West Azerbaijan Province in Iran
About West Azerbaijan
West Azerbaijan is located in the northwestern province of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The province has over 3 million people, excluding Lake Urmia, with an area of 37411 square kilometers. West Azerbaijan has common water and soil border with three foreign countries: Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iraq. It is located just a few kilometers from the fourth country, Armenia, and in this respect, it is the most unique province of Iran.
This picturesque province, backed by vast and long-standing historical and peoples of different religions, religions, and ethnicities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Assyrians, Armenians, Turks, and Kurds. It is a symbol of peaceful coexistence in Iran or even coexistence in the world. West Azerbaijan has three major garden products include apple, grape, peach. This province having worldwide recorded historical monuments, including Takht-e-Soleyman and Ghara Church, and being among the top 10 provinces in terms of historical and cultural monuments listed in the National Monuments List.
Land of Apple Gardens
In the northwest of Iran, there is a wonderful land with high mountains bordering Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iraq. From the earliest times of history different tribes of Kurds, Azaris, Assyrians, and Armenians have been living peacefully in this part of the world. This is attested by various churches and fire temples that are extant in the region. The mountains of the province are connected to Ararat Mountain Range in eastern Turkey. These mountainous areas make some of the best resorts in Iran.
Lake Uremia, one of the saltiest lakes of the world, is located in the province and contains many islands which are the habitats of different kinds of local and migrating birds. The people of this province are famous for being hardworking and dignified. Most of them earn their livings through farming and husbandry. Apple gardens have bestowed a unique beauty to this province. The Azari music comes in as many diverse styles as the number of tribes living there. Different kinds of group dance are common among the Kurds and the Azari in which men and women dance together. The handicrafts of the province include carpet, rug, and drugget weaving and woodworks.
Hasanlu Ancient Hill
The hill has a height of 20 meters and is located 12 km northeast of the town of Naghadeh. Based on archeological researches by Mr. Dyson, the civilization on this hill dates back to the 6th millennium BC. A temple, a gifting platform, and some rooms have been discovered and the most important object which has been found in Hasanlu is a dish that belongs to Mana tribes living 1300-800 BC.
This is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran. It is located near the town of Takab on a hill 20 meters above the plain level. Around the structure, there is a thick wall made of stone and plaster which is 5 meters wide, 14 meters high, and 1200 meters long. The outer part of the wall is made of carved stones and there are 38 funnel-like defensive towers. Inside the castle, there is a lake, the palace of Sassanid King Khosro I, Abaghakhan Palace, and the Azargoshasb temple.
Inscriptions of King Shapur II
Noruz garden is located in the east of the main square of Salmas town. In the west of this garden, there is a huge stone carving in the Pahlavi language (Middle Persian language). The inscription dates back to the time of King Shapur II and Narseh (Narses) of the Sassanid dynasty in the 3rd-century CE.
The ancient castle is located near Bastam Ghara Ziaad-Din village. It contains a temple, a bazaar, a government division, protecting walls, gates, and secret passages. Based on archeological evidence, the castle dates back to the 7th century BC.
Baghcheh Jugh palace
This palace is located in a large garden with an area of 11 hectares in the town of Maku. The structure dates back to the Qajar era (19th century) and was built at the order of Eqbal os-Saltaneh Makuyi, the region’s ruler of the time. The architectural style is greatly influenced by Russian architecture. This palace has two floors with lots of rooms and a shingle roof. The interior decoration mainly consists of plaster and mirror work. The exterior decoration consists of flat stones with plaster statues.
Saint Taddeus Church is located in Ghara Kelisa village, in one of the regions of Maku town. The church is also the tomb of Saint Taddeus who came from Mesopotamia to the region in 43 A.D. to preach Christianity but was martyred at the hand of the king of Armenia in 66 A.D. The church consists of two white and black pants in a land area of 6285 square meters. The white dome is 24 meters high and the black one is 18.6 meters high. There are 24 abbeys around it with bas-reliefs of human faces, columns, and arches. A ceremony is held every year on the anniversary of Saint Tadi’s martyrdom. The structure was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008, along with other Armenian Monastic ensembles in Iran.
This is the largest lake in Iran which is 130- 140 km long, 15-50 km wide, and 50-60 meters deep. The water in this lake is too salty for fish or other sea creatures except for a kind of mollusk called Artima. The water of this lake never freezes. Physicians were always aware of the therapeutic effect of Lake Urmia water on skin diseases which is owing to its high level of minerals. This lake also contains 102 large and small deserted islands which are natural habitats of local and migrating birds.
This waterfall is located near the city of Sardasht. It is 10 meters high and the green surrounding valleys give it a unique beauty.
Friday-Prayer Mosque of Orumiyeh, Neneh Maryam Church, Margioshouy Church, Kalimian Synagogue, Orumiyeh traditional bazaar, Kalleh Shin tablet, Ghalaichi hill, Takht-e Soleyman, Gharah Kelisa, virgin Mary Castle, Mausoleum of Shams Tabrizi, Matlab Khan Mosque, Bastam stronghold, Baghcheh Jugh Palace, Hameh Mosque of Mahabad, Gur Dakhmeh, Fakhrikah, Hasanlu hill, and so on.
Followings are the main natural attractions of the West Azerbaijan province: Gharah Gol Wetland, Sahulan Cave, Sad Mahabad lake, Agh Gol, Esgh Abad, Gravn Spring of Sardasht, Shelmash, etc.