Marāgheh, Iran

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Marāgheh, Iran

Region: East Azerbaijan

Geographic Coordinates: 37.390600, 46.240300
Climate: Dry and semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters.
Population: 175255
Language: Persian

Marāgheh, Located in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran, Has a rich history dating back to pre-Islamic times. The city was once a hub for astronomy, Mathematics, And philosophy during the 13th and 14th centuries. Today, Marāgheh is home to numerous historical sites that attract tourists from all over the world. The Maragheh Observatory is one of the most significant historical sites in Marāgheh. Built by Nasir al-Din Tusi in the 13th century, It played an essential role in advancing Islamic astronomy.

The observatory features several buildings that were used for astronomical observations and an impressive tower with a diameter of 27 meters. Another important attraction is the Blue Mosque or Masjid-e Kabud. This mosque was built during the Ilkhanid era and features beautiful blue tiles that have been preserved since its construction over seven centuries ago. Marāgheh also boasts natural attractions such as Sahand Mountain National Park. Covering approximately 170 square kilometers, Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of waterfalls, Mountains, Forests and wildlife.

Local artisans make traditional hand-woven carpets using ancient techniques passed down through generations which are known for their intricate designs and high quality. Visitors can also enjoy authentic Azerbaijani cuisine at local restaurants or at bustling bazaars where vendors sell fresh produce and spices. Dishes such as Dushbara (dumplings filled with meat) or Kufte Tabrizi (meatballs made with rice) are popular among tourists.

Overall, Marāgheh offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture and natural beauty making it an ideal destination for those interested in exploring ancient observatories or trying traditional Azerbaijani cuisine while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking camping or wildlife watching.

Important Landmarks

Popular Tourist Attractions in Marāgheh, Iran

  1. Marāgheh Observatory – built in the 13th century and served as one of the most advanced astronomical centers of its time
  2. Ilkhanate-era Mosque – featuring stunning architecture and intricate tilework dating back to the 14th century
  3. Gonbad-e-Kabud Tower – a blue-tiled tower that has become a symbol of Marāgheh
  4. Tomb of Hulagu Khan – located in this city as well; Hulagu Khan was a Mongol ruler who founded the Ilkhanate dynasty
  5. Qahqaheh Castle – dates back to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE) and offers breathtaking views over Marāgheh
  6. Mausoleum of Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili – a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its beautiful architecture, intricate tilework and historical significance as it serves as burial place for Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili – founder of Safavid dynasty (located outside of Marāgheh)
  7. Bagherabad Garden – provides visitors with an opportunity to relax amidst fountains, pools pavilions while enjoying lush greenery making it an ideal spot for picnics or leisurely strolls
  8. Shahr-e-Bazaar (Marketplace) – where visitors can experience traditional Iranian market culture while shopping for souvenirs or trying local food specialties such as saffron ice cream or pomegranate juice

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: The city is known for its agricultural production of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
  2. Textile industry: Marāgheh has a growing textile industry that produces carpets, rugs, and other textiles.
  3. Mining: The city is located near several mines that produce copper, gold, and other minerals.
  4. Food processing: Several food processing plants are located in Marāgheh that produce dairy products and processed foods.
  5. Construction: With the growing population in the city, construction companies are thriving in Marāgheh.
  6. Tourism: The city has several historical sites such as the Maragheh Observatory which attracts tourists from all over Iran.
  7. Health care services: There are several hospitals and clinics providing healthcare services to people living in or around the city.
  8. Education sector: There are many schools and universities located within or near the city providing a quality education to students from different parts of Iran.

Noteable History

  1. The Maragheh Observatory was a significant astronomical observatory during the 13th and 14th centuries in the Islamic world. It played a crucial role in some of the most important astronomical discoveries of its time.
  2. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, a prominent Persian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who lived in Maragheh during the 13th century, is famous for his work on trigonometry and developing a new system for calculating planetary movements.
  3. In 1256, Hulagu Khan led an invasion into Iran that destroyed many cities including Maragheh as part of Mongol Invasion following Genghis Khan’s death in 1227 while on campaign against Khwarezmia (present-day Uzbekistan).
  4. During the Ilkhanate Dynasty’s reign from 1256-1335 after Mongol invasion, many significant cultural and scientific advancements were made in Maragheh.
  5. The Safavid Empire (1501-1736) had significant influence over Maragheh during this time period as one of Iran’s greatest empires.
  6. Babak Khorramdin led a rebellion against Abbasid Caliphate that lasted more than two decades before being defeated by Caliph Al-Ma’mun’s forces near Tabriz (near modern-day Marāgheh) in AD 816.
  7. Ali-Sadr Cave is located just outside of Marāgheh and is one of Iran’s largest caves that attracts many tourists every year.
  8. Carpet weaving has been practiced for centuries in the region around Maragheh, which has given rise to its unique style known as ‘Maragheh Carpet.’

Museums and Things To See

  1. Maragheh Observatory is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 13th century, featuring an observation platform, library, astronomical instruments workshop, and research center.
  2. The Maragheh Museum showcases artifacts from prehistoric times to modern day including pottery, coins, weapons and clothing.
  3. The Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble includes a mosque, mausoleum of Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili (founder of the Safavid dynasty), seminary school and library.
  4. Gonbad-e Qabus Tower is one of Iran’s tallest brick towers built during the Seljuk dynasty era.
  5. Maragheh Jame Mosque is a historic mosque with beautiful tile work on its facade.
  6. The Maragheh Bazaar offers traditional goods such as spices, clothing and handicrafts.
  7. Archeological Hill Of Zivar contains ruins from Sassanid era believed to be remains of ancient city named Shahr-e Ghal’eh.
  8. Sorkhab Cemetery located in south west part of city features unique tombstones decorated with colorful tiles.

Cultural Events

  1. Marāgheh Observatory Festival celebrates the historical and significant observatory in medieval Islamic astronomy.
  2. Marāgheh Carpet Festival showcases the intricate and beautiful carpets produced by local weavers.
  3. Mehregan Festival is an ancient Persian festival that celebrates the autumn equinox with music, dance, and traditional food.
  4. Nowruz Festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Marāgheh, where people enjoy traditional foods, music, and dancing to mark the Persian New Year.
  5. Sizdah Bedar Festival takes place on the thirteenth day of Nowruz when people gather outdoors for a picnic to celebrate spring and nature.
  6. Ashura Procession happens on Muharram’s tenth day as a religious procession to commemorate Imam Hussein’s martyrdom.
  7. Yalda Night Celebration is celebrated on December 21st as per Iranian tradition when winter officially ends where families gather for nuts, fruits sweets while reading poetry together until midnight – marking the longest night of the year.


  1. Kebab: Grilled meat on skewers is a beloved dish in Marāgheh. Some renowned kebab restaurants include Khayyam Kebab and Zolal Kebab.
  2. Gheymeh: A stew made with yellow split peas, meat, and tomatoes.
  3. Ash-e Reshteh: A thick soup made with noodles, beans, herbs and spices.
  4. Sholeh Zard: A sweet rice pudding flavored with saffron and rosewater.
  5. Shahriar Restaurant: This restaurant serves traditional Iranian dishes such as kebab and stews.
  6. Golha Restaurant: Another traditional Iranian restaurant that serves a variety of dishes including kebab, stews and rice dishes.
  7. Negin Cafe & Restaurant: Known for its tea selection as well as its food menu that includes kebabs, soups and salads.
  8. Mokhtarzadeh Cafe & Restaurant: This restaurant offers a mix of Iranian cuisine along with international dishes like pizza and burgers in a cozy atmosphere.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Marāgheh National Park: This park is located in the outskirts of the city and offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, and picnicking.
  2. Shafaq Park: This park is situated in the heart of the city and has a playground for children, walking paths, fountains, and benches.
  3. Golshan Garden: This garden is a historical site that dates back to the Ilkhanid era. It has beautiful gardens with flowers and trees as well as ponds with fish.
  4. Marāgheh Observatory: The observatory is one of the most significant astronomical centers in Iran. Visitors can learn about astronomy through guided tours or attend lectures on various topics related to space.
  5. Cycling: There are several cycling routes around Marāgheh that offer scenic views of the countryside.
  6. Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is also popular in Marāgheh with several stables offering guided tours through scenic trails.
  7. Skiing: During winter months skiing enthusiasts can visit nearby ski resorts such as Sahand Ski Resort or Alvares Ski Resort which are both within driving distance from Marāgheh.


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