Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Aarbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quru River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, and one of Iran's former capitals. Tabriz is located in a valley to the north of the long ridge of the volcanic cone of Sahand, south of Eynali mountain. The valley opens out into a plain that slopes gently down to the northern end of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers the city is considered a summer resort.
The estimated population of the city is around 2,000,000 based on results of the Iranian census bureau. Tabriz is the fourth most populous city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad, and Esfahan, and is also a major Iranian heavy industrial and manufacturing center. Some of these industries include automobile, machine tools, oil and petrochemical and cement production.
Cultural and Tourism Attractions
With a rich history, Tabriz contains many historical monuments, but repeated devastating earthquakes and several invasions during frequent wars have substantially damaged many of them. Many monuments in the city date back to the Ilkhanid, Safavid, and Qajar periods, with the large Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex being named as world's largest roofed bazar and a World Heritage Site in 2010. In addition, there is an excavation site and museum in the city center with a history that dates back 2500 years, which is also regarded as one of the most historic cities in ancient Iran.
Tabriz has a semi-arid climate with regular seasons (Köppen BSk). The annual precipitation is around 380 millimeters (15 in), a good deal of which falls as snow during the winter months and rain in spring and autumn. The city enjoys mild and fine climate in spring, dry and semi-hot in summer, humid and rainy in autumn and snowy cold in winter. The average annual temperature is 12 °C. Cool winds blow from east to west mostly in summer.
Tabriz is the second city in Iran after Tehran that in which the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has been established. It includes an 18 km (11 mi) line from Baseej Square in the east to the railway station in the west of the city. There are 50 bus stops along the route of the B.R.T. The Tabriz subway train network is under construction.
The city is linked to Europe through Turkey's roads and Bazargan border, also Tehran-Tabriz freeway is almost complete. The city is linked to Iran National Railways and also to Europe by Turkey's railways via Ghotour bridge in West Aarbaijan province of Iran.
Tabriz International Airport opened in 1950 and is the only international airport in East Aarbaijan (since 1991). Recently, it became the first Iranian airport to gain ISO9001-2000.
Tabriz is the site for 14 of Iran's most prominent universities and higher education institutes. Established in 1947, University of Tabriz is the most prestigious university in north-western Iran. Tabriz University is also considered one of five mother universities in the country which works as regional hub of science for the region. Beside Tabriz University, there are couples of other public universities, operating in the city and its suburbs. Among them the famous ones are:
Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.
Sahand University of Technology, which was established in 1989 having majors in different fields of engineering-related sciences.
Azarbaijan University of Tarbiat Moallem, established in 1987 which is a general university having its campus based on Azarshahr county.
Tabriz Arts University;
Payam-e Noor University of Tabriz which is more like a remote educational university.