Maragheh (märägäˈ) [key], city (1991 pop. 117,388), East Azerbaijan prov., NW Iran, on the southern slopes of Mt. Sahand. It is the trade and transportation center of a fertile fruit-growing region; dried fruits are shipped from there. After the Arab conquest in the 7th cent. Maragheh developed rapidly as a provincial capital. In 1029 it was seized by the Oghuz Turks, but they were driven out by a Kurdish chief who established a local dynasty. The city was destroyed by the Mongols in 1221, but Hulagu Khan held court there until the establishment of a fixed capital at Tabriz. The city was temporarily occupied by Russia in 1828. Maragheh's celebrated observatory (13th cent.) is now in ruins. The city is also known as Maragha.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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