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Tabriz

city, ancient and import

TABRIZ,. ta-bree, or TAVRIS, ta-vres', Persia, a city in the extreme northwest, about A miles from the Russian border, capital of the province of Azerbaijan, on the left bank of the Aji, 36 miles above its entrance into Lake Urumiah, It is situated at the inner extremity of an amphitheatre, about 4,000 feet above sea level, with hills on three sides, and an eaten, sive plain on the fourth. It is surrounded with a wall of sun-dried brick, with bastions, and is entered by seven or eight gates. A large por tion of the population resides outside the walls, and the plain around is covered with gardens, producing the finest fruits in great abundance, particularly grapes. The citadel is the most conspicuous building in the city. It was origi nally a mosque, and is 600 years old. It con sists of a lofty edifice of brick, and though much damaged by earthquakes, is still a noble structure. Within the walls of the citadel there are a cannon-foundry and barracks. The most interesting building in the town is the fine ruin Kabiid Masjid (Blue Mosque), which is about 300 years old, and is partly covered with ara besqued tiles. A considerable trade is carried

on in the import of European goods and sugar, the former consisting mostly of cotton manu factures, principally British, petroleum from Russia, and woolen goods, chiefly from Austria and France; and in the export of raisins and other fruits, leather, carpet, silks, skins, cottons, shawls, tea, etc., principally to Russia and Tur key. The imports and exports in normal years total over $10,000,000. Though still a con siderable city, Tabriz has diminished in import ance from what it was in ancient times; the descriptions of old travelers, who speak of its splendid cafés and its hundreds of caravansa nes and mosques, being no longer applicable; while its ancient population of 550,000 had to about 165,000 in 1881, although in 1918 estimated at 200,000. The city has been repeatedly devastated by earthquakes, the most destructive being those of the years 858, 1041 and 1721; on the last occasion 80,000 persons are supposed to have perished. During the World War the city was occupied first by the Turks and later by the Russians.