Clockwise from top: Bakhtyari Bridge, Valiasr Square, Senjan, City Park, and the old bazaar.
|• Mayor||Mohammad Karim Shafei'i|
|Elevation||1,718 m (5,636 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+3:30 (IRST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+4:30 (IRDT)|
Arak (Persian: اراک, Arâk; IPA: [æˈɾɒːk] (listen)) is the capital of Markazi Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 526,182, in 160,761 families. The city is nicknamed the "Industrial Capital of Iran".
As a major industrial city, Arak hosts several industrial factories inside and within a few kilometers outside the city, including the factory of Machine Sazi Arak and the Iranian Aluminium Company. These factories produce nearly half of the needs of the country in steel, petrochemical, and locomotive industries.
As an industrial city in a developing country, Arak suffers from air pollution.
The term Arâk remains from a name given to the region since the medieval period. It derives from Arabic al-ʿIrāq, meaning "root", itself derived possibly from Akkadian Uruk (Hebrew: אֶרֶךְ, Erech). But new research has shown that the word Arak has the same roots with the words Iran and Arran, and the name Iraq is an Arabicized Persian word.
During the Seljuk era, a region comprising the whole territory of Media (northwestern Iran) and the lower part of Mesopotamia was referred to as Iraq; with the Median part called ʿErâq-e ʿAjam ("Iraq of the Ajam [non-Arabic speakers]"), and the Mesopotamian part called ʿErâq-e ʿArab ("Iraq of the Arab").
The term Soltân Âbâd is a Persian compound word.
Soltân, deriving from Arabic sulṭān ("power", "authority"), is a Near Eastern noble title given to a powerful governor. Modern Persian âbâd, meaning "settlement" or "abode", derives from Middle Persian āpāt ("populous"). However, according to linguist Sasha Lubotsky, the Persian term ābād might derive from Proto-Iranian *āpāta ("protected"), rooting from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- ("to protect").
Originally named Soltan Abad, the modern-day city of Arak was founded in 1808 by Yusef Khan-e Gorji, a pro-Iranian warlord of Georgian origin who was given refuge by Qajar ruler Agha Mohammad Khan following a territorial dispute with his cousins, who were supported by Russian empress Catherine the Great.
Between 1795 and 1797, Yusef Khan-e Gorji, renamed Yusef Khan-e Sepahdar by the Qajar ruler, settled his army in the fertile but poorly-controlled territory that would become the modern-day Arak. Hostile tribes in the region had operated autonomously from the Qajar rule. With the Shah's approval, Yusef Khan diverted the main river to drive out the hostiles and build the war fortress of Soltan Abad to act as a buffer.
According to early modern historians, Yusef Khan built the city with the aid of effluents. Until 1892, the town remained a military base and fortress. The fortress of Soltan Abad had a thick wall surrounded by 7-meter-deep moats. Eight towers were constructed around the town and the governmental building was established in its northern part.
In 1891, shops, gardens, and government buildings of Soltan Abad were repaired by the order of deputy governor Mirza Hasan (Etemad os-Saltane). Large parts of the city were formerly annexed as personal property to the pre-existing army commanders, and were then ultimately turned over to the state around 1918–1922.
Beginning by the last quarter of the 19th century, the city achieved major developments in carpet industry, and eventually became Iran's most important center of carpet production for export markets, continuing up until at least 1940.
Under the reign of Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty, the city was renamed Arak. Modern factories for vegetable oil, soap, sugar beet, and wool industries were established within the city. Arak also became an important station for the Trans-Iranian Railway, a major railway project directed by Reza Shah which was completed in 1938.
In 1972, two major state-owned enterprises were established in the city, including an aluminum smelter and a heavy engineering plant. The aluminum smelter was built under the Regional Cooperation for Development project of the Central Treaty Organization, in cooperation with the company of Reynolds and Reynolds. The engineering plant was processed with equipment and technical advice from the Soviets, in return of gas sales to the Soviet Union.
Arak is surrounded by mountains in the south, west, and east, and its average altitude is about 1750m above sea level. It is located 260 km from the city of Tehran, and is in the vicinity of the cities of Qom and Isfahan.
The weather of the city is hot and dry in summer, windy and cool in autumn, cold and snowy in winter, and mild in spring. Its maximum temperature may raise up to 35 degrees Celsius in summer and fall to below -25 degrees Celsius in winter. The average rainfall is around 350mm and the annual relative humidity is 46%.
|Climate data for Arak|
|Record high °C (°F)||17.0
|Average high °C (°F)||4.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.3
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.7
|Record low °C (°F)||−28
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||54.7
|Average rainy days||10.8||9.8||11.4||9.4||7.1||1.1||0.9||0.6||0.6||4.3||6.1||8.9||71|
|Average snowy days||7.6||6.4||3.2||0.5||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||0.7||4.6||23.1|
|Average relative humidity (%)||72||67||55||46||40||28||27||27||27||40||56||67||46|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||150.8||160.6||196.0||222.1||287.5||350.4||338.3||329.4||305.1||262.3||188.5||160.8||2,951.8|
|Source: NOAA (1961-1990) |
Arak is served by the International Airport of Arak, which is located north of the city. The airport was opened in 1938, and is one of the oldest airports of Iran.
Arak–Qom High Speed Rail is the second high-speed rail project in Iran which will has a junction with Tehran–Qom–Isfahan High Speed Rail at one of the stations in Qom province. The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways signed a €1.2 billion deal with its Italian counterpart for establishing a high-speed railroad between the Iranian cities of Qom and Arak. Iran decided to delegate the project to the Chinese following the withdrawal of an Italian firm due to US sanctions on Iran. This new High Speed Line, part of the Iran National Railway Network, will be a double track passenger railway line and will have an operational speed of 300 km/h.
Buses provide the bulk of the local public transport in Arak.
Arak is one of industrial cities of Iran, that in terms of diversity is the 1st, in terms of heavy industries is the 2nd and totally is one of four industrial hubs of Iran. This city because of the heavy industries, manufacturing 80% of Iran energy equipment, the largest Iranian Machinery company (MSA), the largest heavy equipment manufacturer in the Middle East, the largest locomotive and wagon manufacturer in the Middle East, the largest Aluminum company in Iran, the largest crane manufacturer in the Middle East, Iran's largest mineral company and the largest combine manufacturer in the Middle East; nicknamed the Industrial Capital of Iran.
The following are a number of important industrial factories based in Arak.
The main agricultural products of the city are grain, barley, and fruits including grape, apple, walnut, and almond. Arak also exports hand-knotted carpets which are referred to as Sarouk rugs. Saruq is a small village outside Arak, and its name is used in order to prevent confusion with rug from the modern-day country of Iraq.
Statesmen and politicians:
Literary, painting, and photography figures:
Cinema and television artists:
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arak.|
Media related to Arak, Iran at Wikimedia Commons
Largest cities or towns in Iran
|2||Mashhad||Razavi Khorasan||3,001,184||12||Zahedan||Sistan and Baluchestan||587,730|