Urmu اورمو Wirmê ورمێ
—  city  —
Urmia municipality square

Nickname(s): Cradle of Water,Paris of Iran
Urmia is located in Iran
Coordinates: 37°33′19″N 45°04′21″E / 37.55528°N 45.0725°E / 37.55528; 45.0725Coordinates: 37°33′19″N 45°04′21″E / 37.55528°N 45.0725°E / 37.55528; 45.0725
Country  Iran
Province West Azerbaijan
County Urmia
Bakhsh Central
 – Mayor Elireza esmet perest عليرضا عصمت پرست [1]
Elevation 1,332 m (4,370 ft)
Population (2006)
 – Total 577,307
 – Population Rank in Iran 10th
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)
 – Summer (DST) IRDT (UTC+4:30)
Area code(s) 0441, 0443
Website www.urmia.ir
Lake Urmia near Urmia city.

Urmia (Persian: ارومیه; Azerbaijani: Urmu اورمو or Urmiyə; Kurdish: Wirmê / Urmê; Syriac: ܐܘܪܡܝܐ); also Romanized as Oroumiyeh, Orūmīyeh and Urūmiyeh ; formerly, during the majority of the Pahlavi Dynasty [1925–1979] called in Persian: رضائیه - Rezaeyeh, Rezā’īyeh, Rezâiyye, and Rizāiyeh)[2] is a city in and the capital of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 577,307, in 153,570 families.[3]

The city lies at an altitude of 1,330 m above sea level on the Shahar Chay river (City River). Urmia is the 10th most populated city in Iran. The population is predominantly Azerbaijani and Kurdish with Assyrian and Armenian minorities.[4]

Urmia is situated on a fertile plain called Urmia Plain, on western side of Lake Urmia; and eastern side of Turkish border and marginal range of mountains.

Urmia is the trade center for a fertile agricultural region where fruit (especially Apple and Grape) and Tobacco are grown. An important town by the 9th cent., Urmia was seized by the Seljuk Turks (1184), and later occupied a number of times by the Ottoman Turks. Urmia was the seat of the first U.S. Christian mission in Iran (1835). Around AD 1900, Christians made up more than 40% of the city's population, however, most of the Christians fled in 1918.[5]



The name Urmia is a compound. The first element--"ur" standing for 'city', is most likely Sumerian. It is noteworthy that Ur, per se, was a principal Sumerian city and the same term is, as a prefix, to be found in a few other toponyms (particularly those pretaining to cities) within Mesopotamia and its surrounding areas. Nonetheless, as the archaeological excavations reveal, the city is both pre-historically and historically distinct from the Sumerian proper[6]. The second element, "mia" is Aramaic Syriac meaning "water." Hence Urmia simply means 'Watertown"--a befitting name for a city situated by a l ake and surrounded by rivers, would be the cradle of water.


Urmia is one of the historic ancient cities in Iran. The excavations of the ancient ruins near Urmia led to the discovery of utensils that date back to 2000 years B.C.. According to Vladimir Minorsky, there have been villages in the Urmia plain some 2000 years B.C., with their civilization under the influence of Van nation.

In the ancient times, the west bank of Urmia lake was called Gilzan, and in the ninth century B.C. an independent government ruled there which later joined the Urartu or Mana empire; in the eighth century B.C., the area was a vassal of the Asuzh government until it joined the Median Empire after its formation.

All and all, according to historical documents, the western part of the Urmia Lake has been a center of attention of the prehistoric nations, the evidence of which are the numerous ancient hills in the area, such as Gouy Tapeh, 6 kilometers southeast of the lake which competes with the oldest hills of Mesopotamia, Asia the Minor, and the Iranian Plateau.

The claim that the area was the birthplace of Zoroaster, or even the burial site of one or two of the Zoroastrian priests who allegedly traveled to Bethlehem for Christ’s birth indicate that the city has been one of the largest religious and scientific centers of the ancient times.[7]

Some historians claimed that Urmia was a birthplace of Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrian religion.[8] The Columbia Encyclopedia mentions that Urmia was an important town in the region during the 9th century.[9]

The Ottoman Turks made several incursions into the city, but the Safavids were soon able to regain control over the area. The first monarch of Iran's Qajar dynasty, Agha Muhammad Khan, was crowned in Urmia in 1795.

Due to the presence of substantial Christian minority at the end of the 19th century, Urmia was also chosen as a site of the first American Christian mission in Iran in 1835. Another mission soon became operational in nearby Tabriz as well.

During the 19th century, the region became the center of a short lived Assyrian renaissance with many books and newspapers being published in Syriac. Urmia was also the seat of a Chaldean diocese.[10][11] Most of Urmia's Christian population was however massacred by the Ottomans during the First World War.[12] The survivors have mostly settled in the United States.[11]



Urmia's climate is semi-arid (Köppen BSk) with moderately cold winters, mild springs, hot, dry summers (though mild for Iran) and crisp autumns. Precipitation is heavily concentrated in late autumn, winter, and especially spring, while summer precipitation is very scarce.

Climate data for Urmia (Orumiyeh)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2.6
Average low °C (°F) −6.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 30.2
Source: worldweather.org


A general view of Urmia

According to official census of 2006, the population of Urmia is about 871,204.[13]


The population of Urmia is mainly Azerbaijani people, with Kurdish, Assyrian Christian, and Armenian minorities.[14][15] [16][17] No trustworthy linguistic figures based on systematic statistics are available for the city, as various Iranian governments have avoided getting ensnared and entangled by producing data that could be perceived as ethnically provocative[citation needed].

However the specific Azerbaijani dialect spoken in the city demonstrates a formerly Azari ground on which the current Azerbaijani (a Turkic) speech is based. Words such as "axir" and "naxir" (rural terms for grazing, from Old Iranian "ahwara*" and "na-hwara*"), "bafa" (also Kurdish "bafe" ~ "bouquet", both from Old Iranian root "wafa-" ~ "weave"), "tun ba tun" or "tumbettun" (a swearword, also Kurdish "tun" ~ "inferno"), which are in common usage in the daily speech of the local Azerbaijani speaking folk, are traced back to an Iranian context[citation needed].


The majority of people are followers of Shia Islam. Also there are Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians, followers of Sunni Islam, followers of Bahá'í Faith, Jews and followers of different kinds of Sufism, while a large part of the population is Atheist[citation needed].

Parks and Touristic Centers

Urmia has many parks and touristic costal 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 "Garden of the Peoples") along the Shahar Chayi, or the "City River".


  • Park-e Saat (Clock Park)
  • Park-e Jangali (Jungle Park)
  • Ellar Bagi (Garden of the Peoples)
  • Park-e Shahr (City Park)
  • Park-e Saheli (Riverside Park)
  • Park-e Shaghayegh
  • ...

Touristic Costal Villages:

  • Chichest
  • Bari
  • Fanoos
  • ...


Sport is an important part of Urmia's culture. The most popular sport in Urmia is volleyball. Urmia is Iran's volleyball capital ,its because of ranks that Heyat Volleyball Urmia VC got in Iranian Volleyball Super League and for the great volleyball players that are in Iran men's national volleyball team and first class coaches in Iran.

2010 Asian Men's Cup Volleyball Championship was be held in Ghadir Arena in Urmia.


Flag Country Address
Turkey Turkey Beheshti Ave., Urmia, Iran


In accordance with the foreign and old sources, in the lack of accurate and up-to-date estimations, Azerbaijanis form the major ethnic group in the city, while accompanied by Kurdish, Assyrian, and Armenian minorities, plus the Karapapakh and some Persian-speaking Iranians forming the remainder of the population.[18]

The city has been home to various ethnic groups during its long history. For this reason, the demographics of the city have undergone numerous changes. Some historical documents show that at the beginning of the 20th century, the city's population had a significant Christian minority (Assyrians and Armenians).[19] According to Macuch, and Ishaya, the city was the spiritual capital of the Assyrians from 1830 to the end of World War I by the influence of four Christian missions.[20] Most of the Assyrian and Armenian population was massacred in 1914 by Ottoman forces in what is now referred to as the Assyrian Genocide. This led to a shift in the city's demographics.[20] During the era of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iranian Assyrians were invited to return to the region and several thousand did return.



  • Natural History Museum - Displays the animals native to the vicinity of Urmia.
  • Urmia Museum - Archaeological museum affiliated with the faculty of Shahid Beheshti University.


Urmia University's entrance
Urmia University's hall

Higher education

Urmia was an important center for higher education approximately a century ago, indeed, medical faculty of Urmia which was built by Joseph Cochran and a team of American medical associates in 1878, is the first University of Iran. Unfortunately the faculty became shut down even before establishment of first official university of Iran, University of Tehran.
Nowadays Urmia has become a considerable educational city. The city owns state and private universities and institutes listed below.

Universities in Urmia:

University Web Site
Urmia University [2]
Urmia University of Medical Sciences [3]
Urmia University of Technology [4]
Islamic Azad University of Urmia [5]
Payame Noor University of Urmia [6]
Elmi Karbordi University of Urmia
University College of Saba [7]
University College of Azarabadegan [8]
University College of Elm O fan
University College of Kamal
University College of Najand


  • Central Library of Urmia
  • Shahid Bahonar Library
  • Library of I.R.Iran Education Ministry
  • Library of Urmia Cultural and Artistical Center
  • Allame Tabatabayee Library
  • Library of Khane-ye-Javan
  • Library of Shahid Motahhari
  • Library of kanoon parvaresh fekri
  • Library of Ghaem
  • Library of Imam Ali



Urmia has one state television channel that broadcasts in both Persian and Azerbaijani language. It broadcasts internationally through satellite Intelsat 902. [21]


Urmia has one radio channel broadcasting in both Persian, Kurdish and Azerbaijani languages.and has a local radio that call Chichest. [21]


  • Sedaye Urmia
  • Amanat
  • Koosha
  • Araz

and ...


Health systems

The government of Iran operates the public hospitals in the Urmia metropolitan region, some of which are aligned with medical faculties. There are also a number of private hospitals and medical centers in the city.


Inner City:

Most Urmia residents travel by car through the system of roads and highways. Urmia is also served by taxi and bus.

Urmia has taxi and public bus network. There are also some private groups, which provide services called Phone-taxi. and urmia metro lines is under the research.


  • Roads

Urmia is linked to Europe through Turkey's roads and Sero border.

  • Railways

The city is going to link to Iran National Railways (IRIR, Persian: رجا ).

  • Airport

Urmia Airport opened in 1964 and is the first international airport in West Azerbaijan county, Iran. Its international air routes are to the following cities[22]:

Other west azerbaijan international airport is Khoy airport. Domestic air routes to:Tehran, Mashhad, Kish Island, Shiraz, Esfahan.[22]

Notable people

  • Joseph Cochran (جوزف کاکرن) : the founding father of Iran’s first modern Medical School
  • Dada Katyb (دده کاتیب): One of the great poets of Azerbaijan
  • Safi al-Din al-Urmawi (صفی الدین اورموی): Iranian Azerbaijani Music Theorist
  • Heidar Amou Oghly (حیدرخان عمواوغلی): founder of the Communist Party of Iran and the first Secretary of the Communist Party of Iran and effective activist movement Constitutional
  • Reza Moridi (رضا مریدی): FirstIranian Azerbaijani and second Iranian who is Canadian politician and is in legislative assembly of this country
  • Habib Mohebian (حبیب محبیان): known as Habib, a pop musician
  • Ali Abdolalizadeh (علی عبدالعلی زاده):Minister of Housing and Urban Development in the government of Mohammad Khatami
  • Masoud Pezeshkian (مسعود پزشکیان): Minister of Health and Medical Education in the government of Mohammad Khatami
  • Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou (عەبدولڕەحمان قاسملوو): the leader of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (Partiya Demokrata Kurdistana Îranê - PDKÎ) from 1973 to 1989.
  • Gholamreza Hassani (غلامرضا حسنی): Supreme leader's representative in province.
  • Parviz Fattah (سید پرویز فتاح) : Energy Minister in the ninth government
  • Sadeg Mahsouli (صادق محصولی) : prime minister ninth government
  • Eskandar Neemati (اسکندر نعمتی): To deliver victory in the Islamic Revolution and the role in war, and developed many students.[23]
  • Nasrin Moghanlu (نسرین مقانلو): is an Iranian Azerbaijani actress
  • Homa Nateg (هما ناطق): writer, researcher and professor in the field of history. Who in 1359 returned to France to research and teaching at the Sorbonne payment.
  • Sepehr Haghighat Afshar (سپهر حقیقت افشار) :Iranian Azerbaijani Professor in the field of sociology. Graduated from Sharif University of Technology.
  • Shahid Mehdi Bakeri and Hamid Bakeri (شهید مهدی و حمید باکری):Iranian Azerbaijani Sardars in iran -iraq war and urmia mayior.
  • Shahid Mehdi Amini (شهید مهدی امینی) : Iranian Azerbaijani Sardar in iran-iraq war.
  • Hesam aldin Chalabi (حسام الدین چلبی) :Iranian Azerbaijani who was Molana Rumi's follower.
  • Ayatollah Khoei (آیت الله خویی) : Islamic Regional Leadedr.
  • Dr Hadidi (دکتر حدیدی) :Iranian Azerbaijani Professor of Electronic. He desighn a high spead proccesors.
  • Professor Khodabakhsh (پروفسور خدابخش) :Iranian Azerbaijani Professor of Nicular Physics.

See also

Photo gallery of Urmia


  1. ^ شهردار ارومیه
  2. ^ Urmia can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3077456" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  3. ^ "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)" (Excel). Islamic Republic of Iran. http://www.amar.org.ir/DesktopModules/FTPManager/upload/upload2360/newjkh/newjkh/04.xls. 
  4. ^ Orumiyeh (Iran) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  5. ^ "Urmia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 14 May. 2009 [1]
  6. ^ Talai, Dr. Hassan. The Bronze Age of Iran. pp. 70–96. ISBN 978-964-530-119-2. 
  7. ^ Urmia (Urumiyeh), the Cradle of Civilization - CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©
  8. ^ Looklex Encyclopaedia
  9. ^ Urmia | Urmia Information | HighBeam Research - FREE Trial
  10. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Urmiah
  11. ^ a b Naby, Eden (September 2007). "Theater, Language and Inter-Ethnic Exchange: Assyrian Performance before World War I Eden Naby1". Iranian Studies, 40:4. 4 40: 501–510. http://www.aina.org/articles/tlaieeapbww1.pdf. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  12. ^ * Gaunt, David; Beṯ-Şawoce, Jan (2006), Massacres, resistance, protectors: Muslim-Christian relations in Eastern Anatolia during World War I, Gorgias Press LLC, pp. 106–107, ISBN 978-1593333010 
  13. ^ 2007 census
  14. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/433619/Orumiyeh
  15. ^ http://countrystudies.us/iran/42.htm
  16. ^ دكتر م پناهايان، مجموعه اي در چهار جلد به نام " فرهنگ جغرافياي ملي تركان ايران زمين " سال 1351
  17. ^ سيري در تاريخ زبان ولهجه هاي تركي , دكتر جواد هئيت- چاپ سوم , سال1380,ص 307
  18. ^ Orūmīyeh, Encyclopædia Britannica
  19. ^ Urmia,” The Columbia On Line Encyclopedia.
  20. ^ a b Macuch, and Ishaya "Assyrians" , Encyclopaedia Iranica
  21. ^ a b صداوسيماي مركزآذربايجان غربي - صفحه اصلی
  22. ^ a b صفحه اصلی
  23. ^ پورتال وزارت کشور

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Urmia — Urmia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Urmiā — (Urmieh, Urmi), 1) District in der persischen Provinz Aderbeidschan, am Westufer des Urmiasees; eine ganz ebene, fruchtbare u. dicht bevölkerte Landschaft; 2) Hauptort hier, hat 25,000 Ew.; U. ist an der Stelle des alten Tatarma, der Geburtsstadt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Urmia — (Urmij, Urumiah), befestigte Stadt in der pers. Provinz Aserbeidschân, nahe der Grenze gegen Armenien und etwa 20 km vom Westufer des Urmisees (s. d.) in fruchtbarer, gut angebauter und mit Obstgärten besetzter Alluvialebene gelegen, hat… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Urmia — Urmia, lago (Rezaiyeh) ► C. del NO de Irán, cap. de la prov. de Azerbaiján Occidental; 300 746 h. Ind. alimentaria y textil …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Urmia — [o͞or′mē ə] Lake large saltwater lake in NW Iran: c. 1,500 2,300 sq mi (3,885 5,957 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Urmía — ارومیه Urmía Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Urmia — noun 1. a shallow saline lake in northwestern Iran between Tabriz and the western border of Turkey • Syn: ↑Lake Urmia, ↑Daryacheh ye Orumiyeh • Instance Hypernyms: ↑lake • Part Holonyms: ↑Iran, ↑Islamic Republic of Iran, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Urmia — Orumieh Orumieh (fa) ارومیه, Rezaiyeh Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Urmia — /oor mee euh/, n. Lake, a salt lake in NW Iran. ab. 2000 sq. mi. (5180 sq. km). Also called Lake Urumiyeh. * * * …   Universalium

  • Urmia — noun /ɜːmɪə/ a) A saltwater lake in northwestern Iran near Turkey. Second largest saltwater lake on earth. b) City in northwestern Iran on the shore of the lake of the same name. Capital of West Azerbaijan province …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.