New advances put Hir on the tourist map of northwestern Iran

TEHRAN – The ancient city of Hir in the northwestern province of Ardebil has become one of the country’s tourism hubs, the provincial tourism chief said.

With the development of tourist infrastructure and concrete measures in the field of cultural heritage, the city has become a major tourist destination, Nader Fallahi announced on Monday.

Hir’s tourism sector has entered a new chapter after the inauguration of a curved glass suspension bridge in January 2020, the official said.

Made up of curved glass plates, the bridge is 220 meters long and connects two hills in the Hir district. The all-glass parts and wire ropes of the bridge were built by national engineers using high quality materials and are said to be the first of their kind in the world.

The official also noted that some of the city’s historic structures and aging buildings have been added to the national heritage list, and that a budget and funds have been allocated for their restoration projects.

Hir is well known for its lush natural beauties, cultural heritage sites and welcoming locals, he said.

In July 2020, Fallahi noted that Ardebil could be named the Province of Suspension Bridges, pointing to the Meshginshahr Suspension Bridge and the Hir Curved Glass Suspension Bridge as well as the Azna Suspension Bridge.

Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali-Asghar Mounesan said in February that Ardebil province has immense potential to become the country’s next tourist hub.

The infrastructure development, which is currently taking place in Ardebil, could facilitate the transformation of this region into a new tourist hub, he said.

The implementation of tourism-related projects worth 40 trillion rials ($ 952 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) shows the decisive decision of the tourism officials of the province for the development in this area, he explained.

The completion of the mentioned projects will increase the capacity of the country’s tourism sector, the minister noted.

He also expressed hope that the province would become a deserved host of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) tourism investment program in 2023.

Last April, the province’s tourism authorities announced that they had drawn up broad plans to attract more tourists during the winter season to the province and make it the country’s winter tourism hub.

Stretching across a windswept high plateau, Ardebil is renowned for its lush natural beauties, welcoming locals, and tradition of silk and carpet trading. It is also home to the Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The province is freezing in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands of people each year. The capital Ardebil is generally considered to be one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.


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