West Azarbaijan to hold tourism festival after two-year halt

May 15, 2022 - 20:9

TEHRAN – West Azarbaijan is getting prepared to hold a national tourism festival after a two-year pause due to COVID restrictions, the provincial tourism chief has said. 

The capital city of Urmia will be hosting the festival, which is scheduled to be run during the second half of the current Iranian calendar year (September 22-March 21, 2023), Jalil Jabari explained on Sunday. 

Travel insiders and tour operators, the owners of the accommodation centers from across the country as well as tourism experts, craftspeople, and tourism investors will participate in the event, which aims at promoting travel and tourist attractions in the region, the official added. 

The provincial capital of Urmia, also spelled Orumiyeh, lies just west of Lake Urmia on a large fertile plain that yields grains, fruits, tobacco, and other crops. The population is mainly Azeri Turkish, with Kurdish, Assyrian Christian, and Armenian minorities. The remains of ancient settlements are scattered over the plain, as are traces of the ancient kingdom of Urartu.

West Azarbaijan embraces a variety of lush natural sceneries, cultural heritage sites, and museums including the UNESCO sites of Takht-e Soleyman and Qareh Klise (St. Thaddeus Monastery), Teppe Hasanlu, and the ruined Bastam Citadel.

The region was home to several ancient civilizations. According to Britannica, it was conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC and was named Atropatene after one of Alexander’s generals, Atropates, who established a small kingdom there. Ultimately, the area returned to the Persian (Iranian) rule under the Sasanians in the 3rd century CE.

ABU/AFM 

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