Tabriz is the most populated city in the Iranian Azerbaijan, one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Located in the Quru River valley between the long ridge of the volcanic cones of the Sahand and Eynali
mountains, Tabriz's elevation ranges between 1,350 and 1,600 metres
(4,430 and 5,250 ft) above sea level. The valley opens up into a plain
that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia,
60 kilometres (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate
summers, the city is considered a summer resort. Tabriz is named World's
Carpet and Crafts City, it is also appointed as the exemplary tourism city in 2018 by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
With a population of 1.6 million, Tabriz is the biggest economic hub
and the biggest metropolitan area in North West of Iran. The population
consists mostly of Iranian Azerbaijanis and the most spoken language in the city is Azeri Turkic.
Tabriz is a major heavy industry hub for automobile, machine tools,
refineries and petrochemical, textile, and cement production industries.
The city is famous for its handicrafts including hand-woven rugs and
jewelry. Local confectioneries, chocolates, dried nuts, and traditional
food of Tabriz are recognized all around Iran as some of the best
Iranian food. Tabriz is also an academic hub and a site for some of the
most prestigious cultural institutes in the northwest of Iran.
The city has a long and turbulent history with its oldest
civilization sites dating back to 1,500 BC. It contains many historical
monuments representing the transition of Iranian architecture in its
long historical timelines. Most of the preserved historical sites in the
city belong to Ilkhanid (of Mongol Empire), Safavid, and Qajar area, among them is the grand Bazaar of Tabriz which is inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2010.
From the early modern era, the city was pivotal in the development,
movement, and economy of three neighboring regions, namely that of the Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia, and central Iran. From the 19th century, it became the most important city in the country in numerous respects. As the closest Iranian hub to Europe, many aspects of the early modern modernisation in Iran started in Tabriz. Prior to the forced ceding of Iran's Caucasian territories to Imperial Russia following the two Russo-Persian Wars
of the first half of the 19th century, Tabriz was the main city in the
implementation of Iranian rule for its Caucasian territories due to its
proximity. During almost the entire Qajar period (up to 1925), it
functioned as the seat for the crown prince as well.