West and east Azarbayjan
 

West and east Azarbayjan are two provinces located in northwest of Iran. The center of west Azarbayjan is "Orumiye", the center of east Azarbayjan is "Tabriz".

Azarbayjan name is derived from the Persian hero's name Atro Patika means "keeper of fire". Just brave heroes were titled this name. Atro Patika is derived from Zoroaster, a religion whose track has been seen yet.

 

Fire was holy for Zoroastrians; it was kept in fire temple. "Azargashb" fire temple in Takab (west Azarbayjan) is one of the Zoroastrian period's vestiges.

Today it is called Takht-e-Solaiman. Sasanid kings went to pilgrimage to this fire place in hard times and pray Ahura Mazda for help.

 

"Belghaise fort" belongs to this 12 hectare collection. The fort is placed in 5 kilometer of the fire place. It was built in Achaemenian era and was the place of guarding & outlook. Later on east Azarbayjan , as the result of neighboring  Armenia and immigration of Christian Orthodox followers  , became the center of Iran.

 

Black (Ghare) church is placed in north of Tabriz. It belongs to 8th A.D century; the name is derived from its black sub structural stone. Some people believe it is the first church built by Christian.

In Sasanid era, Armenia was a part of Persian emperor; its center was Ardas (beside Tabriz) in that time. Armenian's governor was Zoroastrian. According to historical witnesses, in 43 A.D two Christian missionaries named Thadaus & Batolemius came to Ardas through Mesopotamia. Contrary to Armenian governor's (Senaduk) rule, they were advertising Christianity. 3500 people including the governor's girl joint Christianity. Senaduk ordered general massacre of all the Christian including his daughter. The deed's bodies were buried in a place called black church today.

Each year at the end of July, religious Armenians go to pilgrimage to black church to keep alive their martyr's memory.

  IRAN GASHTTOUR 2004 - ALL RIGHT RESERVED