Arg of Tabriz also known as Arg-e Alishah is the remains of an Ilkhanid era (1256–1335) structure, which is considered the symbol of the city and one of the tallest historical walls in the country. The complex once included a Ribat, a school and a mosque. An earthquake devastated the complex 300 years ago. During the Constitutional Revolution, the forces of revolutionary leaders Sattar Khan (1866-1914) and Baqer Khan (1870-1911) took cover in the Arg of Tabriz from the cannon fire of Qajar King Mohammad Ali Shah (1972-1924). Today the area around this 700-year-old Arg is used for Friday and other public prayers.
Arg of Tabriz
Behnam House was built during the later part of the Zand dynasty (1750–1794) and early part of the Qajar dynasty (1785–1925). The House has a small summer wing and a larger two-story winter wing. The house has an Andarouni (interior), which was the private quarters used by women and servants, and a Birouni (exterior), which was the public quarters mostly used by men. Magnificent stained glass windows and doors, stucco reliefs and wall paintings are part of the attractions of the Behnam House. The Behnam House is part of the School of Architecture of Tabriz Art University.
The Blue Mosque in Tabriz was built on the order of the Kara Koyunlu ruler Jahan Shah (1397-1467). The mosque was damaged in a 1779 earthquake. Today, only the entrance iwan of this mosque, which was once known as the ‘Turquoise of the World of Islam’ remains standing. Some of the mosque’s Kufic and Thulth inscriptions and its arabesque decorations are still visible today and tell of its glorious past.
The Constitution House of Tabriz is a two-story building constructed in 1868. The house was a gathering place for Constitutional Revolution leaders and activists, and where underground constitutional era newspapers were printed. The house became the meeting center for the Azarbaijan Democrat Party (1946-1947) after World War II. The house has beautiful stained glass windows and doors, engraved wooden ceilings and a colorful garden. Today, the house is a museum which showcases sculptures of famous Constitutional Revolutionaries, their personal belongings, and their weapons as well as several issues of the underground newspaper of the revolution, a printing machine which was used in the house, and numerous photos from the revolution. A room in the house has been dedicated to the role women played in the Constitutional Revolution.
El-Goli is a large park in Tabriz. The park has a huge artificial lake in the middle of which sits a two-story building with traditional Tabrizi architecture. This park is a popular spot for morning exercise, a place where one can enjoy the intoxicating scent of flowers in the afternoon breeze and have a memorable meal in the restaurant located on the first floor of the El-Goli building.
Garousi Traditional House
Garousi Traditional House is where the Qajar Museum of Tabriz is located. The house has an Andarouni (interior), which was the private quarters used by women and servants, and a Birouni (exterior), which was the public quarters mostly used by men. The rooms in the house have beautiful stained glass windows and doors, stucco reliefs and mirror decorations. Another notable feature of the house is the brickwork on the ceiling of its Howz Khaneh (pool house) which is located in the basement. The museum showcases old coins, weapons, porcelain, glass dishes, Khatam (inlaid wooden objects) and musical instruments.
Heidarzadeh House is a two-story mansion believed to have been built in 1870. The house has an Andarouni (interior), which was the private quarters used by women and servants, and a Birouni (exterior), which was the public quarters mostly used by men. The house has a Howz Khaneh (pool house) with a fountain in the middle, which has been decorated with colorful bricks. The house has magnificent stained glass windows and doors, stucco reliefs and wall paintings. Heidarzadeh House is currently used as the Tourism Information Center.
Imamzadeh Hamzah is a shrine complex in Tabriz where Hamzeh, the brother of Imam Reza (765-819), is buried. According to other accounts, the grave belongs to another decedent of the Shia Imams. The mausoleum dates back to the 14th century and has extensive mirror work. The Shrine is a popular pilgrimage site.
Maqbarat-o-shoara or the Tomb of Poets
Maqbarat-o-shoara or the Tomb of Poets is a monument erected in a cemetery where 400 prominent poets are buried in Tabriz. Some of the best-known poets laid to rest in this cemetery include Asadi Tusi (999-1072), Qatran Tabrizi (1009-1072), Anvari Abivardi (1126-1189), Khaqani Shervani (1122-1190) and Mohammad-Hossein Behjat Tabrizi (Shahriar) (1906-1988).
Rab'-e Rashidi ruins belong to a 13th century Ilkhanid school. This educational center once had a big paper factory, a massive library, a teaching hospital, a Quran studies center, residential facilities for teachers and students, and a big caravansary. Today, only the stone foundations of this complex stand.
Tabriz Municipality Palace or the Saat Tower has been the municipal central office of the city since 1934. The building has been designed to resemble an eagle with spread wings. Part of the building has been turned into a museum which houses historical maps and photos of Tabriz as well as antiques like the first taxi cabs.
Saheb-ol-Amr Mosque was built by the Safavid king Tahmasp I (1514- 1576) and has a history of destruction and repair. The mosque has a very unique round dome and minarets. Today, the Museum of Quran and Manuscripts is located there. Calligraphy works by some prominent Tabrizi calligraphers are also displayed in this mosque.
Poet Mohammad-Hossein Behjat Tabrizi (1906-1988) is better known by his pen name Shahriar. He wrote poems both in Persian and his native Azeri tongue. He was a talented calligrapher and played the Setar. The day of his death has been designated as the National Day of Poem. Shahriar’s home has been turned into a museum which houses his personal items including the instruments he played, his calligraphy work and photos are displayed at the museum.
Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex
Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex is one of the biggest and most important covered bazaars in the world. The bazaar borders Ali Qapu Palace, where Qajar(1785-1925) Crown Princes lived) on the east, Tabriz Jame Mosque on the west and Qouri Chai (Mehranroud) River in the north. While the exact date of the construction of this bazaar is unknown, 10th century travelers have made reference to it in their travelogues. Between the 12th and the 18th centuries, Tabriz Bazaar was one of the most important international trade and cultural centers in the world due to its location on the Silk Road. The Silk Road is the ancient trade route dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 CE), which helped to forge political and economic ties between China, India, Persia, Europe, and Arabia. This ancient route also allowed for the trade of culture, religions, philosophies and different technologies among the civilizations along the way. The bazaar, which is located at the heart of Tabriz, flourished in the 16th century when the city shortly became the capital of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736). An earthquake in 1780 devastated the bazaar and it was reconstructed using the surviving materials from the original bazaar. In 1871, a flood extensively damaged the Tabriz Bazaar and it went under subsequent reconstruction. The bazaar has high arches and domes with moqarnas decorations as well as lightwells strategically positioned to provide sufficient lighting for the passages and shops located along its main vaulted street. The Tabriz Bazaar includes several structures intended for commercial and trade-related activities, and social gatherings as well as schools and mosques. This bazaar has become a unique environment which brought together the people of different professions and from different cultures. The bazaar consists of several sub-bazaars, such as Amir Bazaar (for gold and jewelry), Mozzafarieh (a carpet bazaar), a shoe bazaar, Abachi bazaar, crystal bazaar and many other ones for various goods. The Tabriz Bazaar also played an important role in the people’s struggles during the Constitutional Revolution of the early 20th century. Constitutional revolutionaries used the bazaar as a place to organize popular protest movement and often closed this bazaar and brought economic activities in Tabriz to a halt in order to pressure the Qajar monarch into signing the order for establishing the first Parliament (Majlis). The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex has been register as a National Heritage Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.