Western Azerbaijan -29
Western Azerbaijan Region      | ♦ Capital: Urmia   | ♦ Surface: 47 830 km²  | ♦ Inhabitants: 2 831 779 (2006)
History and CultureAttractionsSouvenirs and handicraftsWhere to eat and sleep

Geographic context

The western Azarbayejan region is located in the northwest of Iran. The regional capital is Orumieh (Urmia) and among the other important cities can be mentioned Mahabad and Khoy. This region is one of the mountainous areas of the country and has many rivers that flow into three water basins: Lake Urmia, the great fracture of Khoy and the valley of the River Kalvi.


Because of its geographical position, its rather high average height and the presence of very high mountains, western Azarbayejan has a cold climate. In the winter, cold air significantly reduces the temperature of the region.

History and culture

The western Azarbayejan is a symbol of the antiquity of the country's civilization and its numerous castles and archaeological sites, like other finds of historical and religious interest, confirm this ancient age. Many ethnic groups and cultures have found their place in this region.
The presence of Zoroastrian mosques, churches and temples of fire shows a face of the historical evolution of the region. The Azars, the Kurds, the Ashuri (Assyrians) and the Armenians have all kept their cultural characteristics and specific traditions that arouse interest.

Souvenirs and handicrafts

Among the handicrafts of this region there are: various types of carpets and kilims, traditional fabrics, traditional prints, hand-embroidered fabrics, earthenware and ceramic objects, hand-made leather objects, artistic metal objects, objects of handmade wood, handmade straw objects, traditional drawings and paintings, traditionally hand-bound books, embroidered slippers, felt fabrics and hair. Among the other delicious souvenirs of the region you can indicate the following: various types of traditional sugared almonds (to taste of bidmeshk and saffron), various types of distillates (bidmeshk, mint, rose water, etc.), traditional desserts based on nuts and carrots.

Local cuisine

The traditional dishes of this region are: rice, meat broth, Celo Kabab, Yatimche (dish with aubergines), various types of soups and sauces. One of the region's famous and tasty dishes is Kufte (meatballs) and is prepared with both chicken and red meats. Also the Dolme of the Azarbayejan is much appreciated.

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