Tabriz is the most populated city in Iranian Azerbaijan, one of the historical capitals of Iran and the present capital of East Azerbaijan province. Located in the Quru River valley, between long ridges of volcanic cones in the Sahand and Eynali mountains.
The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, With cold winters and temperate summers, Tabriz is considered a summer resort. It was named World Carpet Weaving City by the World Crafts Council in October 2015 and Exemplary Tourist City of 2018 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The population is overwhelmingly Azerbaijani, though Persian is spoken by residents as a second language.
Tabriz is a major heavy industries hub for automobiles, machine tools, refineries, petrochemicals, textiles and cement production industries. The city is famous for its handicrafts, including hand-woven rugs and jewellery. Local confectionery, chocolate, dried nuts and traditional Tabrizi food are recognised throughout Iran as some of the best. Tabriz is also an academic hub and a site for some of the most prestigious cultural institutes in Northwest Iran.
As the country’s closest hub to Europe, many aspects of early modernisation in Iran began in Tabriz.