The township of Orumieh (Urmiah) lies between the western banks of the Lake Orumieh and the country of Turkey. The capital of which is the city of Orumieh. This city is located 951 km from Tehran and 13 km. west of Lake Orumieh on a green plain. Situated at an altitude, this territory is thereby separated from Turkey. Orumieh has cold winters and moderate summers. The area bears ancient relics some of which date back to 2000 BC. Urmia is the 10th most populated city in Iran.
A few historians believe that Orumieh is the birthplace of the prophet Zoroaster. Ancient geographers believe it to be the third most important city of Azarbayjan, ranking after the cities of Ardabil and Maraqeh. Ancient relics are present here, but due to historical upheavals some of these valuable evidences have been completely destroyed.
According to Russion Historian Vladimir Fedorovich 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 Mana empire; in the 8th century BC, the area was a vassal of the Asuzh government until it joined the Median Empire.
During the Safavid era, the neighboring Ottoman Turks, who were the archrivals of the Safavids, made several incursions into the city and captured it on more than one occasion, but the Safavids successfully regained control over the area. When in 1622, during the reign of Safavid king Abbas I (r. 1588–1629) Qasem Sultan Afshar was appointed governor of Mosul, he was forced to leave his office shortly afterwards due to the outbreak of a plague. He moved to the western part of Azerbaijan, and became the founder of the Afshar community of Urmia. The city was the capital of the Urmia Khanate from 1747–1865. The first monarch of Iran's Qajar dynasty, Agha Muhammad Khan, was crowned in Urmia in 1795.
Urmia's climate is cold semi-arid with cold winters, mild springs, hot dry summers, and warm autumns. Precipitation is heavily concentrated in late autumn, winter (mostly in the form of snow), and especially spring, while precipitation is scarce in summer.
Temperatures in Urmia are much colder than most of the remainder of Iran because of the elevation. Although dry for being a traditional continental climate, it has cold enough winters to qualify as general continental.
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