Ardebil(redirected from Ardabil)
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city in northeastern Iran, eastern Azerbaijan. Population, 83,500 (1966). It has a system of paved roads and an airport. Ardebil has a carpet industry; mineral springs are nearby. It is not known when Ardebil was founded. It was first mentioned during the later Sassanid period. In the Middle Ages, especially the ninth and tenth centuries, Ardebil was a large trade, craft, and cultural center of Azerbaijan. In remote times it was the capital of small independent principalities. In 1220 it was captured and destroyed by the Mongols. At the end of the 13th century the dervish Safavid order was founded in Ardebil. The Ardebil Safavid sheikhdom became the nucleus of the Safavid state.
The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, an architectural complex remarkable for its plan and its rich interior (16th—17th centuries), still stands in Ardebil. The complex consists of a large garden (120 m long) with a portal (1648; the decor was executed by the master craftsman Ismail of Ardebil); a small court, leading into a large court with an octagonal mosque (13th century [?]), and a rectangular memorial mosque. Adjoining it is the cylindrical-domed mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, which is completely covered by a patterned glaze, and the Chini-khane octagonal building (a repository for porcelain articles).