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For the administrative subdivision, see Khoy County. For the village in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, see Khoy, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari.
Welcome to Khoy
Welcome to Khoy
Khoy is located in Iran
Coordinates: 38°33′01″N 44°57′08″E / 38.55028°N 44.95222°E / 38.55028; 44.95222Coordinates: 38°33′01″N 44°57′08″E / 38.55028°N 44.95222°E / 38.55028; 44.95222
Country  Iran
Province West Azerbaijan
County Khoy
Bakhsh Central
 • Mayor Mahbub Tizpar[1]
 • Parliament Hoseini Sadr
Elevation[2] 1,148 m (3,769 ft)
Population (2012[3])
 • Total 200,985 & 354,309
  City & County
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Area code(s) 0461

Khoy (Azerbaijani: Xoy; Persian: خوی‎‎; also Romanized as Khoi, Khvoy, Khowy, Khuy, and Xoy),[4] is a city in and the capital of Khoy County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2012 census, its population was 200,985. Khoy is biggest city in the Azerbaijan region that is not capital of Province.

Khoy is located north of the province's capital and largest city Urmia, and 807 km north-west to Tehran. The region's economy is based on agriculture, particularly the production of fruit, grain, and timber. Khoy is nicknamed as the Sunflower city of Iran. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 178,708, with an estimated 2012 population of 200,985. The city's inhabitants are predominantly Azerbaijanis and Azerbaijani is dominantly spoken in Khoy,[5][6] while nearly all inhabitants can also converse in Persian. The main religion is Shia Islam.[7][8] Occupied since Median times, it shares a long history as an important Christian centre.[9]


Khoy was named in ancient times for the salt mines that made it an important spur of the Silk Route.[9] 3000 years ago, a city had existed on the area where Khoy is located nowadays, but its name became Khoy only from 14th centuries ago.[10] In 714 BC, Sargon II passed the region of which Khoy is part of in a campaign against Urartu.[10]

It later become an important town of the Armenian historical region of Nor Shirakan, and was part of the Kingdom of Armenia for centuries. In Armenian, Khoy is known as Hér (Armenian: Խոյ).

In the Parthian period, Khoy was the gateway of the Parthian Empire in the Northwest.[10] Around the year 37 BC, Marc Anthony had crossed the plain that is located between Khoy and Marand during one of the many and frequent Roman-Parthian Wars.[10]

One of the important historic elements of the city is the St. Sourp Sarkis church. Armenian documents wrote that the date of the making has to be either 332 or 333 AD.[10] In the city and its surrounding villages, churches are seen and it is reported that Armenians have always been comprising a significant amount of the cities population, but the city was never an "Armenian city" (as in comprising a vast majority).[10]

By the first half of the 11th century the Byzantine emperors were actively trying to round off their eastern territories, in an attempt to absorb the unstable Armenian dynasties. In 1021-2 emperor Basil II led his army as far as Khoy within 175 km of Dvin, and obtained the surrender of royalty from the Artsruni dynasty of Van.[11]

Modern period[edit]

Khoy was fortified at various times in its history, most recently by the Qajar dynasty in the Nineteenth Century.

After the death of Nadir Shah Afshar in 1747, Khoy broke away from central government of Iran like several other regions of Iran, including what is now Georgia and some of the northern Caucasian Khanates comprising the north-western territories of Iran. Khoy became the centre of the newly established Khanate of Khoy (1747–1813) which was loyal to the central government only when it was powerful (like during Karim Khan's reign), and autonomous when the central role was weak. The return of Khoy to the central government of Iran was during the beginning of Qajar period during Agha Mohammad Khan's reign. Khoy was attacked by Russia in 1827 who was attempting to seize the last of the Caucasian territories of Iran comprising Armenia and what is now Azerbaijan during the Russo-Persian War (1826-1828). The war, which mainly razed in the extremely nearby South Caucasus region eventually happened to moved deeper south as well. Until 1828, Khoy had a large number of Armenians, however, the Treaty of Turkmenchay following the outcome of the 1826-1828 war and the victory over the neighbouring Ottoman Empire as concluded in the Treaty of Adrianople, encouraged the mass resettlement of Armenians from both Turkey and Iran in Russia. In the mid-1800s some of them immigrated to Eastern Armenia, which by then had just became part of the Russian Empire. However, a small Armenian population remained living in Khoy. This was noted by an American missionary in 1834.[12] He noted further that in the villages around Khoy there were a few more, but the vast majority had migrated to the North of the Aras river following Russia's victory over Persia in 1828 and the encouraged settling in the newly incorporated Russian regions of Eastern Armenia.[12]

In 1911 Khoy was occupied by Ottoman troops[citation needed], followed in World War I by Russian troops[citation needed], who withdrew in 1917[citation needed]. In World War II it was again occupied by Soviet troops, who remained until 1946.


Khoy is located in the mountains, so the weather is very cold in winter and cool in summer. Spring weather in this city is very pleasant. The city is located in the vicinity of mountains such as Chelekhaneh Mount and Avrin Mount (The highest mountain of West Azarbaijan Province).


Nowadays the peoples of Khoy are Azerbaijanis.[5][6]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Khoy Airport (IATA: KHYICAO: OITK) is an airport in Khoy, Iran.

Airlines Destinations
Iran Aseman Airlines Tehran-Mehrabad

Khoy Bus Terminals[edit]

The Khoy Bus Terminal, the biggest bus terminus in North West Iran.

A bus terminus is a designated place where a bus or coach starts or ends its scheduled route. The terminus is the designated place that a timetable is timed from. Termini can be located at bus stations, interchanges, bus garages or simple bus stops. Termini can both start and stop at the same place, or may be in different locations for starting and finishing a route. Termini may or may not coincide with the use of bus stands.


Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as cold semi-arid (BSk).[13]

Climate data for Khoy
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.4
Average low °C (°F) −5.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 28
Source:, altitude: 1136m[13]


Khoy is well known for the tomb of Shams Tabrizi, renowned Iranian poet and mystic.

Pol havai - railway bridge Khoy
Tomb of Shams Tabrizi 9

Famous places[edit]

  • Tomb of Shams Tabrizi, Shams Tabrizi Tower
  • Bastam and Bolourabad Castles
  • Khatoon Bridge
  • Old Stone Gate
  • Old Bazaar
  • Motallebkhan Mosque
  • Mount Avrin
  • Ghotour Iron Bridge[14]
  • St. Sourp Serkis Church
  • Pourya-ye Vali

Famous natives[edit]

For a complete list see: Category:People from Khoy

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Xoy, Iran Page". Retrieved 7 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Population according to statistical center of Iran in Persian
  4. ^ Khoy can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3071618" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  5. ^ a b "Country Study Guide-Azerbaijanis". STRATEGIC INFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENTS-USA. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Iran-Azerbaijanis". Library of Congress Country Studies. December 1987. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "All things and news about Xoy," All things and news about Xoy .
  8. ^ ""Khvoy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. ," World Gazetteer.
  9. ^ a b Andrew Burke, "Iran" pp. 138. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1742203493
  10. ^ a b c d e f Lida Balilan Asl, Elham Jafari. "Khoy's Expansion from Early Islam to Late Qajar According to Historical Documents" published spring 2013. vol 3
  11. ^ Minorsky, Vladimir (1953) Studies in Caucasian History I. New Light on the Shaddadids of Ganja II. The Shaddadids of Ani III. Prehistory of Saladin page 52, CUP Archive, 1 jan. 1953 ISBN 978-0521057356
  12. ^ a b Smith noted that the city had between 4000 and 7000 Muslim families, while only about 100 Armenian families were left. Smith, Eli (1834). Missionary Researches in Armenia: Including a Journey through Asia Minor, and into Georgia and Persia. G. Wightmann. p. 315. 
  13. ^ a b "Climate: Khoy - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ghotour Valley Bridge". American Bridge Company. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  15. ^ "Rumi Remembered in Birthplace of Shams". Retrieved 21 March 2015. 

External links[edit]