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Western Azerbaijan

Thaddeus Monastery Qara Kilisa Lake Urumia Chapel of Dzordzor Marmishou Lake Baroun Dam Lake Takht-e Soleyman Complex Sahoulan Cave Shalmash Waterfall Kani Gravan Spring

Thaddeus Monastery Qara Kilisa

The Monastery of Saint Thaddeus is an ancient Armenian monastery in the mountainous area of West Azerbajjan Province. Also known as Qara Kilisa (Black Church), it is located about 20 km from the town of Chaldoran. The monastery and its typical Armenian conical roofs are visible from long distances. According to the tradition of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Saint Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), evangelized the region of Armenia and Persia, Little remains of the monastery’s original structure, as it was extensively rebuilt after an earthquake damaged it in 1940. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century.

Lake Urumia

Lake Urumia previously known as Lake Rezaiyeh, is located in the northwest of Azerbaijan district. According to the latest country subdivisions, Lake Urumia lies between East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan Provinces. After Anzali Lagoon, The National Park of Lake Urumia is one of the most interesting natural habitats in Iran. This ecosystem has been registered internationally by UNESCO as a protected area. Iranian Department of Environment has identified most parts of this lake as national park. Lake Urumia is the biggest inland lake in Iran and the second salty lake in the world.

Chapel of Dzordzor

Chapel of Holy Mary which also called the Chapel monuments is one of the most famous historical monuments in Iran. The nearest village to the chapel is called Baroun beside Baroun Dam, 13 km from Maku. The chapel of Holy Mary was built by bishop Besdachi Zakaria. This monument is in the list of UNESCO world Heritages. The nearest tourist attraction to the chapel is St. Thaddeus Monastery (Qara Kilisa).

Marmishou Lake

Marmishou or Marmishoo Lake surrounded by the mountains of the Zagros range, has a beautiful seasonal waterfall, the lake is surrounded by oak, Persian turpentine, jujube, pear, hawthorn, almond, tamarisk and pine trees. The lake is a popular fishing destination and attracts many nature lovers and tourists during the summer and spring.

Baroun Dam Lake

Baroun Dam is located near Maku, on the Zangmar River where the Maku reservoir has been built on it, originates from the borderlands of Iran and Turkey, and ultimately joins the Aras River in the city of Poldasht. Baroun dam is one of the largest dams in the city of Maku. The dam has a magnificent lake which is also suitable for fishing. The nearest attraction to Baroun Dam is Dzordzor Chapel.

Takht-e Soleyman Complex

Takht-e Soleyman is an Iranian archaeological site, located 45 km northeast of Tekab County in West Azerbaijan province, northwest of Iran. It covers an area of about 124000 sq. m, and the name is equivalent for Solomon’s Throne. In different historical periods, Medians, Parthians, Sassanid’s and Mongols had settled at this area. This historical cultural complex includes traces of human settlement from the first millennium BC. According to some historians, it has been the birthplace of Zoroaster. UNESCO has approved this monumental complex as World Heritage Site in 2003.

Sahoulan Cave

The Sahoulan Cave, Iran’s second water cave, has the potential to attract tourists and nature lovers. Sahoulan is a beautiful water cave only after Ali Sadr Cave, which is the world’s largest. The cave’s scenic view makes it attractive for nature lovers and eco-tourists alike. Genetically, this cave is referred to the second geological era, namely Mesozoic, about 65 Ma. The name of this cave is adopted from the Kurdish word “SAHOL” meaning Ice. The cave lies totally within the limestone rock having been created by the corrosive action of water. Geomorphological evidence within the cave would strongly suggest that it has been formed under phreatic conditions by still water and not by flowing water.

Shalmash Waterfall

Shalmash Waterfall is one of the rushing waterfalls of Iran located in West Azerbaijan 15 km south of Sardasht County. It is considered as one of the most important waterfalls in West Azerbaijan.

Kani Gravan Spring

Kani Grawan Spring is located in Sardasht County in West Azerbaijan province, and is considered as a tourist attraction in Sardasht. This spring lies beside a village named “Kani Gaviz” in the southeast of Zab Basin, from which boiling water comes out.