Sites & cities that bear the name of Urmia


Today in : Azerbaijan
First trace of activity : ca. 20th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Urmi, Urumia, Orumiyeh, ارومیه‎, اورمیه و‎, Urmiya, Ûrmiyê, ورمێ‎, ܐܘܪܡܝܐ‎, Urmiye, Rezaiyeh

Description : Urmia or Orumiyeh (Persian: ارومیه‎; Azerbaijani: اورمیه و‎, romanized: Urmiya, Kurdish: Ûrmiyê ,ورمێ‎; Syriac: ܐܘܪܡܝܐ‎, romanized: Urmia, Turkish: Urmiye) is the largest city in West Azerbaijan Province of Iran and the capital of Urmia County. It is situated at an altitude of 1,330 metres (4,360 ft) above sea level, and is located along the Shahar 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. An important town by the 9th century, the city has had a diverse population which has at times included Muslims (Shias and Sunnis), Christians (Catholics, Protestants, Nestorians, and Orthodox), Jews, Baháʼís and Sufis. Around 1900, Christians made up more than 40% of the city's population; however, most of the Christians fled in 1918 when Ottoman Empire invaded Qajar Iran and committed genocide against Urmia's Assyrian and Armenian population. According to Vladimir Minorsky, there were villages in the Urmia Plain as early as 2000 BC, with their civilization under the influence of the Kingdom of Van. Excavations of the ancient ruins near Urmia led to the discovery of utensils that date to the 20th century BC. In ancient times, the west bank of Urmia Lake was called Gilzan, and in the 9th century BC an independent government ruled there, which later joined the Urartu or Manna empire; in the 8th century BC, the area was a vassal of the Asuzh government until it joined the Median Empire. Assyrians who did survive the invasion of Baghdad by Timur fled through northern Iraq up into the Hakkari Mountains to the west of Lake Urmia and the area remained as their homeland until the 19th century.

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