Ardabil

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For the province of Iran, see Ardabil Province. For the county within the province, see Ardabil County.
Ardabil
اردبیل -دارالارشاد
Artawil
City
Tomb of Safi-ad-din Ardabili
Nickname(s): دارالارشاد، دارالملک، دارالعرفان، دارالامان و شهر مقدس Darolershad ( Home Of Gentrice )
Ardabil is located in Iran
Ardabil
Ardabil
Coordinates: 38°15′N 48°17′E / 38.250°N 48.283°E / 38.250; 48.283Coordinates: 38°15′N 48°17′E / 38.250°N 48.283°E / 38.250; 48.283
Country Iran
Region 3
Province Ardabil
County Ardabil
Bakhsh Central
Government
 • Mayor Hamid Lotfollahian
 • Parliament Haghighatpour, Pirmoazzen & Afzalifard
Area
 • Total 18.011 km2 (6.954 sq mi)
Elevation 1,351 m (4,432 ft)
Population (2012[1])
 • Total 485,153 & 564,365
 • Density 18,857/km2 (48,840/sq mi)
  City & County
Demonym Ardabili
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Postal code 56131-56491
Area code(s) (+98) 45
Website www.eardabil.ir ardabil.ostan-ar.ir

Ardabil About this sound pronunciation  (Persian: ‎اردبیل, Azerbaijani: Ərdəbil, also Romanized as Ardabīl and Ardebīl)[2] is an ancient city in north-western Iran. Ardabil is the center of Ardabil Province. At the 2011 census, its population was 564,365, in 156,324 families,[3] where the dominant majority are ethnic Azeris.[4][5]

An Ardabil "glim" (Ardabil rug)

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 sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponym of the Safavid Dynasty.

Ardabil is the birthplace of Ali Daei, FIFA's greatest ever male international goalscorer.

Etymology[edit]

The name Ardabil comes from the Avesta "Artavila" which means a holy town or a holy place.[6]

Location[edit]

Ardabil is about 70 km (43 mi) from the Caspian Sea, and 210 km (130 mi) from the city of Tabriz. It has an average altitude of 1,263 metres (4,144 ft) and total area of 18.011 km2 (6.954 sq mi). Neighboring on the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azerbaijan, this city is and has been of great political and economical significance throughout history, especially within the Caucasus region. It is located on an open plain 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalan (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring. Wastewater is used on crops, rangelands, forests, parks and golf courses in many parts of the world ([4e8], among others). Unrestricted irrigation, however, may expose the public to a variety of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or helminths

The province of Ardabil has been blessed with splendid natural beauty and numerous sights.

History[edit]

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. During the Parthian era, the city had a special importance among the cities of Azarbaijan. Some Muslim historians attribute the foundation of Ardabil to king Peroz I of the Sassanid Empire. The Persian poet Ferdowsi also credits the foundation of the city to Peroz I. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Huns from th 4th to 6th century CE. Peroz repaired those damages and fortified the city. Peroz made Ardabil the residence of provincial governor (Marzban) of Azarbaijan.

During the Islamic conquest of Iran, Ardabil was the largest city in north western Iran, ahead of Derbent, and remained so until the Mongol invasion period. Ardabilis fought the Mongols three times; however the city fell after the third attempt by Mongols. They massacred not only the Ardabilis but inhabitants of neighboring villages, killing everyone they could find.[citation needed] Incursions of Mongols and subsequently the Georgians under Tamar the Great left the city in ruins for nearly three centuries until the advent of Safavids.

Safavid Shah Ismail I, born in Ardail, started his campaign to nationalize Iran's government and land from there, but consequently announced Tabriz as his capital in 1500 CE. Yet Ardabil remained an important city both politically and economically until modern times. It was sacked by the Ottomans many times between 1514 and 1722 and in 1915, and by the Russians in 1813, 1827,[7] and 1916 during the Russo-Persian Wars.

Bazaars[edit]

Main article: Ardabil Bazaar

In the heart of the Ardabil city, this bazaar stands as old as the Islamic period. Its 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.[8]

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.[citation needed]

Shrine and the Ardabil carpets[edit]

One of the main sights in the city of Ardabil in north-west Iran is the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, who trained his followers in Islamic mystic practices. After his death, his followers remained loyal to his family, who became increasingly powerful.

In 1501, one of his descendants, Shah Isma'il, seized political power. He united Iran for the first time in several centuries and established the Shi'i form of Islam as the state religion. Isma'il was the founder of the Safavid dynasty, named after Shaykh Safi al-Din.

The Safavids, who ruled without a break until 1722, promoted the shrine of the Shaykh as a place of pilgrimage.

Ardabil carpet[edit]

Main article: Ardabil Carpet

In the late 1530s, Isma'il's son, Shah Tahmasp, enlarged the shrine, and it was at this time, that the carpet was made as one of a matching pair The completion of the carpets was marked by a four-line inscription placed at one end. The first two lines are a poetic quotation that refers to the shrine as a place of refuge:

'Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world. Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.'

The third line is a signature, 'The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.' Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpets. He was not necessarily a slave in the literal sense but called himself one to express humility, while the word for 'portal' can be used for a royal court or a shrine. Perhaps Maqsud meant both, as in this case the court was the patron of the shrine.

The fourth line contains the date 946 in the Muslim calendar, which is equivalent to 1539–1540 CE.

The Ardabil Carpet and the V&A[edit]

The two Ardabil carpets were still in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843, when one was seen by two British visitors. Thirty years or more later, the shrine suffered an earthquake, and the carpets were sold off, perhaps to raise funds for repairs. The damaged carpets were purchased in Iran by Ziegler & Co., a Manchester firm involved in the carpet trade. Parts of one carpet were used to patch the other. The result was one 'complete' carpet and one with no border.

In 1892, the larger carpet was put on sale by Vincent Robinson & Co. of London. The designer William Morris went to inspect it on behalf of this museum. Reporting that the carpet was 'of singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful', he urged the museum to buy it. The money was raised, and in March 1893 the Museum acquired the carpet for £2000.

The second, smaller carpet was sold secretly to an American collector, and in 1953 it was given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ardabil carpet hung on the wall in this gallery for many years. In 2006, the museum created the case in the centre of the gallery so that the carpet could be seen as intended, on the floor. To preserve its colours, it is lit for ten minutes on the hour and half-hour.[9]

Earthquakes[edit]

Ardabil is associated with historical confusion between the 893 Dvin earthquake which was often wrongly documented as the 893 Ardabil earthquake due to the similarity of the Arabic name for city of Dvin in Armenia, 'Dabil' to Ardabil.

On 28 February 1997, a destructive earthquake hit the Ardabil area. At least 965 people were killed, 2,600 injured, 36,000 homeless, 12,000 houses damaged or destroyed and 160,000 livestock were killed. Severe damage was observed to roads, electrical power lines, communications and water distribution systems around Ardabil.[10]

Climate[edit]

Cold and semi-arid (Köppen BSk), many tourists come to the region for its relatively cool climate during the hot summer months. The winters are long and bitterly cold, with a temperature plummeting to −25 °C. The annual rainfall is around 380 mm (15 in).

Climate data for Ardabil
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
4.5
(40.1)
9.3
(48.7)
16.7
(62.1)
19.7
(67.5)
23.2
(73.8)
25.0
(77)
24.7
(76.5)
22.6
(72.7)
17.5
(63.5)
11.4
(52.5)
5.7
(42.3)
15.28
(59.51)
Average low °C (°F) −7.9
(17.8)
−6.3
(20.7)
−2.4
(27.7)
2.8
(37)
6.0
(42.8)
9.0
(48.2)
11.6
(52.9)
11.6
(52.9)
8.7
(47.7)
4.8
(40.6)
0.3
(32.5)
−4.6
(23.7)
2.8
(37.04)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.7
(0.972)
21.8
(0.858)
37.4
(1.472)
38.3
(1.508)
45.1
(1.776)
19.4
(0.764)
6.7
(0.264)
5.4
(0.213)
9.9
(0.39)
33.0
(1.299)
37.1
(1.461)
25.1
(0.988)
303.9
(11.965)
Avg. precipitation days 8.0 8.5 11.2 11.5 13.7 6.9 3.9 3.8 5.8 8.8 7.5 7.7 97.3
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN) [11]

Demography[edit]

Attractions[edit]

Anthropology
Attraction Description
The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili World Heritage Site comprising the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the 40 days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior.(Virtual tour)
Masjid Jameh Ruins of once magnificent and unique mosque
Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school This complex dates back to Qajar period
Ardabil Bazaar This Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.
Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.
Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.
Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago.
Saint Mary church This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.
mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il located 2 km north of Ardabil
old but always lively bazaar
babadavood anbaran Friday mosque

In addition to these, in many villages of Ardabil, relics of ancient monuments, including tombs have been found.

Being a city of great antiquity, the origins of Ardabil go back 4,000 to 6,000 years (according to historical research in this city). This city was the capital of Azerbaijan province in different times, but its golden age was in the Safavid period.

Geology[edit]

Many hot springs and beautiful natural landscapes are in Ardabil and around which attract tourists. The mineral springs of Ardabil (Beele-Darreh, Sar'eyn, Sardabeh and Booshloo) are notable throughout Iran for their medicinal qualities.

Many beauty lakes: the largest of which are Ne'or, Shorabil, ShoorGel, NouShahr and Aloocheh that are the habitats of some species of water birds. The beautiful Lake Ne'or is located in a mountainous area 48 km south-east of the city of Ardabil. It covers an area of 2.1 km² and has an average depth of 3 metres. It is fed by springs in the lake bed.

Attraction Description
Lake Shorabil located in a hilly area south of the city of Ardabil and covers an area of 640,000 m². The surface of the lake is covered with a thin white layer of minerals, being useful for healing skin diseases and rheumatism. Near the lake there is the leisure complex of Shorabil.
Baliqly Chay River Meaning "a river with many fish" in Azarbayjani language, this river originates from the Sabalan Mountains and passes through Ardabil city. As a result, many villages and townships have settled around this river. It also irrigates much of the agricultural lands in this province.
Sabalan (Savalan) mountain Sabalan (Persian: سبلانSabalân; also called Sāvālān) is an inactive stratovolcano in Meshkinshahr Ardabil province of northwestern Iran about 20 miles west of Arbadil. Sabalan is the third highest mountain in Iran and a permanent crater lake has formed at the summit. Sabalan has a ski resort (Alvares) and different tourist areas such as the Sarein spa. The mountain is known for its beautiful vistas, including the Shirvan gorge, where few climbers ever venture.
Savalan's honey.

Music[edit]

Main article: Music of Iran

Colleges and universities[edit]

Economy[edit]

The economy of Ardabil is partially agricultural, partially tourist based, with some industries in operation.

The Iranian government in 2006 announced plans to build "the largest textile factory of its kind in the Middle East" in Ardabil.[14]

Arta Industrial Group (AIG) has one of the largest textile conglomerates in Iran, which is located in the provinces called Qazvin and Ardabil. The group has received numerous awards for being one of the top 20 exporters and industrial groups in Iran since 1998. It is the first company to produce high-density fiberboard (HDF), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), laminate flooring and multi-layer films in Iran.

AIG has the first private industrial site in Iran in the city of Ardabil, which has fifteen main factories owned by (AIG). This Industrial zone covers an area of 100 hectares and Residential Area for engineers and managers of the company.

The town has an airport

Sports[edit]

Ardabil is host to a few football teams. The most popular team in Ardabil is Shahrdari Ardabil who in 2014 were promoted and play in the Azadegan League, Iran's 2nd tier league. The city is renowned for producing great forwards, namely former Bayern Munich player and record international goal scorer Ali Daei.

Famous natives[edit]

For a complete list see: Category:People from Ardabil

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population according to statistical center of Iran in Persian
  2. ^ Ardabil can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3053565" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)". Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original (Excel) on 2011-11-11. 
  4. ^ "Ardabil". Looklex Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Ardabīl". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Iranian Provinces: Ardabil". iranchamber.com. 
  7. ^ "Ardabil - Iran". Encyclopedia Britannica. 
  8. ^ "Ardabil Bazaar in Ardebil , [Iran Tourism & Touring Organization]". itto.org. 
  9. ^ "History of the Ardabil Carpet". vam.ac.uk. 
  10. ^ Person, Waverley L (2008-07-16). "Significant Earthquakes of the World: 1997". United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  11. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Ardabil". United Nations. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Iran". google.com. 
  13. ^ Joshua Project. "Talysh, Talish in Iran". joshuaproject.net. 
  14. ^ "Huge textile factory, largest in Middle East to become operational in Ardebil". payvand.com. 
  15. ^ "Pact of pariahs forming between Iran and Hungary’s Jobbik". Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Iran’s Ardabil, Russia’s Volgograd to be sisters". Mehr News Agency. 

External links[edit]