Tabriz, the capital of the Province of Eastern Azerbaijan, is located in Northwestern Iran and is one of Iran’s oldest and most important cities.
The plain is surrounded in three directions by mountains or rolling hills and it borders Lake Urmia in its western edge. The highest mountain in the proximity of Tabriz is Mt. Sahand, which lies 50 km to its south. In between the two are scattered hills with an average additional height of 500-600m, relative to the plain, called Yanix Dāgh (Burnt Mountains).
The city of Tabriz extends to Marand and Ahar in the north, Maragheh and Hashtroud in the south, Sarāb and Mianeh in the east and to Lake Urmia in the west. The eastern side of this city borders the Sorkhāb Mountains, and to a lesser extent, borders the Rafieieh and Oghbeh Mountains.
The west side of the city lays on open plain and the major feature of the landscape is the Khojast sea which is also called ‘Shāha’; a name that is incorporated, in part, in the name of a small village in the Area, Shāhi, which lie in the outskirts of the city.
Tabriz contains many historical monuments, representing Iran’s architectural transition throughout its deep history. Most of Tabriz’s preserved historical sites belong to Ilkhanid, Safavid and Qajar.
Among these sites is the grand Bazaar of Tabriz, which is designated a World Heritage Site. From the early modern era, Tabriz was pivotal in the development, movement and economy of its three neighboring regions; namely the Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia and Central Iran. In modern era city played a vital role in the history of Iran.
As the country’s closest hub to Europe, many aspects of early modernisation in Iran began in Tabriz. Prior to forced ceding of Iran’s Caucasian territories to Imperial Russia, following two Russo-Persian Wars in the first half of the 19th century, Tabriz was at the forefront of Iranian rule over its Caucasian territories. Until 1925, the city was the traditional residence for the crown princes of the Qajar dynasty.