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Maragheh (Persian: مراغه‎, Azerbaijani: ماراغا[citation needed]), also Romanized as Marāgheh; also known as Marāgha),[3] is an ancient city and capital of Maragheh County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran.


Top:Maragha Observatory, Middle left:The tomb of Gunbad-Kabud, Middle right:Qyrmyzy Gvnbz, Bottom left:Statue of Anahita, Bottom right:The tomb of Awhaduddin Awhadi
Top:Maragha Observatory, Middle left:The tomb of Gunbad-Kabud, Middle right:Qyrmyzy Gvnbz, Bottom left:Statue of Anahita, Bottom right:The tomb of Awhaduddin Awhadi
Maragheh is located in Iran
Coordinates: 37°23′21″N 46°14′15″E / 37.38917°N 46.23750°E / 37.38917; 46.23750Coordinates: 37°23′21″N 46°14′15″E / 37.38917°N 46.23750°E / 37.38917; 46.23750
Country Iran
ProvinceEast Azerbaijan
 • MayorNader Ebrahimi[1]
 • ParliamentHosseinzadeh
 (2016 Census)
 • Urban
175,255 [2]
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT)

Maragheh is on the bank of the river Sufi Chay. The population consists mostly of Iranian Azerbaijanis who speak the Azerbaijani language. It is 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Tabriz, the largest city in northwestern Iran.



Maragheh is an ancient city encompassed by a high wall ruined in many places, and has four gates. Two stone bridges in good condition are said to have been constructed during the reign of Hulaku Khan (1217-1265), who made Maragheh the capital of the Ilkhanate. Shortly thereafter it became the seat of the Church of the East Patriarch Mar Yaballaha III.

One of the famous burial towers, the Gonbad-e-Kabud (Blue Tower, 1197), is decorated with decorative patterns resembling Penrose tiles.

The 14th century book Al-Vaghfiya Al-Rashidiya (Rashid’s Deeds of Endowment) describes many of the estates in the town, and several of the quanat of the time.[4]

Its marble, which is known throughout Iran as Maragha marble, is a travertine obtained at the village of Dashkasan near Azarshahr about 50 km north-west from Maragheh. It is deposited from water, which bubbles up from a number of springs in the form of horizontal layers, which at first are thin crusts and can easily be broken, but gradually solidify and harden into blocks with a thickness of about 20 cm. It is a singularly beautiful substance, being of pink, greenish, or milk-white color, streaked with reddish copper-colored veins. It is exported and sold worldwide under such names as Azarshar Red or Yellow.

Late Miocene strata near Maragheh have produced rich harvests of vertebrate fossils for European and North American museums. A multi-national team reopened the fossil site in 2008.[5]


The city is situated in a narrow valley running nearly north and south at the eastern extremity of a well-cultivated plain opening towards Lake Urmia, the world's sixth-largest saltwater lake, which lies 30 km to the west. The town is encompassed by a high wall ruined in many places, and has four gates. Maragheh is surrounded by extensive vineyards and orchards, all well watered by canals led from the river, and producing great quantities of fruit. The hills west of the town consist of horizontal strata of sandstone covered with irregular pieces of basalt.

Maragha observatoryEdit

Venus transit 2004 at the site of observatory

On a hill west of the town are the remains of the famous Maragheh observatory called Rasad Khaneh, constructed under the direction the Ilkhanid king, Hülagü Khan for Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. The building, which no doubt served as a citadel as well, enclosed a space of 340 by 135 meters, and the foundations of the walls were 13 to 2 meters in thickness. The observatory was constructed in the thirteenth century and was said to house a staff of at least ten astronomers and a librarian who was in charge of the library which allegedly contained over 40,000 books. This observatory was one of the most prestigious during the medieval times in the Islamic Empire during the golden age of Islamic science. The famous astronomer Ibn al-Shatir did much of his work in this observatory.[6]

Universities in MaraghehEdit

Entrance of Payam Noor University of Maragheh

Famous nativesEdit

For a complete list see: Category:People from Maragheh

Sister cities and twin townsEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Maragheh can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3074025" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  4. ^ Ajam, Mohammad. Water clock in Persia 1383. Conference of Qanat in Iran. in Persian.
  5. ^ "International paleontologists team up for research on fossil-rich Iranian site". Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
  6. ^ Lindberg, David C. (1992). The Beginnings of Western Science. United States: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 179–181. ISBN 9780226482057.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2011-03-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "NAČELNIK UPRILIČIO PRIJEM ZA GOSTE IZ IRANA". Grad Goražde. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  • E. Makovicky (1992): 800-year-old pentagonal tiling from Maragha, Iran, and the new varieties of aperiodic tiling it inspired. In: I. Hargittai, editor: Fivefold Symmetry, pp. 67–86. World Scientific, Singapore-London
  • Peter J. Lu and Paul J. Steinhardt: Decagonal and Quasi-crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture, Science 315 (2007) 1106-1110

External linksEdit