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 Ardabil Today


Ardabil is the seat of the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safi ad-Din, eponym of the Safavid Dynasty Kulliye. It has many hot springs and beautiful natural landscapes and these attract tourists. The mineral springs of Ardabil are Beele-Darreh, Sareyn, Sardabeh and Booshloo, which are famed throughout Iran for their medicinal qualities. It also has many beauty lakes: the largest of which are Ne'or, Shoorabil, ShoorGel, NouShahr and Alooche, which 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 meters. It is fed by springs in the lake bed. Lake Shoorabil is 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, which is useful for healing skin diseases and rheumatism. Near the lake there is the leisure complex of Shoorabil. Ardabil is a city of great antiquity. Its origins go back 4000 to 6000 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.
One of the most ancient cities in Iran is Meshkin Shahr. It is located in the north-west of Iran in Azerbaijan, 839 kilometers from Tehran. It is the closest city to the Sabalan Mountains. In the past, it was called "Khiav","Orami", and "Varavi".
The most important places to visit in the district of Meshkin Shahr are the following: - The hot water springs of Moiel , Eelando and Qaynarja, located in the suburb of the city. - Qara Soo River Sides. - The spring of Qotur Suie, located 42 kilometers from Meshkin shahr. - The old Castle of Meshkin Shahr. - Qahqaheh castle, located 80 kilometers from Meshkin Shahr. - Deev castle, located in Kavij. - The petrograph of Shapour Sasani in Meshkin Shahr. - The old cemetery in Oonar. - The tomb of Sheykh Haydar in Meshkin Shahr. - Imamzadeh Seyyed Soleyman.
The other significant historical monuments are as follows: the mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il, located 2 km north of Ardabil, the old but always lively bazaar, the babadavood anbaran, the Friday mosque, and a few ancient bridges. In addition to these, in many villages of Ardabil, relics of ancient monuments, including tombs, have been found.
Major Ardabil academic centers include Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Islamic Azad University of Ardabil, Payam Noor University of Ardabil and Soureh University of Ardabil.
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.
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.

Other major counties of the province are as follow:

MESHKINSHAHR is a historic city in Ardabil province, Iran, near the mountain of Sabalan and the coast of the Caspian Sea. The city is well-known for its Persian rugs and its mineral springs. Also Iran's first geothermal power station, Its Geothermal Power Plant is situated in outskirts of this city
BILEH SAVAR is a city in northwestern Iran. It is situated in the Bileh Savar county of Ardabil Province. Its older name was Aran. The town is the site of a border crossing with Azerbaijan. Road 33 connects it to Ardabil.
MUGHAN plain is a plain in northwestern Iran and the southern part of Azerbaijan. The highest density of irrigation canals is in the section of the Mughan plain which lies in Azerbaijan. It is located on the bank of the Aras River extending to Iran. It contains highest density of irrigation canals is in the Mughan plain.
GIVI is a small town in Ardabil Province, Iran. It is situated in the center of new established county with 1243.8 square kilometers area borders with Ardabil City from north, with Khlakhal Town from south and with Talesh Town (Gilan Province) from east and with Miyaneh from west. Givi town constitutes 7 percent of the area of the Ardabil province. Bajilar Daghlari (which means The Sisters Mountains in Azeri Turkic) extends between Givi and Miyaneh. Givi Town is situated in a mountainous region, with temperate mountainous climate on the west skirts of the Baghru (Talesh) Mountains. The average annual precipitation of the region exceeds 350mm. Arpa-Chay, Givi-Chay, Sangava (Sangour) Chay are the important rivers of the town which join to Qiziluzan River in the borders Miyaneh.
GERMI County is placed in north of Ardabil city. The capital of the county is Germi. About 128,000 people were living in this country in 2008 - of that 38,000 people were living in Germi city (center of country). The history of the county reaches back to 1734. Germi is located 120 km from Ardabil, the capital of the province. The yearly precipitation is 300 mm and a temperature of (-10 to 36 Celsius) allows farmers to reach good yields in growing cereals. Germi is relatively new by Iranian stands; established in the year 900 of the Islamic calendar when Shah Ismaieal allowed to 5 Shiite families migrate to this region. There were some other places and cities in Azerbaijan of I.R. Iran and Azerbaijan that are called Germi.
SAREIN is a small city near Ardabil in the Northwest of Iran, is known for its hot springs. The population is about 8000, and increases to more than 20000 in the summer because of the many tourists who go there due to the charming climate. It stands 28 km from Ardabil and total area is 1.28 square km2. Sarein springs are near inactive volcano in mount Sabalan and its water contains sculpture particles and it is believed that it is good for bone and joint pains. The word Sarein in the Persian dictionary means "spring's Outlet". The climate and hot springs are the first attractions to tourists who travel to this region from different parts of Iran and the world. Sarein is also famous for its 'Ashe Doogh' (Yogurt Soups), during the busy summer periods; it is not uncommon for many of the local shops to be seen selling and preparing this soup. Hot springs always been in Sarein but 1990's earthquake caused some of them get colder or hotter. The water is heated largely by the Sabalan Mountain which is Iran's second highest mountain after Damavand. Many tourists visit Sabalan, its most interesting feat is the 'crater' top which contains a lake of acidic water.
Sarein is also very famous for its honey, again like the soup, many of Sarein's shops sell honey which is produced locally by the Bee keepers of the area. The climate is by far a great asset, and many Iranians from Tehran and other big cities escape to the tranquility and good weather that Sarein has to offer.

Major historical attractions of Ardabil are summarized as below:

Attraction Description
The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili It is a World Heritage Site, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Isma'il, 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 forty 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 beautiful 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

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