Tabriz City

City Of Culture

About Tabriz

Tabrīz, Persian Tauris, fourth largest city of Iran and capital of the East Āz̄arbāyjān province, lying about 4,485 feet (1,367 metres) above sea level in the extreme northwestern part of the country. The climate is continental: hot and dry in summer and severely cold in winter. The city lies in a valley surrounded by hills on three sides. It is in an earthquake zone that is liable to frequent and severe shocks.

El Goli

Do not miss El Goli Park in Tabriz (former Shah Goli) as it's the grand "People's Lake" and a pleasant hillside garden and park around a 5 Ha water body.

El Goli is only 4 km downstream of Tabriz to the south, so it's a popular weekend destination for locals to relax for breakfast or afternoon activities. Especially popular is the hill on the eastern side of the park with some steps leading down to a pool and a fountain flowing from the hilltop. The square lake is said to be 12m deep surounding a grand hexagonal palace building.

Early history is not clear however it's most widely beleived the original purpose of Shah-Goli Lake was a water resource for agricultural purposes. The pool itself is said to have been built during the reign of Aq Qoyunlu kings. However it was extended by the Safavids, before being used as a summer palace during the Qajar dynasty when the prince of Iran officially resided in Tabriz. Afterwards the lake was reconstructed during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Last Shah). Though after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, removing the Shah's name from all urban planning became a sort of norm. So the name of Shah-Goli was changed to El-Goli Park in Tabriz in official documents, yet remains commonly called Shah-Goli by locals.

KANDOVAN

Tucked away in the northwest corner of Iran is the quaint and mysterious thirteenth century village of Kandovan. It’s a village in Sahand Rural District, in the Central District of Osku County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. Kandovan is also part of the Lake Urmia region, the region that is central to the start of the second phase of Zoroastrian history. This village consists of manmade cliff dwellings which are still inhabited. The troglodyte homes, excavated inside volcanic rocks and tuffs similar to dwellings in the Turkish region of Cappadocia, are locally called “Karaan”. Karaans were cut into the Lahars (volcanic mudflow or debris flow) of Mount Sahand. The cone form of the houses is the result of lahar flow consisting of porous round and angular pumice together with other volcanic particles that were positioned in a grey acidic matrix. All these aspects, make the landscape look like a gigantic termite colony. This method of dwelling makes the residents modern-age cave dwellers or troglodytes. After the eruption of Sahand these materials were naturally moved and formed the rocks of Kandovan.

Blue Mosque Of Tabriz

When constructed for ruler Jahan Shah in 1465, the Blue Mosque with its intricate turquoise mosaics was one of the most famous buildings of its era. Unfortunately, it was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1773, leaving only the main iwan (entrance hall) and Jahan Shah's tomb intact. Restoration has been slow, and though the main structure is complete again, the once-brilliant external mosaics are only visible on the original iwan.
Once the mosque was built, artists took a further 25 years to cover every surface with the blue majolica tiles and intricate calligraphy for which it was nicknamed. The interior is also blue, and missing patterns have been laboriously painted onto many lower sections around the few remaining patches of original tiles. A smaller domed chamber away from the entrance once served as a private mosque for the Qareh Koyunlu shahs.