Ardabil is an ancient city, and the capital of the province with the same name, located in the northeastern part of Iran’s historic Azerbaijan region. The most important feature of this province is its pleasant and cool weather during spring and summer.
Historic complex of Ardabil Bazaar, the Covered Bazar, is located in center of the city, this bazaar stands as old as the Islamic period. During the Safavid dynasty, Ardabil Bazaar was very prosperous being a center for commercial, social and political affairs. According to some documents, the bazaar is in the shape of a cross having a mosque in its center. It is divided into many different sections and each section is allocated to a special occupation, such as butchers’ bazaar and many other aisles. The whole complex of Ardabil Bazaar is covered with arched ceilings and simple domes. The lightning is supplied through holes on the ceilings. The most important part of this wonder is Qeysariyeh Bazaar which is really a must see due to its historical atmosphere.
Presenting a very delicate style of Iranian architecture and art Sheikh Safi Al-Din Ardabili Khangah and Shrine is the must see tourist attraction. It is composed of a series of monuments built in various periods that was shaped as an ensemble.
This historical complex is closely intertwined with the history of the Safavid Dynasty. Some of the Safavid kings as well as Shah Ismail I have been buried at this site. The main section of the mausoleum is composed of a Main sections of the complex are the followings: the great gate, the large court, the small court, the graveyard court, Shahidgah (martyrdom place), Jannat Sara Mosque and Chelleh Khaneh which encircles Qandil Khaneh, Haram khaneh and Chini Khaneh. The Allah Allah Dome is very famous and probably the most spectacular part of the complex that is a circular tower with circumference of 22 m. which is about 17 meters high. There are some other tombs in the interior of this monument, near Sheikh Safi’s tomb, namely, the tomb of his son (the founder of mausoleum), his grandson and Shah Ismail’s father.
Archaeology Museum, a two-story building houses pottery, coins and other artifacts dating from pre-Islamic times near the ensemble. This museum displays 1-million-year-old history and civilization of Iran, which the experts consider as the oldest history of archeological discoveries of the country.
Anthropology Museum originally a historical bath with the name of Zahir-al-Islam, belongs to the pre-Safavid period, dating back to the 7th century Ardabil about second half of the seventh century AH.
The Mongol Ilkhanid Congregational (Friday) Mosque, remnant of the Seljuk period, was once a truly gigantic brick edifice. It’s built on the site of a Sassanid fire temple. In the walls of the minarets there were two inscriptions belonging to about 700 years ago which have been transferred to a museum. The rest of the inscriptions date back to the 3rd or 4th centuries.
Church of the Virgin Mary (Maryam according to Persian pronunciation) has an unusual old stone pyramid as its central dome. This building is located in the Armanestan Alley or Ounchoo Meydan in Ardabil and dates back to about 300 years ago. The interior decorations are very interesting and its wooden door is ornamented with intricately carved geometrical designs.
Shorabil Lake is a huge natural lake right next to the city of Ardabil and is the main hangout of Ardabil’s people who jog, walk or cycle around the lake.
With its beautiful crater lake and the elevation of 4811 m Mount Sabalan, originally a volcanic mountain, is the third highest in Iran. The summit is located 41 km. from Ardabil and can be easily observed while traveling on the road to Sarein and Ardabil.
Ardabil has some historical bridges over Baliqly Chay River, namely, Seyed Abad, Ya’qoobieh, Ebrahim Abad, and Yeddi Goz, all belonging to the Safavid period.
The most important one is Yeddi Goz or the seven-arched bridge. Its piles are made of stone with zigzag barrel-arches made of brick. The construction materials are gypsum and mortar.
The archaeological site known as the Sheheryeri is in distance of 65 Km from Ardabil and 31 Kilometers in east of Meshkin-shahr next to Qarasu river. The area of this historic region, about 400 hectares, is constituted of three parts namely military fortress, temple and Qosha tappeh. The fortress and temple dates back to 1450 BC and Qosha hill dates back to 7 thousand years BC. The main temple includes more than 300 stones with heights ranging from 35 to 250 cm with hands and swords having human forms and human faces without mouths.
Meshgin Shahr suspension bridge crosses the Khiav River. It is the Middle East’s largest suspension bridge with a height of 80 metres and length of 365 metres. The original bridge was built in 2015.