Co. , The leading manufacturer of different type of electromotors in Iran
Sahand Forklift Truck Co. , Manufacturer of different type of Forklift Trucks
Azarbaijan Glass industrial Company, Producer of any kind of standard glasses
Tabriz Wire and Cable Co. (Simcat) , Producer of power wire and cables
Soufian Cement Company, Cement supplier of civil projects in Northwest of Iran with highest quality in Cement producing.
Compressor Sazi Tabriz Company, first and the largest producer of various types of Air Compressors and Pneumatic tools
Major Chocolate Factories
Tabriz food industries, specially in chocolate manufacturing, are famous. That could be the reason to honor the city as Chocolate City of Iran also. Some of the most famous chocolate industries of inside the city are:
Photo Gallery of Tabriz----
For a more extensive photo gallery of Tabriz see Tabriz City Photo Gallery.
The following is a list of Tabriz's sister cities:
- Baku, Azerbaijan
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Istanbul, Turkey
North, S.J.R., Guide to Biblical Iran, Rome 1956, p. 50
Editorial Board, East Azarbaijan Geography, Iranian Ministry of Education, 2000 (High School Text Book in Persian)
Bahram Moshiri's brief talk on Azarbaijan. [*].