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 Overview and History

About Ardabil
Ardabil is historical city in 
Azerbaijan region of Iran.

Ardabil is a historical city in north-western of Iran. The name Ardabil comes from the Zoroastrian name of "Artawila", which means a holy place. Ardabil is the center of Ardabil Province. At the 2011 census, its population was 564,365, in 156,324 families, where the dominant majority are ethnic Azeris. Notable for its silk and carpet trade tradition, the ancient Ardabil Carpets are considered some of the best of the classical Persian carpet creations. Ardabil is also known as the seat of a World Heritage Site: the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponymous of the Safavid Dynasty.In Sassanids time, Esfahan was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, it played a residencial role for these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was a military center with strong fortifications. This city was occupied by Arabs after final defeat of Iranians.

After Islam, Esfahan was under domination of Arabs, like other cities of Iran, till the early 10th century A.D., and it was paid attention only by Caliph Mansour. In the reign of Malekshah Saljooghi, Esfahan was again selected as capital and began another golden age. In this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important cities of the world. 

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Location

Ardabil is about 70 km (43 mi) from the Caspian Sea, and 210 km from the city of Tabriz. It has an average altitude of 1,263 meters (4,144 ft) and total area of 18.011 km2 (6.954 sq mi).

Neighboring on the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azerbaijan, this city is of great political and economical significance.[citation needed]

The province of Ardabil has been blessed with splendid natural beauty and numerous sights.

It is located on an open plain 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalan (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring. Wastewater is used on crops, range lands, forests, parks and golf courses in many parts of the world ([4e8], among others). Unrestricted irrigation, however, may expose the public to a variety of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or helminth.

History

The province is believed to be as old as the Achaemenid (ca. 550–330 BC). It is mentioned in the Avesta, where prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalan Mountains. During the Parthian era, the city had a special importance among the cities of Azerbaijan. Some Muslim historians attribute the foundation of Ardabil to king Peroz I of the Sassanid Empire. The Persian poet Ferdowsi also credits the foundation of the city to Peroz I. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Huns from 4th to 6th century AD. Peroz repaired those damages and fortified the city. Peroz made Ardabil the residence of provincial governor (Marzban) of Azerbaijan.

During the Islamic conquest of Iran, Ardabil was the largest city in north western Iran, and remained so until the Mongol invasion period. Ardabilis fought the Mongols three times; however the city fell after the third attempt by Mongols. They massacred not only the Ardabil but inhabitants of neighboring villages, killing everyone they could find.[citation needed] Incursions of Mongols and Georgians left the city in ruins for nearly three centuries until the advent of Safavid.

 

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 To See

Bazzars

Ardabil Bazaar  In the heart of the Ardabil city, this bazaar stands as old as the Islamic period. Its shape was described by the historians of 4th century AH as a cross, extending in four directions with simply designed domes. Most sections of the bazaar were constructed and renovated during the Safavid and Zand periods. 
Produce Bazzar, Ardabil and vicinity This is the fresh produce bazaar on the Meshkin Shahr gate in the city of Ardabil. Vendors buy directly from farmers and distributors.

Shourabil Lake - A natural pond almost inside the city. Don't miss Shourabil. It gets really beautiful especially in sunset. It also freezes in winter.

The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili  is a World Heritage Site, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior.

Masjid Jameh  Ruins of once magnificent and unique Mosque.

Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school  This comlex dates back to Qajar period

Ardabil Bazaar This beautiful Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.

Ardabil bridges  Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum  The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago. 

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Saint Mary church  This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.

Mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il

Babadavood anbaran- Friday mosque

Ardabil Carpet

Why the Ardabil Carpet was made One of the main sights in the city of Ardabil in north-west Iran is the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, who trained his followers in Islamic mystic practices. After his death, his followers remained loyal to his family, who became increasingly powerful.

In 1501, one of his descendants, Shah Isma'il, seized political power. He united Iran for the first time in several centuries and established the Shi'i form of Islam as the state religion. Isma'il was the founder of the Safavid dynasty, named after Shaykh Safi al-Din.

The Safavids, who ruled without a break until 1722, promoted the shrine of the Shaykh as a place of pilgrimage. In the late 1530s, Isma'il's son, Shah Tahmasp, enlarged the shrine, and it was at this time, too, that the carpet was made as one of a matching pair The completion of the carpets was marked by a four-line inscription placed at one end. The first two lines are a poetic quotation that refers to the shrine as a place of refuge:

'Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world. Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.'

The third line is a signature, 'The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.' Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpets. He was not necessarily a slave in the literal sense but called himself one to express humility, while the word for 'portal' can be used for a royal court or a shrine. Perhaps Maqsud meant both, as in this case the court was the patron of the shrine.

The fourth line contains the date 946 in the Muslim calendar, which is equivalent to AD 1539–1540.

The Ardabil Carpet and the V&A  The two Ardabil carpets were still in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843, when one was seen by two British visitors. Thirty years or more later, the shrine suffered an earthquake, and the carpets were sold off, perhaps to raise funds for repairs. The damaged carpets were purchased in Iran by Ziegler & Co., a Manchester firm involved in the carpet trade. Parts of one carpet were used to patch the other. The result was one 'complete' carpet and one with no border.

In 1892, the larger carpet was put on sale by Vincent Robinson & Co. of London. The designer William Morris went to inspect it on behalf of this museum. Reporting that the carpet was 'of singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful', he urged the museum to buy it. The money was raised, and in March 1893 the Museum acquired the carpet for £2000.

The second, smaller carpet was sold secretly to an American collector, and in 1953 it was given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ardabil carpet hung on the wall in this gallery for many years. In 2006, the museum created the case in the center of the gallery so that the carpet could be seen as intended, on the floor. To preserve its colors, it is lit for ten minutes on the hour and half-hour.

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Attraction

The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili is a World Heritage Site, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior.

Masjid Jameh Ruins of once magnificent and unique mosque

Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school This complex dates back to Qajar period

Ardabil Bazzar This Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.

Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago.

Saint Mary church This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.

mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il located 2 km north of Ardabil

old but always lively bazaar

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and a few ancient bridges. In addition to these, in many villages of Ardabil, relics of ancient monuments, including tombs have been found.

Being a city of great antiquity, the origins of Ardabil go back 4000 to 6000 years (according to historical research in this city). This city was the capital of Azerbaijan province in different times, but its golden age was in the Safavid period.

Geology

Many hot springs and beautiful natural landscapes are in Ardabil and around which attract tourists. The mineral springs of Ardabil (Beele-Darreh, Sar'eyn, Sardabeh and Booshloo) are notable throughout Iran for their medicinal qualities.

Many beauty lakes: the largest of which are Ne'or, Shorabil, ShoorGel, NouShahr and Aloocheh that are the habitats of some species of water birds. The beautiful Lake Ne'or is located in a mountainous area 48 km south-east of the city of Ardabil. It covers an area of 2.1 km² and has an average depth of 3 metres. It is fed by springs in the lake bed.

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Some places in Isfahan you can visit for excite

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Sabalan

Savalan is an inactive stratovolcano in Ardabil province of northwestern Iran. It is the third highest mountain in Iran and has a permanent crater lake formed at its summit. Sabalan has a ski resort (Alvares) and different tourist areas such as the Sarein spa. The mountain is known for its beautiful vistas, including the Shirvan gorge, where few climbers ever venture. According to some beliefs, the Mount Savalan was the place where Zoroaster meditated for some years, so Mt. Savalan is one of the important sacred places in Zoroastrianism.

The Savalan mountain

Located in the extreme north west of Iran in meshkin shar (khiav), it is the country's third highest peak after Damavand and Alam-Kuh. At 4,811 meters it is taller than Mount Blanc in the Alps. The mountain offers many attractions throughout the year. On the slopes of the mountain the mineral water from springs attracts large amounts of tourists each year, many have faith in healing properties believed to be in the springs. The nomadic people of the area live in small villages, with their round "Yurt" tents appealing to tourism. Sabalan is a volcanic peak, and at 3,600 meters you can see gigantic 'sculptures' which are eroded volcanic stone outcrops which resemble animals, birds and insects.

Climbing

The climbing surface includes rocks of various sizes (Class 2 scrambling), and a moderate degree of fitness is required to climb it. The climb from the base camp starts easy, becomes challenging mid way, then eases in gradient near the top. The lake on the top remains frozen except for about four weeks in late July to early August.

Some climbers start by driving to hot springs of Meshkin Shahr, where they start their climb. This climb takes about two days, reaching to the base camp on the first day. Others take a taxi to base camp early in the morning, and climb the mountain in one day. In 2006, there was talk of improving the road to the base camp. If this is done, a regular car should be able to make it to the base camp during the climbing season. The road goes through multiple nomadic encampments of shepherds.

One or two days of acclimatization in Tehran or Ardabil may be advisable. Mountaineering has been popular among the youth in Iran. On a Friday during the climbing season (late June to mid August), one may find hundreds of people on the mountain. Guides can also be found in Ardabil. Adequate climbing equipment can be purchased in Ardabil or Tehran.

Surrounding area

The area around Sabalan, particularly near Meshkin and Dasht-eh Moghan produces large quantities of grain, including wheat. Thanks to the climate produced by the mountain, Ardabil remains pleasantly cool in the summers. There are lots of hot springs all around the slopes of Sabalan; and a main concentration is within Sareyn county having 10 various hot springs. Furthermore, there are some really proper slopes for skiing with a lot of snow even in near-summer; along with a very beautiful and useful ski piste named "Alvares" within an hour's drive from Sareyn to the Sabalan South ridge.

Ardabil Thermal and Mineral Springs

 

Due to its geological situation, Ardabil Province is a home to many thermal and mineral springs, which are among the most important and popular ones in Iran and in the region and are mostly used for therapeutic purposes. The most important ones are as follows:

Asad Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
It is close to the Gol Ali Spring having very limpid water. Its temperature is 30° C with the water yielding capacity of 1 liter/second. This spring annually attracts many tourists.

Bilehdareh Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
Located 3 kilometers north of Sar Ein in a valley, this cold water mineral spring has several sources. Drinking its water is recommended for urological and gastric diseases.

Bushly Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 45 kilometers west of Ardabil towards the city of Sarab. It contains carbon dioxide (CO2) with the temperature of 49° C as well as different mineral compounds effective in rheumatism and skin diseases.

Eilavand Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 15 kilometers south of Meshkin Shahr. Its water contains sulfate and phosphorous compounds and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Gavmish Goly Thermal Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
In this spring there is a pool with 25 X 17 m. area. Its temperature is 45° C and its water yielding capacity is 30 liter/second which is the highest in the region.

General Thermal Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
Its water enters a pond and then enters the Sar Ein Valley. Its temperature is 43° C with the water yielding capacity of 1.5 liter/second.

Gol Ali Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
These two springs flow out from several crevices holding a high quantity of CO2 gas. After joining other springs, its water is used for agricultural purposes. Its water yielding capacity is 30 liter/second and its temperature is 17° C with no sedimentation.

Qarah Soo Thermal Spring,Sar Ein,Ardabil
There are two ponds in the source of the spring and its temperature is 41° C with a water yielding capacity of 1.5 liter/second. Its water relieves the rheumatic and nervous pains.

Qootoursoo Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 24 kilometers from Meshkin Shahr. Its temperature is 41° C. As it contains sulfate compounds, causes evaporation of bad odors around the spring.

Sar Ein Mineral Springs, Ardabil

Located 28 km. away from the city of Ardabil, this complex of various thermal springs can be used by reaching the small town of Sar Ein at the foot of the Sabalan Mountains. Sar Ein is easily accessible through Ardabil airport and a good quality paved road. Equipped with modern facilities and newly built hotels, Sar Ein is one of the most visited sites by domestic tourists especially aware of the therapeutic virtues of these springs rich in different minerals.
The most important springs of this area are: Qarah Soo Thermal Spring, Sari Soo Thermal Spring, Gavmish Goly Thermal Spring, General Thermal Spring, Bilehdareh Spring, Gol Ali Spring, and Asad Spring.

Sardabeh Spring, Ardabil
This spring is located 24 kilometers from Ardabil and one kilometer north of Vakil Abad Village among a vast valley, and its temperature is 49° C. Its altitude is 1,820 meters above the sea level. Its water is enriched with several minerals useful for rheumatism and skin diseases.

Sarisoo Thermal Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
It is located close to Qarah Soo Spring. Its temperature at the source is 47° C and in the ponds is 44° C with a water yielding capacity of 3 liters/second.

Other Springs, Ardabil
There are of course many other thermal springs with different therapeutic virtues, which are less equipped with facilities and sometimes unexplored. The most important ones are: Qinerjeh Spring and Moil Thermal Spring in Meshkin Shahr; Borjloo Thermal Spring at 4 km. to Neer; Garmkhaneh Mineral Water and thermal spring in Garmkhaneh Village (Khalkhall); Sardabi Spring in Sardab Village (Ardabil); Haft Boluk, Daneshgah, Ab Pahn, Ab Yal Sooie, Ab Chashm, Besh Baji Lar Springs and thermal springs and coffee houses of Hemat and Momtaz in Ardabil.

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Moqan Plain, Ardabil
Encompassing an area of more than 300-350 thousand hectares, the Moqan plain is located to the north of Ardabil Province and west of the Caspian Sea. Due to its mild winters and humid summers, it is considered as an important agricultural pole of Iran. Vast verdant farmlands and orchards as well as related industries have been established in this area which along with the tribal lifestyle of Shahsavans may attract many interested tourists.

Talesh Forests, Ardabil

With an area of 105 thousand hectares, these beautiful forests are still among the "untouched" forests of the Alborz Mountain Chain. Some of the various species of trees are oak and pine. The road connecting Ardabil to Rasht via Astara passes by these forests which have been divided between ex-Soviet Union and Iran. This road is one of the most scenic roads while traveling in Iran; however caution must be taken as the road conditions are sometimes difficult at higher altitudes.

Aqche Castle, Meshkin Shahr

It is located in a rocky mountain near Chatin Valley and Qara-Qyeh Village. Ceramic and earthenware objects found from this site belong to the 1st millennium B.C.

Kohneh Castle, Meshkin Shahr

On the eastern slope of the Baq Nowruz Valley in Meshkin Shahr, there is a castle by the river and there is an inscription with Pahlavi script belonging to the Sassanid period. It's probable that this castle has been built replacing the ancient Sassanid castle as mentioned in an inscription.

Ultan Castle, Pars Abad

This castle is located 500 m. from the Ultan Village in Pars Abad. Its antiquity dates back to the Parthian period and due to its firm structure it was used until 12th century A.H.
Other Castles, Ardabill 
Other historical castles are Heer in the south of Ardabil, Qiz in Germi and Deeve in Meshkin Shahr.

 

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