Tabriz is the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran. It is the sixth largest city in Iran with 1.6 million people. The city is best known for the Tabriz Bazaar, once a major Silk Road market. This sprawling brick-vaulted complex is still active today, selling carpets, spices, and jewelry. The rebuilt 15th-century Blue Mosque retains original turquoise mosaics on its entrance arch.
Tabriz is a major heavy industries hub for automobiles, machine tools, refineries, petrochemicals, textiles, and cement-production industries.
Most of its citizens are Shia Muslims of Azerbaijani ethnicity. Azerbaijani people’s interest in and love for infallible imams are quite well-known in Iran. Also of interest in Tabriz is the Saint Mary’s Armenian church, built in the 12th century and still being used. In contrast, the Assyrian Christian Church (Presbyterian) was forcibly shut down by intelligence agents and closed to all future worship services.