West Azerbaijan Province is located in the northwest of the country, bordering Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, as well as the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kurdistan. The capital city and largest city of the province is Urmia. The city of Urmia has a higher standard of living in comparison with the other cities of the province. There are plenty of parks, coffee shops, cinemas, and internet cafes throughout. There are hundreds of small villages in the province, most of which have running water and electricity as well as television, satellite and telephone lines. Southern cities which economically are considered poor areas have always been the venue of Kurdish demonstrators against the Islamic regime. West Azerbaijan Province is one of the most important provinces for Iran’s agriculture. West Azerbaijan possesses a rich culture, stemming from Azeri and Kurdish traditions. Many local traditions, such as music and dance, continue to survive among the peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Persia, West Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran’s greatest authors and poets.
This cave is one of the most beautiful caves of Iran which has two parts f water and soil coverages. This is the second water cavern of the country. In most aspects it’s similar to Ali Sadr Cavern. Cave's lake is consisted of three connected ponds where the deepest point is 62m and the average depth is 20m. Length of the cave is about 250m Experts of cultural heritage office, based on evidence of discovering clay relics which were found in main vestibule and large hall and also entrance corridor named Kooneh Malan believe that this cave was habitat of human from first &second centuries B.C. to Parthian & Islamic era and even some periods of middle ages.
Cavern has cauliflower deposits, stalactite and stalagmite. Sahoolan and stalagmite. Sahoolan is a local term which is originally Kurdish and means Glacier and this is because of cool atmosphere of caves inside space.Koone Kooter is also a Kurdish vocabulary and means pigeon's nest. There are some pigeon's nest in this cave and bats are also another living creature of this cave. After entering dry part of cavern, water part is started and similar to Ali Sadr cavern. Boats must be used to enjoy the beauty of this cave. The length of sailing path is not as long as Ali Sadr cave and is shorter. There are lightening along boat passing way which add to cave's beauty. There is a landscape and facilities outside the cave and some rest utilities but limited such as parking lots, handicrafts outlets a general needs and toilets are built for visitors. From cave's entrance to cave's lake level, height changes 45m and numerous steps are developed to get down from upper level. At the foot of steps, there is pier of row boats, by which visitors can go sightseeing in the cave. Presence of many pigeons in this cave provides a very interesting atmosphere which is full of sound of their wings. Cavern has two main openings which are path of embarking to boats and visitors get off second opening, however both are ended at the same entrance site. Number of cave visitors during a year reaches to 180 persons. West Azarbayejan province has many caves especially around Bookan district. but there are many problems in their utilization and introduction to people. Welcome from interested people to Sahloon cave is the evidence of high potentiality in visiting these type of places in province by eager ones.
Area of this swamp is about 900 hectares, water height from sea level is 1625m and it’s one of the swamps of south of Uremia lak. This region is enlisted as one of the four regions that are characterized wild life shelter by Iran environment organization. Water of swamp is maintained partially from Mehabad river and a water source of Gharal Dagh village. The water is not salty and it’s a significant location for the grow of some species of ducks and geese at north west of Iran amongst distinct birds of this region, it may be pointed to white headed duck, white Pleikan, marble duck, different swans and geese, anghootand red wing glariol. Kani Barazan is a selected as the first suitable site for birdwatching.
Residents of Ghara Dagh village speak Kurdish and are very hesitable and rural houses may be rented for short residence. A building for bird watching and some platforms for camping are provided around the swamp. Travel to this swamp in order to bird watching is only possible in summer time the high temperature should be noted.
This lake is formed at behind Arassdam and it’s northern border line is common with Nakh javan autonomous republic. Presence of Aras River beside beach road makes this road also an attractiveness of this region. There are landscapes around the lake and some facilities such as alcove, rest rooms and boating are also available. Lake of Aras dam is located at Makoo economic Zone and while visiting this place, visitors may be favored by free zone economic allures and may also gain in their shoppings.
One of the features of this attractive place is it’s primary to Aras free zone of East Azarbayjan province. People who travel to Julfa can access to this lake by a very short trip.
This mosque was built on columns of an ancient fire temple during sixth and seventh Hijri centuries and some parts were added at other periods of times. The Dome of mosque is brick built with every beautiful brick work under Seljuk style without any mosaic. Architectural form and it’s embellishments are very similar to remained works of Saljuk era. Date of altar construction is 676 .A.H. This was built at the base of old preceding its altar. Underground hall or Shabestan of mosque and its dome house were the oldest parts of this complex that were probably built at Saljuk era.
Attar and pillared courtyards of this mosque. By considering date on altar and discovered works in pillared countyard. The mosque was built at Ilkhanate era. Anchent chambers are around the Courtyard and by referring to registered date they are Zandia era the new parts of this mosque was completed at Qajar era.
Oldness of this monument returns to Saljuk era in 580 A.H. and this date is carved on its portal in Kufic. This building which is constructed under the order of a Saljuk commander named Sheith Qatwh Al Mozaffari is similar to many towers of tombs in this period of time has a circular architectural from with 5m diameter and 13m height and was built in cylindrical structure. The tower is consisted of two storeys and the door of first floor is wooden with 1m height and 70 cm width.
The wooden door of second floor is taller and has a height of about two and a half meters. The tower has splaster works and a very beautiful mosaic work as embellishments which are all remained itact this monument in 1314 S.H.
Area of this lake is about 5 hectares and hectares and is formed by aggregation of Nazloo chai rive within a green beautiful valley among high rise mountains where origin of Nazloo chai is in Turkey. Water of the lake is not salty and there are mountains around it with vegetation coverage of willow, Persian turpentine, wild plums and walnut. The most important fish species are white fish and trout. Falcon, quil and partridge are local birds and this place is suitable for migrating flown.
The best seasons to visit this place are spring and summer. It’s a very desirable place to enjoy idle times and also very pleasant for tourists and nature lovers. Access road to this place is also acceptable.
Solomon throne is located inside an oval fence with strong walls of 5 meters width about 14m height. This wall 38 defense towers. History of This building returns to pathains dynasty of Iran, but the peak of it’s glory grandeur was from sassanian to Ilkhanate dynasties. This region was important from several aspects which make it unique. Solomon throne complex is located on a lime mountain where there is a lake at it’s summit with an artesian source. This mountain is formed during thousands of years by lime sediments that produced by this source.
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 burial location of Mohammmad bin Ali bin Malekdad Tabrizi one of Sufis of seventh century A.H. next to plain tombstora which is the tomb of shams, there is brick minaret is decorate by ram's horns under the order of Shah Ismael who was devoted to Shams. However prevoiously there were three minarets beside Shams tomb, but two of those were demolished by earthquake. Shmas was born in 528 A.H.in Tabriz. After obtaining knowledge he was activated in following Sufi's behavior and moral conducts and leaned knowledge as disciple of grand Sufis. Ice he could not rest at one location he always traveled.
He got acquainted with Mavlana at city of Koniya and made him frenzy like himself. This state of frenzy burdened with high costs on Konia residents know Mavlana as their grand speeches and because of this they forced shams to leave Konia by Prejudice and severity while Movlana could not find him after.
This is one of the three falls which formed on path of small Zab River. There is a very beautiful walking track among these three falls. The first one which it’s access is easy has a height about 45m. Next falls are located on the path to valley and a path into mountains. However, this path way is accessible by building steps and safety fences. In summer time this place is counted as a recreational point for locals and visitors. Beside the first fall there are facilities and tourism capabilities such as parking lots, Resturant and Sanitary services.
The best seasons far visiting these waterfalls is spring and during April and May when the water level of river is highest.
Oldness of this ancient hill returns to 6000 years ago. Remains o a castle have been found in this territory. After different excavations and uncovering upper layers, it was recognized that Hassanlou hill has been habitat of people during 10 historical periods which the oldest one is 6000 years ago and the most important period is the fourth one that was a magnificent period of this place.
The most important discovered work of this hill is Hassanlou Golden cup with 3000 years antiquity and belongs to iron age. This cup is preserved in Ancient Iran Musuem. This hill has a cultural heritage base.
It’s the oldest building belonging to complex and was built in seventh century A.C. Tadeous Tatavous was one of disciples who lost his life. For promoting Christianity and Tadeous church was built on his burying-ground. This complex is consisted of two historical sections where it’s smaller section belongs to seventh century and the newer section was constructed under Abbass Mirza order and appended to the older section is built with black stones but the newer one is built with glorious stones. It’s large conic dome is 24m height.
The church is consisted of a large court for pilgrims residence collection of marginal spaces where is included two more courts and a library. At it’s basement there are mess room, kitchen, mill, two structures belonged to sadookh tomb and sandookh paying room is also included in this complex these places are of great importance for Christians and every year in July. Host Armenians at a three day jubilee which is held on July 20th and as a convention of Armenian. All Christians from every region of Iran get to this church in order to participate in this ritual. Interested parties are better not to visit that place during the week of religious ceremony from July 20th for 7 days, because there is a ceremony inside the Church and visitors are not permitted to enter. Complementary remarks Another church included in the collection of Iran's historical churches is Saint Mary Church with is near Ghara Church, Saint Mary Church, (Zoor Zoor) located at 12 km distance from south of west Azarbayejan province. This church is 30 km from Saint Tadeous church. This church is 30 km from Saint Tadeous church. This church was built under the order of bishop Zakaria who was grand bishop of Saint Tadeous church in order to be a school of religious training in 1315 S.H. in 1366 S.H. because of construction of Baroon dam and it's location within the construction site. This collection was transferred to a 600m off it’s previous location. Collected water at behind the dam gives beautiful scenery to this complex.