How to visit Tabriz & Maraghe cities in two days
Tabriz and Maraghe had been important cities during the Mongols and Ilkhanid eras. Tabriz and Maraghe both had been selected by the Mongols and Ilkhanid rulers as the capital. There fore there are various Mongol monuments in these cities, especially in Maraghe(Maragheh was the capital of Mongols for 45 years). In this two-day tour, you visit the most famous Mongols capital known as the capital of Iran's astronomy, and different monuments that remained from Mongols and other periods.
The golden era of Maragheh's fame reaches the era of Halakukhan. During the era of Halakukhan and when Maragheh was chosen as the capital of Iran(Mongols Era), with the request and encouragement of the great Iranian scientist Khwaja Nasiruddin Tosi, the most prestigious scientific center in the world, the Maragheh Observatory, was built in one of the northwest hills of Maragheh which before the destruction of one of the largest centers. He was the researcher and astronomer of his time in the world. Now, a tall dome has been built to cover the remains of the central tower of the observatory, on which astronomical instruments and devices of that period will be used as an exhibition.
Day2: Tabriz, Maraghe (135 km)
Early morning drive to Maraghe, on the way you can enjoy the most beautiful picturesque natural view of Azerbaijan province and the Sahand mountain range.
In Maraghe city your tour starts with one of the oldest Maraghe ancient monuments belonging to the Parthian period and visiting one of the first human settlements and prehistoric temples.
Mehr underground rock temple is located 6 km from the city of Maragheh and was one of the first places of human worship. After this fantastic ancient monument, we drive to Maraghe to visit the most famous monuments.
Red Dome: The oldest square-shaped building in Maragheh is the Red Dome which, according to the scripts on the northern wall, was built in the Seljuk dynasty.
Round Tower: A 563 Hijri monument with a simple design and architecture with an unknown founder. it is decorated with Kufic scripts, turquoise ceramics, and bricks.
Ghaffaria Dome: This building is a copy of the red dome and was built during the reign of the Ilkhani king, Sultan Aboo Saeid Bahador Khan. Its four corners are decorated with brick ornaments.
Hovanes Church: The Howans church is the only remaining church in the city and although there are no Christians living there, it is one of the most respected and important symbols of divine religions. Since the Ilkhanate era was an era of ease for religions, the church was built then and after that time, some modifications were done to it. This building includes a Christian school, the house of the priest, and the watcher's house. The church has an altar, an apron, and a middle section.
The petroglyphs museum and the Ilkhani museum are your next places to learn more about the history, culture, and customs of the Mongol rulers.
Ilkhanid Museum: The main building of the museum was built between 1974-1978 by the Association of National Monuments. The building was first used as the Primary Museum of Maragheh in 1984 and works of different historical periods were put on display. In 1996, the museum specialized in the Elkhanate period for it had been an important city in the period. Many works including pottery, ceramics, coins, metals, glassworks, and books as sources of information were collected and brought there for the joy of the public and specialist viewers.
Maraghe Observatory: Your last destination in the Maraghe city tour would be Observatory hill where you can visit one of the most important pieces of astronomical equipments of Iran in the Mongol era. The construction of the observatory began in 1261 AD by Hulagu Khan and his wise minister Khaje Nasir-al Din Tousi.
The completion of the construction took 15 years and according to Hulegu's order, many books and astronomical equipment taken after the occupation of Baghdad were brought there. Archeological digs have revealed different parts of the site including the observatory, central tower, round quintet units, and the library and it was built 157 years before the Samarkand Observatory.
Now, you have visited one of the most famous Mongol Capitals in Iran and discovered the brilliant history of Iran during the Mongols and Ilkhanid eras.
If you are eager to stay in Maraghe you have various options for safe and comfortable accommodation, just contact us for more information. If not, you will drive back to Tabriz to finish your tour program. Our expert advisers can help you to arrange this tour or related. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.