Tabriz is the most populated city in the northwest of Iran, one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Tabriz is located at an elevation of 1,350 meters above sea level in the Quru River valley between the long ridge of the volcanic cones of the Sahand and Eynali mountains. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, the city is considered a summer resort.
Tabriz has a population of 1,549,453. It is a major heavy industry hub for automobile, machine tools, refineries and petrochemical, textile, and cement production industries. The city is famous for its handicrafts including hand-woven rugs and jewelry. It is known for locally made confectioneries, chocolates, dried nuts, and traditional food. Tabriz is also an academic hub and a site for some of the most prestigious academic and cultural institutes in the northwest of Iran.