Provincial capital of Eastern Azarbaijan, it is 310 km southeast of Bazargan (Iran- Turkey frontier); 159 km south of Jolfa on Iran-Azarbaijan Republic border, and can be reached by good road; rail (742 km from Tehran, with connections to Europe and Moscow), and air from Tehran, Istanbul and other major cities.
Situated at an altitude of 1,340 meters above sea level, 619 km northwest of Tehran, the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960's and one of its former capitals ( with a population of 1,400,000 according to 1992 census), Tabriz is in a valley to the north of the long ridge of Mount Sahand. The valley opens out into a plain that slopes down gently to the northern end of Lake Orumieh, 60 km to the west. The 160-km long Aji ,Chai or Talkheh River is the major river of the city, formed by merging of three smaller rivers, namely the Ab Nahand, Quri Chai, and Ojan Chai, all of which originate from the Sabalan Mountain and the heights in the southeastern part of the town. The river and streams join the Orumieh Lake after passing through the valleys between the Sorkhband and Yekkeh Chin mountain north of Tabriz and Osku district. Mehran River or Maidan Chai, also called Liqvan River, originates from the peaks between Karim and Sultan mountains overlooking the Liqvan village (a: major center of cheese production in Iran) near Esparakhoun and Qeshlaq. Its worst natural disadvantage, however, is its vulnerability to earthquakes, one of which utterly destroyed the city in 858. Rebuilt in a minor key, it was again devastated in 1041, when more than 40,000 people lost their lives.
By virtue of its situation, Tabriz has an agreeable summer climate, but the cold in winter is severe. Altogether, it has a continental climate with low humidity. The average annual rainfall is 288 mm.
The town has a long and checkered history: Although the early history of Tabriz is shrouded in legend and mystery, the town's origins are believed to date back" to distant antiquity, perhaps even before the Sassanian era (224-651 AD). The oldest stone tablet with a reference to Tabriz is that of Sargon II, the Assyrian King. The tablet referrers to a place called Tauri Castle and Tarmkis. The historians believe that this castle was situated on the site of the present Tabriz. It was the capital of Azarbin the 3rd century AD and again under the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty (1256-13 53), although for some time Maragheh supplanted it. During the reign of Aqa Khan of the Ilkhanids, as well as under the reign of Ghazan Khan, Tabriz reached the peak of 1 glory and importance. Many great artists and philosophers from allover the world traveled to Tabriz. During this same period 1 Khajeh Rashid od-Din Fazlollah, the i..: learned historian and Minister of Ghazan , Khan, built the famous Rob'e Rashidi center. In 1392, after the end of Mongol rule, the town was sacked by Tamerlane. It was soon restored under the Turkman tribe of r the Qara Qoyunlu, who established a short-lived local dynasty. Under the Safavids it rose from regional to national capital for a short period, but the second of the Safavid kings, Shah Tahmasb, moved the capital to Qazvin because of the vulnerability of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks. The town then went into a period of decline, fought over by the Iranians, Ottomans and Russians and struck by earthquake and disease.
Tabriz was the residence of the crown prince under the Qajar kings, themselves of Turkish stock, but the town did not return to prosperity until the second half of the 19th century .The greatest boost to Tabriz came with the opening up of Persia to the West at the turn of this century, when it became the main staging post between the interior of Iran and the Black Sea and, for a short time, the economic capital. In 1908 it was the center of a revolt against Mohammad Ali Shah, which was only put down with the brutal intervention of the Russians.
In the second Irano-Russian War the city was occupied by the Czar troops. however, it was returned to Iran following the signing of Turkmanchai Treaty, a peace and trade settlement that ended the Irano- Russian War of 1826-1828. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution originated in Tabriz and culminated during the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah of Qajar dynasty (1779-1925). Sat tar Khan and Baqer Khan were the two most prominent leading figures behind the movement. Tabriz was occupied by Russians several times in the first half of this century, including most of both world wars. A railway line to the border at Jolfa, built by the expansionist Russians, was of little importance until recently, but it has increased in significance in the '90s as a result of Iran's friendlier relations with its northern neighbors.
Daily flights from Tehran on Iran Air, Iran Aseman and other companies. Fare is 490,000 Rials for 1-way. Direct flights from Dubai have just started on Tue and Sat, operated by Kish Air (around 200 USD for 2-way). Direct flights from Tbilisi (2 flights per week), operated by ATA air.Direct flights from Baghdad have just started on Fri and Mon, operated by ATA Air. Direct flights from Baku (1 flight per week) have just started on Tue and Sat, operated by Kish Air. Direct flights from Gaziantep have just started on Tue, operated by Sky Airlines. Direct flights from Istanbul (13 flights per week), operated by Turkish airlines (7 flights), Iran air (2 flights) and ATA air (4 flights); fare is around 250 USD for 2-way.There are also direct flights from Damsacus.
Flights to other Iranian cities are scarce. Ask your favourite Iranian travel agency for schedules.
Tabriz is the fourth most populated city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad & Isfahan with a population of 1,378,935. The city is the largest for Iranian Turk people. Discovered bodies from excavates around Blue mosqe of Tabriz show that the city dates back 3000 years. Most of Tabrizi people speak "Azerbaijani Turkic" language but armenian minority speaks Armenian language. Tabriz was Iran's capital during the dynesties of Kara Koyunlu, Ak Koyunlu & Safavi (in while it was the first capital of Shia Islam in the world) & was Iran's crown predominantly during Qajarid dynesty. If you come to Tabriz you must see "The Largest Covered Bazaar In The World", the spectacular grand bazaar of Tabriz. It has formed by many smaller bazaars and each bazaar contains several halls called "Timcheh". Mozaffariyeh is the most beautiful Timcheh and dedicated to carpet trading. But the bazaar isn't only for trade, thare are also many mosques and religious schools in it. Tabriz has also several museums like: Azerbaijan museum, Qajar museum, Sanjesh museum (for old measuring devices), Municipal museum, Iron Age museum, Carpet museum, Ostad Shahriar museum (the house of famouse Iranian poet, Shahriar). Tabriz has one of the biggest outdoor pools in the world: El Goli with an area of 54,675 square metres. It located in the southeast of Tabriz in a foothill with a perfect weather and there is a big park on the hill beside the pool and an amusement park. There is a monumental building among the pool that nowdays is a restaurant. In Iran, Tabriz is known as the city of "The Firsts" because many of inventions and innovations were used in Tabriz for the first time in Iran. The first printery, library, cinema, preschool, school, the deaf and dumb school, modern coin, bill, chamber of commerce, municipality, telephone, power plant, fire department, ... was made in Tabriz and Tabriz university is the second oldest university in Iran after Tehran University.