Maraqeh

Maraqeh

Maragheh (Persian: مراغه)[a] is a city in the Central District of Maragheh County, East Azerbaijan province, Iran, serving as capital of both the county and the district.[6] At the 2006 census, its population was 146,405 in 38,891 households.[7] The census in 2011 counted 162,275 people in 47,552 households.[8] The latest census in 2016 showed a further population increase to 175,255 people in 54,958 households.[4] Maragheh is on the bank of the river Sufi Chay. The population consists mostly of Iranian Azerbaijanis who are bilingual in Azerbaijani and Persian. It is 130 kilometres (81 mi) from Tabriz, the largest city in northwestern Iran. It has been long suggested that Maragheh was identical with Phraaspa/Phraata,[9] the winter capital of Atropatene.[10] The 9th-century Muslim historian al-Baladhuri (died 892) reports that the town was originally known as Akra-rudh (called "Afrah-rudh" by Ibn al-Faqih, and "Afrazah-rudh" by Yaqut al-Hamawi) a Persian name which means "river of Afrah", and which the Russian orientalist Vladimir Minorsky considered to seem reminiscent of the name of Phraata.[11] He added that it is unlikely that Maragheh did not exist during the Roman era, due to its favorable location.[12]