Tabriz & Jolfa
Tabriz & Jolfa
75 DAYS ROAD TRIP Tabriz and Jolfa Unveiled: Embark on an Epic Journey Through Majestic Silk Routes and Timeless Wonders!

Tabriz and Jolfa Unveiled: Embark on an Epic Journey Through Majestic Silk Routes and Timeless Wonders!

Tabriz and Jolfa Unveiled: Embark on an Epic Journey Through Majestic Silk Routes and Timeless Wonders!

Jolfa

We set out from the foothills of the Sabalan Mountains towards the Aras River and the forests of Arasbaran to reach the city of Jolfa. A city located in one of the northernmost regions of Iran, bordering Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, which in the not-so-distant past, like a gem, was separated from the heart of Iran.

Jolfa, meaning silk weaver, was a city where the most beautiful silk fabrics were woven by the skilled artisans of Armenian descent in the past. To the extent that Shah Abbas Safavi built a city in the likeness of Jolfa next to the Zayandeh Rud in Isfahan, and called three thousand residents of Jolfa to Isfahan to weave the most beautiful silk patterns and export the finest silk fabrics to the world through the Persian Gulf. This is the story of the beautiful designs and the association of Jolfa in Azerbaijan and Jolfa in Isfahan.

This city, like other cities in Iran, has experienced a history full of ups and downs. It has seen wars, endured wounds, and has been torn apart, piece by piece, from the embrace of its mother, Iran. But it seems that after each war, its soldiers have sat by the Aras River, washing away their fatigue and wounds with its flowing water.

Monastery of Saint Stepanos

My farewell to Jolfa began with the Monastery of Saint Stepanos. A church nestled in the heart of the mountains and in the border region of Jolfa, adjacent to the Republic of Azerbaijan, with remarkable architecture and captivating reliefs.

When observing historical structures filled with details, I can’t help but think about the hands of the creative artists and their minds that conceived the designs and reliefs. Have they been captivated by the splendor and beauty of their creation, or have they succumbed to exhaustion and weariness forever?

Oh, if only they could taste a fraction of the joy I’ve derived from watching them…

Monastery of Saint Stepanos

The architecture of this church is also captivating, harmonizing strangely with the towering mountains. Walls and columns reaching for the sky, prominent reliefs on the vast stone walls, and paintings recorded on the white plastered walls, all mesmerize you.

Khajeh Nazar Caravanserai

Khajeh Nazar was one of the silk merchants who, along with other Armenian weavers, migrated from Jolfa to Isfahan. He decided to build a caravanserai by the Aras River in his hometown to host weary travelers and merchants with the refreshing water of the Aras.

This caravanserai is distinct from other caravanserais, part of the collection of 999 caravanserais built by Shah Abbas. It stands near the serene Aras River, facing the red mountains of Azerbaijan, which themselves act as a separating border from the embrace of its mother, Iran.

If you’re fortunate, you can sit inside the caravanserai and witness the passage of the train on the other side of the borders of the Aras River in the soil of Nakhchivan, with the backdrop of the red-colored mountains.

Due to the widespread impact of the coronavirus, we missed the chance to see the historical bathhouse of Jolfa. However, if you visit this strange yet intimate city one day, be sure to see the historical bathhouse.

Tabriz City

Like caravan passengers, after a short stay, we set off to the next city. We reached the beautiful city of Tabriz by evening.

Parastoo Souezi

Grand Bazaar of Tabriz

The first place I saw in Tabriz was the Grand Bazaar. Its carpet caravans are famous all over Iran. The beauty of its ancient brick building, along with the colorful and original Tabrizi carpets, has created a unique combination. I used to sit on the stairs for hours and look at the carpet traders.

They opened the wide and long carpets like panels and bought and sold them and hung them in their showcases. I was engrossed in watching all this and was fascinated by an elderly carpet seller who was carrying the weight of a curved tube of a carpet. A carpet that, in my opinion, symbolized a lifetime of hard work and the beauty of the eyes that is woven into every fabric.

Parastoo Souezi

A light from the market’s skylights shined on the famous red carpets of Tabriz and revealed the patterns and threads that danced in the air.

And I sat mesmerized and silent on a step, not even wanting to take a picture. I just wanted to absorb every moment and remember it well. Remember it in every detail.

After seeing the masterpieces of Tabrizi weavers, I invited myself to drink a cup of hot tea in the heart of the market.

Grand Bazaar of Tabriz

Qajar Museum - Amirnizam Grossi's house

Undoubtedly, Amir Nizam Grossi was one of the few politicians with good taste in history, who not only captured and seized the art and wealth of the people of this country, but also left behind a magnificent legacy. The beauty of this building and the biography of its creator had a strange harmony.

Qajar Museum - Amirnizam Grossi's house

When I entered the large courtyard of this mansion and saw the reflection of the sky and the mansion in its pond, I stood behind the mansion doors with thousands of colored glasses and watched the dance of light spread on the ground. I walked in this mansion and its architecture impressed me, I thought only one thing. Can anyone breathe in this space and witness these beauties and be a bad person?

They opened the wide and long carpets like panels and bought and sold them and hung them in their showcases. I was engrossed in watching all this and was fascinated by an elderly carpet seller who was carrying the weight of a curved tube of a carpet. A carpet that, in my opinion, symbolized a lifetime of hard work and the beauty of the eyes that is woven into every fabric.

Today, this building is the Qajar Museum, which is full of artifacts from the Qajar era.

Alisha Citadel

The most appropriate description from my point of view for Arg Alishah is that the silent survivor is a storyteller without words. For centuries they have stood firm and steadfast, only observing in silence. Recorded in every brick and stone.

Parastoo Souezi

History after history, century after century, era after era, war after war, it has stood strong, and today it remains a tired yet strong survivor.

Constitutional House of Tabriz

A mansion with Qajar architecture that has been the gathering place of great political figures. They sat together in this mansion, they thought together, and its walls are full of stories of its history.

In this building, antique maps of Iran’s history are visible on its walls like flags from the past.

Grand Mosque of Tabriz

This mosque is made of stone and its history…

The grandeur and enchanting architecture of this building is worthy of worship. The sunlight shining through its windows is a symbol of hidden faith. This mosque was built brick by brick in different periods, but what remains shows that in each period, they laid brick by brick with love.

Kandovan Village

We couldn’t pass by Tabriz kebabs, we had lunch in its beautiful clay market and headed towards Kandavan village.

After seeing all this beauty, we owed it to ourselves to stay at Kandavan rock hotel. We arrived tired at night, but this hotel removed the fatigue and dust of the trip. A hotel whose rooms are a hole inside the mountain.

Tonight the mountain will embrace me...

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Tabriz & Jolfa

Jolfa, the capital of Jolfa County in East Azerbaijan, Iran, has a population of 5,628 as of 2011. Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan Province, is a historic city with the famous Tabriz Bazaar, a Silk Road market, and the reconstructed 15th-century Blue Mosque. The Azerbaijan Museum in Tabriz showcases a rich collection from prehistoric artifacts to 20th-century sculptures by Ahad Hosseini, adding to the city’s cultural significance.

Parastoo Souezi
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