Surface Area: 46.929,2 km2.

Located at the heart of the country and Southern Azerbaijan, the Eastern Azerbaijan province consists of 19 counties, namely Tabriz, Aher, Bostanabad, Binab, Serab, Shabester, Keleyber, Maragha, Marand, Miyane, Heris, Azershahr, Usku, Jolfa, Malecan, Varzeghan, Sahand and Heshtrud, 38 regions and 3149 villages.
Tabriz, a historical city, is considered to be the capitol and the biggest city of Southern Azerbaijan. The Eastern Azerbaijan province has a land border of 235 km with the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia. Railroads passing through this province connect Southern Azerbaijan and Iran with Nakhijevan, Yerevan, Tbilisi, Ukraine and all Black Sea ports through the Jolfa line. Having very good highways, the Eastern Azerbaijan province noticeably reduces the heavy traffic problem in all cities and counties. The population of this province was 3.325.540 in 1995. 55,1% of this population reside in cities while 44,9% live in villages.

The population of Tabriz reached to 1.460.000 according to 2006 estimations. The topographic features of the Eastern Azerbaijan province are noteworthy. The highest point in this province is the 3.722 meters high Mount Sahand, located 50 km south of Tabriz. Topographically, the Eastern Azerbaijan province is divided into 3 different regions, namely Mount Qaradag in the north, Sahand and Bozqush in the center, and Ghaflankuh in the south.
The climate of this province is cold and dry. The climate is very cold in mountainous regions, but it is stable in plain regions and lowlands. The average annual temperature in Tabriz is 20 ?C, but it can drop to ? 25 ?C. With its beautiful nature and hospitable people, the Eastern Azerbaijan province has nourished Tabriz, the center of the Southern Azerbaijan homeland. With its mineral and natural water resources, rivers, oaks, mountain peaks, waterfalls and brooks, this province has been a source of inspiration for several artists. Tabriz, considered to be a city of culture and arts, is famous for scholar, poets and men of letters who have lived there. It has been home to several renowned figures like Molla Baba Mazid, Khoajeh Abdul Rahim Acabadi, Sheykh Hasan, Abdol Qadir Nakhjovani, Molana Ahmad Harati, Hamsham Tabrizi, Khaghani Shervani, Asadi Tousi, Abovalla Falaki, Zahir-al Din Faryabi, Ghatran Tabrizi, Shekh Mohammad Khiyabani and Sattarkhan. We cannot overlook Mohammed Shahryar, the master poet of the Azerbaijan homeland in the last century.

Several animal species live in the Eastern Azerbaijan province. Bears, wolves, foxes and rabbits live in the mountains and oak groves. The Eastern Azerbaijan province used to be the second industrial center of Iran in the past, and immensely contributed to the development of the region through the Tarktorsazi and Mashinsazi plants. Despite all these discriminatory policies, Eastern Azerbaijan, particularly its capitol Tabriz, is considered to be a very important industrial region. Several minerals exist in the Eastern Azerbaijan province. One can mention copper, iron, granite, marble and coal mines. Petrochemical industry has been attached more importance in recent years in Eastern Azerbaijan. Having a vast potential in agriculture, stockbreeding is also regarded to be an important source of employment and income in Eastern Azerbaijan.

The City of Tabriz
With 619 kilometers distance to Tehran, and 150 kilometers to the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan, this city has kept its significant location for centuries. The name of Tabriz was mentioned first in the Aserian king, epigraph of Sargon II in 714 BC. During the third and the fourth centuries, Tabriz was a famous city, and it was taken as a capital for the first time by the Rewadiyan Family. Between the Rewadiyan period and the Moguls, the city had been destroyed several times due to earthquakes. During the Moguls occupation, Tabriz was formally the capital of the Moguls kings, and during Sultan Mahmood Ghazan (694 AD) Tabriz enjoyed its golden age, and was very big and developed city.

The Alishah Mosque, the Rasheedi Quarter, and the Shanb Ghazan were constructed during this period. After the Moguls too, during the Jalayeries, the Turkomans, and the Safavids, Tabriz was the formal capital of Iran. The Kabood Mosque is of the remainings of the Turkomans period. During the late centuries, Tabriz was also significant for its accommodation of the people's revolutions and for the great solidarity against the Ottomans and the Russian attacks. So the people of Tabriz are famous for their brave hart commanders such as Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan who were the people's commanders during the Constitution Revolution (1905). In 1920, the Aleasder Shaykh Mohammed Khyabani rebelled against the British invaders in Tabriz, and his movement resulted into the cancellation of the Iran-British treaty. And finally, during the Islamic Revolution (1978-1979) the people of Tabriz have played a significant role which resulted into the victory of the revolution.

Now, Tabriz is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Iran, and its main historical leisure places are as following:

• The Municipality Palace which is the most nice building in Tabriz. It was constructed according to the Western architecture, and it belongs to the Pahlavi I period.

• The Remaining of the Rasheedi Quarter Castle which belongs to the Moguls period.

• The Historical Village Kandevan and its Mineral Water Spring which is located on the southern side of the town of Osko.

• The Historical Complex of the Great Bazaar of Tabriz which belongs to the early centuries of the Islamic period.

• The Friday Mosque which is one of me oldest historical buildings in Tabriz, and according to some historians its building's history belongs to the early Islamic period.

• The Alishah Mosque (Arke Tabriz) which was built by Tajoldeen Alishah Gilani Tabriz!, the Prime of Sultan Mohammed Khodabandeh and Abu Sa'eed Bahadorkhan from 716 to 725 AH.

• The Kabood Mosque (Gouy Masjid) which is one of the remainings of the Jahan Shah Ben Qareh Yousef, one of the Turkomans kings of Aq Quenlo. It was built in 870 AH.

• The Poets' Cemetery which is one of the most attractive buildings in Tabriz now. Many of the Azarbaijani famous poets as well as many Arefs and scholars have been buried there.

• Sayed Hamzeh Tomb which is one of the beauiful places in Tabriz, and has significant decorations. It is one of the Safavids and the Qajar remainings, and many people visit it daily.

• The Azarbaijan Museum which contains a significant collection of the most valuable historical remainings, collected from different parts of the province.

• The Natural Valleys of the Saeed Abad and Sahand Mountains which is known as the bride mountain of Iran.

• The Beautiful Building and Garden of Eel Gueli (former Shahguli) which is of the Qajar period.

The Town of Bostanabad
Bostanabad is located 55 Kilometers far away from Tabriz. The town was built on the site of the old city Ojan which was disappeared and its name was mentioned in most books of history since the sixth century AH. Ojan was the summer capital of the Moguls, which was completely destroyed later on due to various events. From the many historical and natural valuable places in the district of Bostanabad, one can mention the following:

• Quory Gueol Lake which is one of the most beautiful leisure places of the province, and one of the natural shelters for many migrant birds.

• Warm Water Spring which is located near the main road between Tabriz and Tehran.

• Aq Bolaq Cave which is located south to Qara Chaman.

The Town of Shabestar
Shbabestar is located 60 kilometers north-east of Tabriz. It is situated on the main Iranian-International railway line which connects Tehran and Tabriz to Turkey and Europe. During the Safavid period, the famous road named Tabriz-Tarabouzan was crossing the district of Shabestar. The district of Shabestar is famous also because of the famous Aref Shaykh Mahmood Shabestary (Author of Gulshane Raz) and because it was the birth place of the clergy rebel Skaykh Mohammed Khyabani (birth in Khamaneh) and the famous Azery author of scoffing books, Mirza Alt Akbar Moejiz Shabestari.

The most interesting historical places and buildings of the district of Shabestar are as following:

• The Jami' Mosque (the Friday Pray Mosque-Tasouj) which was constructed in 989 AH, during the period of Sultan Mohammed Khodabandeh.

• Shaykh Mohammed Shabestari Tomb which belongs to the modem time.

• The Oromeyeh Lake-side which is valuable for its being leisure place.

• The Outskirts of Mishudagh Mountain and the Fall of Aishabad which are known as leisure places.

Ahar (Arasbaran)
The mountainous district of Ahar is one of the oldest states of Azarbaijan. The Ahar area was the battle-field between Babak Khorramdeen and his followers on the one side, and the Arab solders on the other, for 20 years during the third century AH. The town of Ahar, also was the headquarters of the chief commander, Abbas Mirza, during the battle between Iran and Russia during the late Qajar period.

The most interesting historical places and remainings of this district can be mentioned as following:

• The Historical Castles named Qahqah, Jousheen, Pashtow and Norooz which belong to the early Islamic period.

• The Stony Epigraph Soqndel which is located north to Warzeqan, and belongs to the pre-Christ history.

• The Old Bazaar

• The Jami' Mosque of Ahar which belongs to the Saljuk period.

• The Holly Tomb of Shaykh Shehaboldeen Ahari which is the grave of the famous Azarbaijani Aref. It is decorated in very interesting and beautiful way, and it belongs to the seventh century AH.

• Paygham Beautiful Valley and Paygham Historic Castle.

• Saigram Daq Protected Natural Area which is registered by the UNISCO as Biosphere Derey Store.

The Town of Kaleber
This town is located 165 kilometers north-east of Tabriz. The district of Kaleber is affected by the Caspian Sea climate, so its high mountains are always covered by fog. The Aras river crosses this district from the northen part, and the famous castle of Babak (The People Castle) is located on the mountain and it called locally by the name Qiz Qalasi. It is situated 2600 meters high, west to Kaleber.

From the other historic places, one can name the following:

• The Castle and the Historic Bath of Kardasht which is located inside the village Kardasht, and it belongs to the Qajar period.

The Town of Sarab
This town is 636 kilometers far away from Tehran, and 130 kilometers far away from Tabriz. The district of Sarab is situated between the high mountains of Bozquosh and the peak of Sabalan, and it enjoys temperate weather in summer while it is very cold in winter. The town of Sarab is one of the oldest and historic settlements of Azarbaijan. An epigraph is found near the town which belongs to the Orartoey period. The volcanic mountains which are situated around the town provide the area with many mineral water as numeral springs and streams.

From the many interesting places in Sarab, one can visit the following:

• The stony Epigraph of Orrartoey Qirakh Qizlar (Neshteban)

• The stony Epigraph of Razliq which is located 12 kilometers north to the town of Sarab.

• Fire Place (Chahar Taqi) Aghmeyon which is located north-east to the town of Sarab, and it belongs to the Sasanid period.

• The Stony Caravan Sara Saein which belongs to the Safavid period.

• The Old and Stony Mosques Jamalabad and Asneq which are located in Alan Baraghoush, and belong to the early Islamic period.

• The Jami' Mosque of Sarab which belongs to the 9th century AH.

• The Warm and Mineral Water Springs such as Allah Haq, Abres, and Sarab.

The Town of Maragheh
The district of Maragheh is located on the west-south part of the province, and on the outskirts of the mountain Sahand, and its distance to Tabriz is 130 kilometers. The town of Maragheh is one of the oldest and the most historical valuable towns of Iran. During the liberation battles of Babak Khorramdeen with the Arabs, this town was the headquarters of the Arab army. In 628 AH Maragheh was occupied by the Moguls, and in 656 AH it became the headquarters of the Mogul famous commander and leader Houlako Khan. There are still many historical remainings from Houlako Khan period existed in Maragheh.

From the many historical places of Maragheh, one can mention the following:

• The Historical Castle of Qizlar Qalasi which belongs to the later Sasanid and the earlier Islamic period.

• The Remainings of the Maragheh Observatory which belongs to the Houlako Period.

• The Five Domes (Surkh, Kabood, Modawwar, Ghaffareyyeh, and Guei Borj) which belong to the Moguls period.

• The Famous Cave of Kabootar which is located on the south-east of Maragheh.

• The Old Mosques of Molla Rustam, Moezel Deen, Shaykh Baba, as well as the Maragheh Jami' Mosque, all belong to different Islamic periods.

• The Tomb of the famous Azarbaijani Poet, Aohadi Maraghaei.

• The Mineral Water Springs: Varjavi, Gushayesh, Sari Su, Shour Su, and Okoz Boughaz. The Beautiful Vally of Gushayesh which is located near to the Kabooter Cave.

• The Beautiful Outskirts of Mountainous Forests of Sahand which are located on the easter side of the district of Maragheh.

The Town of Marand
The district and the town of Marand are situated on the north-west of the East-Azarbaijan province, on a semi-mountainous area. More than two fifth of the total area are mountainous and the remainings are flat and highly fertilized areas. Marand was an important center during the Kaldeh and Ashour period, and according to some historians, the profit Nooh was buried there. The name of Marand was extracted from the Pahlavid word "Maadvand" which means the place where the Maad tribes live.

The most important historical and natural places in Marand are as following:

• The Remainings of a Sasanid period Fire-place which is located on the gray hill of Marand.

• The Jami' Mosque of Marand which is very old, and belongs to the pre-Islamic period, then the early Islamic.

• St. Stepanos Church which belongs to the early Islamic period.

• Yaam Valley Leisure Place.

• The Outskirts of the Mishoodagh Mountain and the Water Fall of Asiab Kharabeh.

The Town of Meianeh
The district and the town of Meianeh are situated in a valley between two mountain chains called Bozqoosh and Qafelankooh. Meianeh is one of the oldest Iranian towns, and it was totally destroyed by the Moguls attacks, but it was once again reconstructed and developed. It was also called some times ago by the name of "Meianj" and "Garmrood". From the many historical places in Meianeh one can name; the Girl Bridge, the Girl Castle, Imam-Zadeh Esmaeel Tomb, and the Turk Big Stony Mosque.

The Town of Hashtrood
The town and the district of Hashtrood are situated south-east to Tabriz, and north to Zanjan. The name of Hashtrood means "8 rivers" which came from the location of the town near to the 8 rivers of the region. The name of these rivers are; Qaranqow, Idoghmoosh, Aji Chay, Qaleh Chay, Qouri Chay, Ajeerioo, Qareh Qieh, and Laylan Chay. And beacuse of these 8 rivers, the district of Hashtrood is significant for its country side landscapes. The most attractive places in Hashtrood are; the Zahhak Castle as well as the beautiful river-sides.

The Town of Harees

The district and the town of Harees are known as historical places in the E-Azarbaijan province, and according to the Deed of Endowment, which is called "the Rasheedi Quarter", and it was written during the Ghazan Khan Mogul period, it was inhabited area. The town of Harees is one of the oldest and the most fertilized areas of the province. The most important religious and historic places in the area, are; Shaykh Ishaaq Tomb, the Maneeq Grave, and the gout Grave. The town of Harees and the surrounding villages are internationally well-konown for the good quality and very beautiful carpets which are produced there. The carpet of Harees is one of the most advanced art and handicrafts, not only in Iran, but all around the World.

Wild Life

Many kinds of wild animals live in the province of E-Azarbaijan. On the mountainous and forest areas; live beers, wolfs, pigs, foxes, and rabbits. On the river-sides and lake-sides there are: partridge, duck, wild duck, pheasant, ringdove, pelican, flamingo, different kinds of ducks, crane, swan, heron, and other kinds of birds. Near to the peaks of Sahand, Bozqoosh and Qaradaagh, live many kinds of wild animals such as; wild sheep, wild cat, partridge, beer, panther, deer, gazelle, falcon, and other kinds. And in the mountainous forest, live many kinds of snakes, serpents, rattlesnake, and different kinds of lizards.

Trip to, and Stay in the Province
All districts and towns of the province are provided with well connected nets of roads, and traviling facilities, so a trip to these destinations is very easy job. All towns of the province are well facilitated by networks of services such as telecommunication and health services, and all service staff are familiar with tourism regulations as well as local culture. The International Airport of Tabriz is well facilitated, and many international as well as national flights are held there daily.

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