Ardabil or Ardabil is about 70 km from the Caspian Sea, 210 km from the city of Tabriz. It has an average altitude of 1263 m and total area of 18.011 km². Neighboring on the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azarbaijan, this city is of great political and economical significance. The Province of Ardabil has been blessed with splendid natural beauty and numerous sights. It is located on an open plain 1,500 m above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalan (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring.
The province is believed to be as old as the Achamenids (ca. 550–330 BC). It is mentioned in the Avesta, where prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalan Mountains. During Parthian era the city had a special importance among the cities of Azarbaijan. Some Muslim historians attribute foundation of Ardabil to king Piruz I of Sassanid Empire. The Persian poet Ferdowsi also credits the foundation of the city to Piroz I. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Humsbetween 4th to 6th century AD. Piroz repaired those damages and fortified the city. Piroz made Ardabil the residence of provincial governor (Marzban) of Azarbaijan.
Tomb of Sheikh Safi Ardabili
The complex of structures known, at present , as sheikh Safi's Mausoleum, ranks among the finest historical achievements of Iranian art. Sheik Safi was a grate Iranian soufi who lived in 13th and 14th century Ad. He was grandfather of Shah Ismail, founder of Safavid dynasty.
The tombs are surrounded by finely engraved wood panels with extraordinarily delicate ivory and precious metal inlays. Apart from the above structures, the construction of the main portal of the mausoleum and three domes decorated with exquisite faience tile give considerable charm and splendor to this attractive historical monument. The decorative elements of the complex, both internal and external, consist of paintings, plaster, moldings, stuccos, and gold-toned stalactite decorations.
Sarein hot springs
The Iranians have long shown their great interest in the therapeutic aspects of natural hot water. In addition to the kings who built recreation centers on the banks of the springs, the Iranian people viewed the hot springs from a religious and divine point of view. According to their popular , these sources are protected by divine forces and therefore have supernatural power and can cure all ailments. Moreover, the great Iranian scientists, including Avicenna, were interested in the nature and the medical virtues of thermal waters.
Since Iran is located in a mountainous and volcanic area, it is home to many hot springs that are scattered all over the country. The most important springs are located on the slopes of Mount Damâvand (in the north of the country) and Mount Sabalân (in the north-west of the country). Currently, there are nearly 370 hot springs in Iran, most of them are in West Azerbaijan, Mâzandârân and Ardebil.
almost 25 kms from the city of Ardebil, in the north-west of the country, the hot springs of Sarein, including Gâvmish Goli, Ghotor-Soui (old water), Sâri-sou (yellow water) ... enjoy world renowned and attract large numbers of visitors. There are also two baths of sparkling natural water that have medical benefits. These two natural baths located in the valley of Vilâ 5 km from Sar’eyn, offer an extraordinary natural landscape. In addition, the source of Isti-sou has lengthened along the Ardebil-Khalhkâl road which is one of the most beautiful roads in the country. The warm waters of Sar’eyn have uneven therapeutic properties.