Urmia is the largest city in West Azerbaijan province of Iran. Urmia is located along the Shahar Chay river (City River) on the Urmia Plain. Lake Urmia, one of the world’s largest salt lakes, lies to the east of the city and the mountainous Turkish border area lies to the west.
The city’s inhabitants are predominantly Azerbaijanis, with minorities of Kurds, Armenians and Assyrians. as well as Iran’s official language, Persian. The city is the trading center for a fertile agricultural region where fruits (especially apples and grapes) and tobacco are grown.
The Christian history in Urmia, Iran should be noted first. It is highly, and most intricately preserved. Especially seen in the many churches, and cathedrals.The majority of people are followers of Shia Islam.
The city is the archiepiscopal see of the Eastern Catholic Metropolitan Chaldean Catholic Archeparchy of Urmyā, which has a suffragan in Salmas. There are also Protestants, Nestorians and Armenian Orthodox. There are four churches in the central part of the city, two being Nestorian, one Armenian and one Chaldean.
The city is also home to followers of Sunni Islam, the Bahá’í Faith, Judaism and different kinds of Yazdanism, whose adherents are Kurds.Urmia has many parks and touristic coastal villages in the shore of Urmia Lake. The oldest park in Urmia, called Park-e Saat, was established in the first Pahlavi’s era. Urmia’s largest park is Ellar Bagi Park (Azerbaijani “People’s Garden”) along the Shahar Chayi, or the “City River”.