The 22nd province of Iran is Ardabil, one of the three provinces in Azerbaijan region of Iran.
Ardabil province shares borders with the Republic of Azerbaijan to the north (282 km of common sea and land borders).
It also shares borders with the provinces of East Azerbaijan to the west, Gilan to the east and Zanjan to the south. It is bordered by Sabalan Mountains and Qara-sou (black water) River, Meshgin-Shahr and Sarab to the west, by the Caucasus to the north, by Talysh Mountains and the Caspian Sea to the east and by the city of Khalkhal to the south. The city of Ardabil, the capital of the province, is 1260 meters above sea level and is located in a plain between Sabalan and Talysh mountains.
Geography of Ardabil Province
Ardabil is located in a mountainous area. The highlands of the province include:
The highlands from the East to Dojag Defile in the north, Talysh Mountains and Vilkij border Heighlands in the northeast, Heyran Defile (Haj Amir) in the east, Talysh Highlands in the southeast, Baghrou Mountains in the south (west of Talysh Mountains), Saien Defile in the southwest, and Mount Sabalan in the west.
Talysh Mountains, like a wall, prevent humid air coming from the Caspian Sea to penetrate into the province. Heyran Defile is the only route, through these mountains, that connects Azerbaijan to the Caspian Sea shore. Due to the warm and humid climate, the slopes of these mountains which are adjacent to the Caspian Sea, are covered with forest.
The eastern highland of Talysh Mountains is the Talysh tribe’s summer place and its western highland is Fouladlou tribe’s summer place. Ardabil province is located on the border between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan and has an important strategic position.
Ardabil has a variety of ancient and historical monuments and tourist attractions, including:
Bahman castle, Friday Mosque was built in the early Islamic era, on the fire temple of the Sassanid era.
Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble, Qara-Sou Bridge, Samian Bridge, Red Bridge, Ardabil Bazaar, Gheisariyeh, Safavid Bath, Vakil-ol-Roaya House, Talar-e Hekmat (Hekmat Hall), Sarein Hot Springs (spa), Sardabe, Qutur-Sui, Neor Lake, Shorabil Lake, Fandoqlu Forest, Meshginshahr suspension bridge (the longest suspension bridge in the Middle East), etc.
The capital of Ardabil province is a city with the same name. Ardabil city is at an altitude of 1350 meters above the sea level and is located in a mountainous and cold region.
History of Ardabil
The city of Ardabil dates back before Islam. In Shahnameh (an Iranian mythological book containing many legends of this land), Ferdowsi attributes Ardabil to Sasanian king, Firouz.
Archaeological evidence suggests that Ardabil dates back to the sixteenth century BC. The Urartian inscription from the ninth century BC in Ardabil indicates the civilization existed in this city. Ardabil has a history of pre- and post-Islamic period. However, most of its historical fame and glory must be attributed to the Safavid dynasty.