Ardabil is an ancient city in Iranian Azerbaijan. Ardabil is the center of Ardabil Province. Ardabil is known for its silk and carpet trade tradition. Ardabil rugs are renowned and 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 Ardabil Shrine, the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponymous founder of the Safavid dynasty. The province is believed to be as old as the Achaemenid era (ca. 550–330 BCE). It is mentioned in the Avesta, where prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalan Mountains. In the heart of the Ardabil city, this bazaar stands as old as the Islamic period. It’s shape was described by the historians of the 4th century CE 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 Bazar, 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.
This road is one of the beautiful routes in Iran and is the main access way to Ardebil from Tehran, because of most of the time it’s high height is covered with fog and during autumn and winter is snowy. However, since this route is the main access road of Ardebil province new would be blocked. The route same as its name has stunning beauty which starts with Caspian jungles within Gillan province then by the increase of height jungles change to green pastures.
Although there are many roads as beautiful as their one, but visiting this road is wonderwhile. In this gorge, first and starting station of Heirran gondola lift In Gillan province is located whic h ended in Fandowghloo jungle in Ardebil province. Convenience facilities are provided for travelers at start and end station of gondola lift.
Precipitation and sources around this lake are resources of maintaining it’s water. Natural appearance of the lake’s circumference is mountaineous and it’s located at the height of 2480m of sea level. This lake with average area of 457 hectare is the largest fresh water lake of the province. It’s one of the fishing points in this province and it’s specified fish is rainbow trout.
Since water of lake freezes in winter, it’s fish are collected in late autumn and cultured fish are freed in it’s water again in early spring. Near lake locates in the center of Neor protected zone. The best touring time of this lake is late spring up to the end of summer.
This monument which is eleventh world's registered work of Iran is burial place of Sheik Safi olden Ardabili who is ancestor of Safavid dynasty and was a great poet and Gnostic. The complex was built in 735 A.H. by his son Sadroaldenn Mossa for the father. Since Sheikh Safi was venerable for safvid kings each of them added a building to this complex. First Shah Abbas who had a special devotion to his ancestor and repeatedly traveled to this point for visiting the tomb complex. This collection is a complete landmark of Islamic virtue and art.
The most predominant and expertise masters in diversified art fields were working on this tomb to make it a very magnificent piece of art. One of the exploited arts in embellishing this complex is moaragh & mocarable works along with beautiful gypsum plaster works on glorious epigraphs, distinct carvings, silver works, gilding and gold works, painting and fine gypsum yard largest great yard where a set of structures are located around this yard and a little space among garden great and southern yard which is also called martyr point. First structure of the complex is Allah Allah dome which is an octagonal element with a dome in torques color. The holy word of Allah is imprinted repeatedly on this dome and because of this it is named Allah Allah doe. The height of dome is 17m and beneath that there is the tomb of Sheik Safi on the tomb there is a wooden box with a beautiful carving including an epigraph in region calligraphy. Another important components of this complex which is worth to point out is Janat Sara mosque, china house, marlyr point, haram house and King seat and tomb of shah Ismael Safavid. One of the elements of this complex is Janat Sara mosque which is octagonal and has not an alter. It’s probable that this place had been used mystic ceremonies and Sufis rituals. This part of complex also has a dome that its ceiling collapsed at Qajar era and on it’s location there is a flat wooden roof that was constructed using wooden columns. Another component of this complex is china house which is polygonal and a short brick built dome is constructed on it’s roof. The surface of some parts of china house's wall is covered with mosaic to the height of 25m and on the walls, false arcs with concentrated delicate gypsum works the same as Aali Ghapoo instrument room can be seen. This place is named because all invaluable and unique china dishes of First Shah abbass were stored in this place. Precious and valuable books were also kept in this location of complex chaina house has four daises and also mocarable gypsum false arcs where painting by gold works are imprinted on them. Tomb of Shah Ismael is also a small room which has a brick dome roof where at the top of walls and it’s ceiling there significant with flower designs which are ornamented by gold plating and different colors. Avery invaluable carved wooden box having inlaid work is located on Shah Ismael tomb which is said was a present dedicated by Homayoon Shah Goorkan. Martyr point is another element of this complex that is built next to Sheikh Safai and consisted of two graves of Soltan Heidar and Soltan Jonaid who were buried in this place under the order of Shah Ismael Safavid.In 905 A.H, Shah Ismael decided to bury corpses of his father sultan Heidar and grand father sultan Jonaid who were killed in Shervan battle and buried in that place 30, he transfers them to Ardebil to be buried again.
This mosque was constructed on a fire temple at Saljuk era. Single brick built minaret of mosque has 8m height and 5m diameter and shows its oldness to be of early centuries of Islam. Some parts of its balcony and arch was damaged during Mongols invasion. It’s domed attic was repaired in 650 A.H. and it’s dome was also repairedrecently.
Totally a little part of this historical mosque remained, but since it’s one of the oldest mosque in the west of Iran. Therefore it has high importance.
Oldness of this structure returns to seventh century A.H. at Ilkhanate era at Safavid times this hammam was revamped and used, at Qajar era a person named "Agha Naghi" has bought building and once again it was repaired and some parts added to primary component. In 1378 S.H.
this building become anthropology museum by cultural Heritage Organization and was prepared to be visited by interested people and 30 statues that wear local garments are installed to exhibit culture and tradtions of it’s territory.
This relic was registered in Iran’s National works list in 1364 S.H. Considering historical documents oldness of this bazaar returns back to fourth century A.H. but after that date and in different periods of history it was repaired or some parts added to original structure. What we can see today, maily corresponds to architectural style of Safavid and Qajar ages and this bazaar had it’s highest influence also at Safavid era, due to historic, perceptions of Safavid kings regarding Ardebil.
This bazaar similar to bazaars of other cities is consisted of passage way, arcade, commercial warehouses, mosques. Bazaar is covered and required light maintains from openings which were provided on domes.
Antiquity of this bridge returns to Safavid era. As it’s known from name of this bridge. It has 7 inlets with arched ceiling which are built by brick, mortar, gypsum and lime. It’s stands also made of stone whereas spaces between them are the same, thus the bridge has symmetry.
As ancient manuscripts, Zoroaster's place of birth was located here. This complex had very high importance and holiness dor Sassanian. After Romans invasion some part of this complex demolished after Islam was accepted by Iranians, the complex gradually lost it’s significance. At Ilkhanian Mongols, some parts were added to this complex and it was used as summer capital city by them. One of the important structures of this complex is Azargoshasb fire temple, this fire temple is one of the oldest ones in Iran. It’s name has been addressed in Shahnameh 61 times and it’s one of the tree most important fire temple of Iran Azargoshasb, Azar faranbagh and Azarbarzin. This fire temple is located at northern part of lake. The temple was built at Sassanian era. Hollyfire was delivered from these three fire temples to other ones. Khossrow balcony is another building which is located at north weste of the lake and it’s construction returns to Sassanian era. This balcony is made of red brick and mortar. Another important work within this complex which is natural is a lake at the center of the complex that glares at the center of complex like a signet having specified features. These small lakes has 70m cliameter where water is ettervescing from depth of 60m and maintain lake's water. Suprisingly the temperature of lake's water is the same in summer, winter and is about 21c. This is an evidence and reason showing that it’s water comes from very deep water table. This source is the biggest travertine making sources in Iran. One of the springs this is seprated from the lake and follows down the hill. Makes wall shape ribbons around the hill. One of those bands is called Solomon dragon. Solmon throne complex is fourth global registered work that on the 5th of July 2004 enlisted as UNISCO's global heritages.
This tomb is burial location of Seyed Aminal deen Jebrail father of Sheik Safialdeen Issac Ardebilli who is ancestor of Safavid kings. It was built in tenth century A.H. this is a brick built monument with rectangular front. At front side both margins of entrances portal, some chamfered structures with arched tops are built and a balcony with mosaic work attracts visitors at entrance portal. it’s dome is three layered and brick built.
Because of Gnostic character of Sheik he had a high respect and title in people's points of view. Entrances door had two peaks of minarets mad of gold that were stolen and now are preserved in France museum.
This tomb is burial location of Sheik Heidar who is the father of first Shah Ismael Safavid. The tomb is cylindrical tower with 18m height and about 10m diameter, which is located at old cemetery of city. Towers elevation is a composition of brick work together with mosaic work in torques color and repeated impeated imprints of term "Allah" that some parts of that damaged in course of time. At four sides of the tomb there are windows which are ornamented with beautiful gypsum works in order to let entry of light and air.
This building has a twelve side polygon structure from inside which is consisted of two storeys. Some expert by considering original building's from believe that it was primarily constructed in seventh century A.H. and covered by mosaic at Safavid era. Sheik Heidar was one of the Sheik Safi aldeen Ardebili's grand children who was born at Meshkinshahr. He was killed during a battle in 867 A.H. this relic enlisted as Iran's national works in 1311 S.H.
Construction of this castle may return to before Islam ages, but it was applicable at different periods of history. The castle is located on a signal huge rock and is accessible only from one side and also this one is very hard to pass the most important periods of castle functionalist was Safavid era when it was used as state treasury and prison. This castle was host of important people. The most important was the second Shah Ismael of Safavid dynasty.
He was imprisoned in this castle up to his father's Shah Tahmasbeb first demise. It means that he had been imprisoned for 19 years. Another person who was imprisoned in this castle was Khan Ahmad Khan, Gilan's governor and Amir Khan Mouslovi Torkaman, ruler of Tabriz.
From nearest village to Shahrir is 2 km distance and it’s a dusty road. An ancient district with 400 hectares area where humans resided 8 thousands years ago and became completely abandoned 4 thousands years ago. Some remnants of burning are obvious on different parts of this district. This district was consisted of numerous components such as temple, Castle city and Ghoosha hill. In it’s temple there are 280 standing stones which are identifier of each member groups of stone city and their leader who put that up inside temple.
All stones have eyes and noses but do not have mouths. A waist band and saber have been embossed on each stone. This temple of Neolithic age was identified and discovered in 1381 S.H. and has been excavated under two seasons and included diversified relics from Neolithic to late Iron ages. The most important component is the same uncovered stone temple and there is not much remnant from other parts.
Sabalan is the highest mount of Iran with height of 4811m and an inactive volcano. At Crater of Sabalan which is 4811m higher than Sea level there is a lake formed with 150 x 250 m area. It’s highest lake in the world and is frozen most of the year. Mount Sabalan provides many blessing for district because it’s a volcano. At the foot of Sabalan mountains, there are many mineral cold and hot water sources which are favored by this inactive volcano.
This region is one of the four centres of hot mineral water in Iran. Alvaress Piste is another attractivenesses of this mountain which locates at 30 km off Sarain. It’s access is different from mount Sabalan access path. Mount Sabalan is one of the registered national landmarks at Iran Environment Organization.
Gillan province which is in vicinity of Ardebil province is one of the best route to access. This jungle park, because this beautiful mountaneous jungle park is located. This park is one of the significant recreational in this place, it’s called hazelnut jungle. However, the park has other fruit trees such as wild apple, green plum, medlar, qwince, raspberry and strawberry, but because there is many hazelnut tree in this park, it’s named after this tree. This region has cool and mountain climate which is very suitable and leasant to be visited in summer time. The area of park is about 25 km.
Because of hot water sources, Ardebil is accounted as a tourism location particularly at summer season. These kind of places are complementary attractions which provide a trip full of happy memories for travelers. Inside the park there are residential facilities for travelers to stay and interested people can stay at night in this place of nice and fresh climate. This park is also very suitable for camping, specially for students camping programs because of high safety and security of place, it can help student to learn how to stay in nature and also use their free time properly. Fandowghloo ski piste is also located inside this park. This piste has ski school ski tow, parking lots and grass ski piste. The later one apecially in summer when travelers arrive in Ardebil from other provinces is a very pleasant place of recreation. Inside the jungle, there is a hot water pond called "Masheh Souei" where it’s water has healing effects and many people go to this jungle because of this visitors can also go hiking in the jungle tracks with their families while enjoying hot water pond as well. The beautiful water fall which is located in this region is another attracriveness. In Fandowghloo region, there are wild animals such as fox, wolf, brown bear, sable and quill where as golden eagle pheasant are it’s birds species. One of the very scarce plant species in Iran that is called luster lily also grows in this jungle. Another plant which is self grown and abundant in this jungle is chamomile flower. Some parts of park in May looks like a white plain of chamomile flowers and that is why chamomile festival is held at this time of the year.
Length of this valley is 30 km and it starts from Lahroud to Shabil hot water as an end point which is parallel to main road. Resulted erosions by flood water made this valley through Sabalan volcano igneous deposits. Depth of valley in some locations is more than 150m. Pillars which are remained from erosions in forms similar to hoodoo and demon’s throne can be found in this valley.
Rare water falls and it’s feature of being paradise of archeologist make this valley capable to be registered as world’s Natural Haritages uner classification of natural geoparks of Iran. The Access road is near the valley and at the top of that. It’s recommended to watch valley’s beautiful from road side down. Descending into valley is very technical and is not recommended in case of interest in descending down, local guides must be hired. Some parts of access road where it goes very close to valley is the best location to watch vally scenery. Two hot water locations named Shabil and Ghootoor Sooei are located at the same road. Climbing point of Sabalan mountain is beside Shabil hot water pond at the end of the access road.
Area of this lake was 640 thousands square meters previously and it is accounted as a salty water lakes, it’s name also emphasize this feature. Around this lake are mud and sludge with healing properties. In 1371 S.H. by conducting water of Balkhow river into this lake, it’s area expanded to 1800 hectares and it’s saltiness of water decreases and due to this, healing muds are not available around the lake any more.
Artima lived in this lake like Urmia like, but after making it’s water fresh these creatures disappeared that caused some ecosystem’s problems in the new lake’s environment, some of which can be pointed to, is water freezing in winters. Due to it’s location that is near Ardebil city limits, it has soured advantages as being a resort while it has many sport, cultural and recreational facilities such as boating, athlete’s track, cycling and hotel. Salmon and gold trout are the fish of this lake.
It’s height is 20m. It’s water is maintained from small sources of its upper levels, the most important one is Sardabeh water source which is located at Sardabeh village and it’s temperature is 350C. This hot spring has mineral water of Calcium and sulfur, sulfates type. Water volume is low and in some hot month it’s current interrupts. Water fall’s circumference is one of province’s recreational points.
Sardabeh waterfall also is one of the attractiveness around this hot spring which locals believe it can cure chlorosis disease.
This region’s jungles include Oak tree and are very concentrated and beautiful. A design for developing a tourism village and gondola lift was provided but still it’s not implemented. This region has a special place and has become a recreational district. At the end of asphalt road some arbors and sanitary services were developed. At northern height of the village. There is a castle named Kafu and a fire temple.
This village is near one of the coldest cities of Iran and suitable visiting season of the region is summer.
Iran has 40 regions and 550 sources of mineral water which are mainly spread in Alborz and Zangross mountain ranges. But Iran’s hot water sources are mainly located at 4 districts of Ardebil, Larijan, Hormozgan and Ramsar. They are numerious hot water sources in these 4 districts that make these regions known as hot springs poles for this feature. The most important district is Ardebil. There are 100 mineral water sources in Ardebil province where 22 of them are functioning.
Only in Saraein, there are 11 hot springs near each other and many facilities are provided for public use of hot water greatest population of visitors. About 3 million tourists visit this province annually, where the main reason for their travel is hot springs of the region. One of the unique hot water sources is called Ghinerja in Meshkinshahr at the foot of Sabalan where it’s water temperalure reaches to 820 C. One of the keys and important points in exploiting hot springs is providing facilities and convenient conditions for users. People generally come to these places to treat their problems, It’s necessary to prepare suitable conditions for their residence and using hot springs. These types of facilities are available at reasonable level in Saraaine city and this city is known as Irans’s hot springs city.