Ardabil, is an ancient city in Iranian Azerbaijan. Ardabil is the center of Ardabil Province. The families,where the dominant majority are ethnic Iranian Azerbaijanis and the primary language of the people is Azerbaijani.
Ardabil is known for its silk and carpet trade tradition. Ardabil rugs are renowned and the ancient Ardabil Carpets are considered some of the best of the classical Persian carpet creations. Ardabil is also known as the seat of a World Heritage Site: the Ardabil Shrine, the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponymous founder of the Safavid dynasty.
Most of the Ardabil province is mountainous with an average altitude of 3,000 m. above sea level. The province enjoys geographical and environmental diversity. As a result of which the climate is very cold in winter and mild in summers. Indeed, the city of Ardabil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities of the country in winters.
The province is believed to be as old as the Achaemenid era (ca. 550–330 BCE). It is mentioned in the Avesta, where Prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalan Mountains. During the Parthian era, the city had a special importance among the cities of Azerbaijan.
The province is still strategically important with respect to tourism and trade. The city of Ardabil now is one of the most important cities of the province and Iran for its many historical monuments, specially the Safavid family’s mausoleums and tombs, its location near many thermal springs with therapeutic virtues, and location on the main access road to the Republic of Azarbayjan. These have turned the city to a tourism center, which is visited by thousands of tourists every year.