El Goli or Shah Goli is the name of a beautiful garden in Tabriz which is also considered one of the main symbols of the city because of its beauty and great history, and stands out alongside other symbols of Tabriz city such as the Maqbarat-o-shoara or the Mausoleum of Poets and the Clock Square.
Shah Goli means the king lake in Azerbaijani Turkish language. Later, the lake was changed to El Goli, which means the people lake.
The reason for the formation of the park is the pool located inside the garden, which was originally a source of agricultural water for the surrounding area. The water is also supplied by one of the Lighvan rivers, which runs near the village of Chavan. Currently, the pool is about 200 by 200 meters in size, with depths varying from 3 to 9 meters in different parts.
This garden is located in 7 kilometers south east of Tabriz. This place was created in the time of the Aq Qoyunlu and expanded during the Safavid period. The pool or the man-made lake was 12 meters deep at that time. During the Safavid era, all the sands and debris in the present lake was emptied and a stone wall was built around it. During the Qajar Period, passages were built around the El Goli Pool for commuting, and along these passages, various trees and flowers such as Tabrizi trees (Poplar trees), weeping willows, and many colorful Petunia flowers were planted in several rows to decorate the garden.
At the center of the El Goli Pool, there is an octagonal Kolah Farangi mansion that is used today as a reception hall and is known as the El Goli Palace. This building was previously an old brick building that was destroyed in 1987 but with the efforts of the Tabriz municipality and the provincial government, now it has become a beautiful and outstanding mansion. The new building has two floors, the first floor is a restaurant and the second floor is a coffee shop.
Along the main axis, there is a paved street that extends to the middle of the pool and eventually reaches the Koshk Mansion of El Goli, which has an special position as it is in the middle of the pool like an island. In winter the lake’s water freezes and gives it a different magical look and the beautiful view of ice and water, captivates any audience.
There is also a high hill in the southern part of El Goli Pool (or lake) where it is forested and numerous artificial waterfalls flow into the lake. Other attractive amusement amenities of El Goli are Luna Park and boat riding in the lake. At one of the park’s entrances at the outside of the garden there are many restaurants, with cool and cozy environment. The foods you must definitely try at these restaurants include Azerbaijan Bonab Kebab, Koofteh Tabrizi and a local food called Yeralma Yomorta (Smashed potatoes and eggs with butter, salt and pepper and dried mint on Lavash or Sangak bread) which is one of the most delicious dishes of Tabriz.
Nowadays there are several hotels built around the park, one of them is the El Goli Pars 5 Star Hotel. This 17-storey hotel also has a rotating restaurant.With the construction of the Pars Hotel next to this garden, El Goli has become popular worldwide and as such, the first Internet park in the country as well as the first information and tourism kiosk in the country are set up in this beautiful complex.