Located in the northwest of Iran, the sprawling city of Tabriz is the center of Azerbaijan region of Iran and home to a big population of Iranian Turks with a rich culture. Tabriz has always been a very thriving trading center since the zenith of the Silk Road and when this important road passed through this city, until today. Since northwest of Iran enjoys a cooler climate than the rest of country during summers, Tabriz is an amazing summer destination in Iran with many historical heritages and natural attractions around the city. Below is the list of top attractions in Tabriz that you shouldn't miss visiting:
The majestic bazaar of Tabriz is the largest bazaar in Iran and one of the best in the world, and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 7 square kilometer labyrinth consists a complex of interconnected brick corridors, stores, mosques, 24 caravanserais, cozy teahouses and 22 Timches (domed halls). Since the city of Tabriz was a connection between the west and the east and the ancient Silk Road passed through this city, this bazaar was one of the most important places for commercial and cultural interchange in the whole world. With its amazing architecture, Mozaffarieh Timcheh is one of the most wonderful parts of this grand bazaar, where merchants are busy with trading eye-catching Tabriz rugs.
Designed by the French architect Andre Godard according to the local architecture of Azerbaijan region of Iran, Azerbaijan Museum of Tabriz is the second important archeology and ethnography museum of Iran after the National Museum in Tehran and is home to an exquisite collection of masterpieces from prehistoric, pre-Islamic and Islamic eras in Iran. This museum is home to thousands of antique objects like coins, carpets, potteries, and metal wares from ancient eras excavated in the Azerbaijan region in Iran to 19th century and some sculptures made by contemporary Iranian artists. The museum's library contains more than 2500 handwritten and printed books.
The astonishing Kandovan Village is located 60 kilometers away from Tabriz in Osku Town of East Azerbaijan Province, located in the northwest of Iran, and since it is built in the heart of cliffs, it is known as the rocky village of Iran. Being registered as a precious national heritage of Iran and being famous among the travelers, Kandovan Village is one of the three rocky villages in the world, beside Cappadocia in Turkey and Manitou dwellings in California in the US, but Kandovan is the only one which is still inhabited and this feature makes this village even more worth visiting.
The Blue Mosque (Masjed- e Kabood) derives its name out of the blue tiles of its iwan, which is the only part remained with its original construction after the massive earthquake of Tabriz in 1193 AH. This mosque was constructed in Tabriz during the kingdom of Jahanshah, the king of Kara Koyunlu dynasty, and is one of the top samples of Islamic architecture in Iran where visitors can learn about the history of architectural ornaments like brickworks and tileworks.
By driving 130 kilometers from Tabriz you'll reach the Saint Stephanos Monastery of Julfa, which was first built during 9th century BC, but got damaged and reconstructed during different dynasties. This church is located in the heart of a valley by the Aras River which is a border between Iran and Nakhchivan and is a part of the Armenian Monastic Ensambles of Iran, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 2006.
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