This village is unique and its forests enlist it among the most magnificent villages in Iran.
Passing through the beautiful banks of the Aras River in East Azarbaijan Province, we arrive at the historical village of Oshtobin near Jolfa, which glitters and glistens like a gem in Arasbaaraan Forests, and attracts the attention of every passerby. This village is situated 95 kilometers east of Jolfa, and 150 kilometers north of the historical city of Tabriz, at an altitude of 3,620 meters above sea level.
It has three districts, namely Haraas, Siavashaan, and Jafarabad, and is considered to be a typical mountainous mid-valley village. This village has a cold climate and long winters, and is blanketed with snow several months of the year. The terrain around this village is uneven, rocky, and steep, and there is only room for restricted development at its northern corner. As is evident by the historical remains of its ancient buildings, this village dates back to 700 years. The existence of several inscriptions related to Safavid King, Shah Tahmaseb in the environs of this village and marble-made inscriptions belonging to 9th and 10th AH displays the historical nature of this village. According to archaeologists, the area has been inhabited since the Parthian times over two millenniums ago. The residents of this village converse in the Azeri and Taati languages. Due to being situated in the Aras Valley, and due to the peculiar climate of the Moghaan region and the western parts of Caspian Sea, this valley enjoys moderate weather conditions. As a result vast orchards are found in this region, and the fruits are delivered to the markets of the province almost on daily basis. These include cherries, apricots, mulberries, sour cherries, pomegranates, figs, grapes, walnuts, apples, pears, and plums. The fruits of this village, especially its premium cherries and apricots are exported to other regions of Azarbaijan Province.
The village's economy is based on gardening, and animal husbandry. The majority of villagers own orchards and make ends meet through selling fruits and related products. Sericulture in this village has historical roots and a large number of villagers are engaged in producing and breeding silk worms. There are numerous silk-producing workshops in the region. Carpet-weaving is one of the common activities of these villagers. In fact, carpet-weaving is included in the regional women's handicrafts and is a source of income for these rural families.
The historical houses of this village are situated on a steep mountainous slope. Therefore, these houses have been cleverly designed, such that the yard of each house is in fact the roof of another house. These houses lack fences, have wide balconies, wooden white doors, mud-made walls, inscriptions at the top of entry gates, and stone-made architecture adjacent to walls, granting further beauty to this village. The location of this village amid orchards and trees has created a scenic landscape that lures the attention of any passerby.
Oshtobin village has been included in the project for optimization of valuable rural fibers, which has been taken into consideration for especial villages with high potentials, in continuation of the rural development operations of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
The villages that accommodate valuable historical, cultural, architectural, and tourism centers are included in this project. On this basis, a number of studies were conducted in this village in order to revive the spirit of living; to promote the quality of living environment in villages, and to materialize rural sustainable development, leading to implementation of the rural optimization project. The measures taken in the Oshtobin Village include tiling and covering the pavements with cobblestone. The implementation of these projects has rejuvenated this scenic village.
The historical background of this village, and its pretty nature such as its orchards, and springs, has created appropriate conditions for tourists. Moreover, the regional tourist attraction sites have added to the significance of this village.
The Aras River is one of the regional tourist attraction sites. It is 1,043 km long, and has its source in the mountains in neighboring Turkey. It passes from the west of Jolfa city toward east and up to the Moghan region. This river and its pretty coastal lines attract tourists. The Saint Stefano Church is located 16 kilometers south of the city of Jolfa, and 3 km from the southern coastal lines of Aras River in the desolate village of Darreh-Shaam. This church dates back to 9th Century AD, and is considered a tourist attraction site in this region of Iran. This church has high walls with 7 watch towers, a monastery, a bell tower, a hay stock, and a stable. This church is named after a well-known Christian figure of the 1st Century A.D.
The Aasyaab Kharaabeh Fall is one of the beautiful regional scenes overlapping Iran's borders with the Republic of Azerbaijan, on either side of the Aras River. The Kordasht public bath is situated in Kordasht village, besides the Aras River. Its interior design and murals are of significance. The special feature of this public bath is that in ordinary conditions it cannot be spotted from the ground level because it has been built lower than the ground level. Adjacent to this public bath is a castle. These two buildings were constructed adjacent to Aras River, during the Qajarid era by Prince Abbas Mirza, during the Iran-Russia wars.
In the past, due to arduous and mountainous roads of this village, vehicles could not commute. However, following the victory of the Islamic Revolution an appropriate rural road has been constructed for this village, easily linking the village to other regions. By visiting this village, one travels through the untouched and magnificent regional nature and reviews the ancient culture and civilization of Iran.
The Village of Oshtobin was enlisted among the national wonders in the year 1379 corresponding to (March 2000-01).
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