Yazd City

The ancient city of Yazd has many unique attractions such as gardens, lofty wind catchers, beautifully decorated mosques and mud brick houses some of which have been converted into boutique hotels. The view of old parts of the city atop the roofs of the houses really spectacular and worth a try. Moreover, the birth place of Zoroastrian religion is filled with many ancient, historic and eye catching fire temples. In the city of Yazd you can buy Termeh, which is a kind of fabric used for decoration and so many kinds of yummy sweets to take home as souvenirs. This recently registered UNESCO world heritage city has a marvelously unique architecture which is a subject to be examined by the tourists and make them busy during their tour and travel to this city.

Yazd is one of the desert cities of Iran and its unique and distinguished architecture will definitely make you one of the lovers of this marvelous city. The city of Yazd which is famous as the city of wind catchers has been registered by the UNESCO as World Heritage due to its fantastic architecture. Thatched (mud and straw) houses with Persian architecture which have been converted into boutique hotels and traditional hotels today, can be your choice in this city. Most hotels and accommodating places of Yazd, are boutique hotels and they are often located near the major attractions of the city and are attractions by themselves.

In this city with houses made of mud bricks you can visit many ancient attractions such as Dowat Abad Garden, Chak Chak, the Jame Mosque of the city and so many other monuments. Another feature of this city is the lofty wind towers of this desert city that worked as ventilation systems to make the houses cooler during the hot summer days.Another advantage of this city and its attractions for the visitors is that most of the main sites can be visited on foot.

Yazd Highlights

Yazd City Walls:

In ancient Iran there were many types of public structures, from among which one may mention the achievement represented by city walls. The twelfth to fourteenth century walls of Yazd, which are still standing, are perhaps the most interesting, imposing and skillfully planned. In Yazd, sections of the old walls and moat remain, providing an interesting example of a medieval wall, fortified by moat, towers and barbicans, now buried deep within a town which has long since expanded beyond its old limits. These walls were begun, it is said, in 1119 and rebuilt and extended during the 14th century. In places, they were 15 meters high; being nicely decorated with ornamental devices such as those employed on unglazed pottery.

Yazd, Bazaar

Bazaar of Yazd:

The 12 historic bazaars of Yazd are worth a visit. The most important bazaars here are: Bazaar-e Khan; Goldsmiths Bazaar; and Panjeh Ali Bazaar. The many bazaars here are probably the best places in Iran to buy silk fabric, cashmere, brocades and cloth (taffeta and Yazdi shawl) all the beautiful local designs, motifs, and colors, the products which brought the town its prosperity. Try to take an Iranian guide with you. Yazd is also a good place for cakes and sweets (baghlava, qottab, pashmak), although quite a lot of the tempting tooth-rotters on display arent actually made in the town.

Amir Chakhmagh

Amir Chakhmagh Mosque:

On no account should you miss the fourteenth-century AD Masjid-e Amir Chakhmaq or Masjid-e Jomeh (an exact contemporary of the Masjid-e Jame) next to the bazaar portal, famous for its superb portal ornamented with stucco, and the traditional four-ivan structure on a courtyard a little too small for the ivans. Originally, it was called Masjid-e Now (New Mosque). The frieze on the portal has artistically very valuable calligraphy etched on it, according to which the mosque was built by the zealous efforts of Bibi Fatemeh Khatun, wife of Yazd governor Amir Jalal od-Din Chakhmaq.

A marble mihrab has been installed, around which decorative tiles and verses of the Holy Koran have been etched over stone. The mosque is very near to the Takieh-ye Mir Chakhmaq, a 19th century tiled edifice built to serve as a grandstand for the traditional passion play, or Tazieh, recording the martyrdom of the third Imam Hossein, that is acted during the mourning month of Muharram (lunar) in the Takieh, or special theater used for these performances, of which it formed part.

At present, the free space in front of the monument has been turned into the central square of the town, and has acquired a new appearance as a result of trees and flowers having been planted. Actually, this represents one of the buildings of a historic complex incorporating a mosque, a public bath, a caravansary, a mausoleum, a takieh, three water reservoirs, and an imposing entrance to one of Yazd’s bazaars.

Jame Mosque

Jame Mosque:

Masjid-e Jame, also known as the Friday Mosque, like so many important mosques, was the focus of a complex of buildings of various periods and styles in various states of conservation. The site of a Sassanian fire temple, its major features, however, were begun in 1324 and continuously developed for forty years. There is no more impressive gateway in Iran than this great soaring 14th century edifice. Crowned by a pair of minarets, the highest in Iran, the portals facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling tile work, predominantly blue in color.

Inside there is a long arcaded court where, behind a deep-set southeast ivan, is a sanctuary chamber which, under a squat tiled dome, is exquisitely decorated with faience mosaic: its tall faience mihrab, dated 1365, is one of the finest of its kind in existence. The tile work has recently been skillfully restored and a modern library built to house the mosques valuable collection of books and manuscripts. By the side of the Masjid-e Jame, along a side street to the right was the Vaqt va Saat (Time and Hour) complex, now reduced to the Shrine of Rokn ad-Din, who was responsible for building the complex. The observatory (which gave its name), a library, and a madraseh, have all vanished.

Twelve Imams Shrine

Twelve Imams Shrine:

Further from the center can be found the splendid early 12th century Shrine of the Twelve Imams (maghbareh-ye Davazdah Emam) properly described as a funerary mosque. It is almost next door to the Zendan-e Eskandar (Alexanders Prison, a deep, circular, brick-lined pit about 10 m in diameter) and has a fine three line Kuffic inscription inside, with the names of each of the Shiite Imams, none of whom is buried here.

Although the mausoleum is small, dusty and forgotten, it is nonetheless a well-preserved building of the period. There some interesting plaster moldings on the mihrab, and the brick dome is a good early example of its kind. The Maghbareh is locked, but the door-keeper at Zendan-e Eskandar next door will take you in. Dont forget to give him a tip of at least 500 Rials. It would be also good to have a guide or taxi driver with you.

Towers of Silence

Tower of Silence:

These are three impressive buildings remaining from several other similar structures on hilltops outside and in the immediate vicinity of the town (about 15 km to the south-west) where the bodies of the dead Zoroastrians would be brought to the foot of the tower so that a ritual ceremony could be held in presence of the relatives and friends of the deceased.

The body was then carried by the priests into the tower where it was laid on the flat stones on the ground thus avoiding that earth, water, and fire, the divine elements be contaminated, the soul of the defunct person having already been by Ahura Mazda. In a short time the body would be torn apart by passing vultures and crows. The bones were then thrown into a circular pit in the center of the tower. At the foot of the towers stand the remains of the buildings, which once served for the funerary ceremonies. When the towers were still used for Zoroastrian burials, only the priests were allowed into them. Nowadays, however, some of them have been opened to the public. Beneath the hill there are several other disused Zoroastrian buildings including a defunct well, two small bad-girs, a kitchen and a lavatory.

The custom of exposing corpses in a tower of silence largely disappeared throughout the Zoroastrian world around 50 years ago, at about the same time that the eternal flame was transferred to the newly constructed Atashkadeh in the center of Yazd. As a matter of fact, the towers was used until 1978, after which all Zoroastrian dead were buried in the cemetery at the foot of the towers. The site can be reached only by taxi or private car.

Chak Chak

Chak Chak:

This important Zoroastrian fire-temple is on a hill 52 km to the north-northeast of Yazd. It attracts thousands of pilgrims for an annual festival, which lasts for ten day from the beginning of the third month after Now Ruz. To visit, it is best to get the permission of the religious authorities at the Atashkadeh in Yazd. The return trip, by a difficult stretch of road off the main route to Tababs, will cost around 10,000 to 12,000 Rials by hired taxi.

Dowlat Abad Garden

Dowlat Abad Garden:

This is a complex built according to the original Iranian architectural style and consists of a large garden and some buildings. Being watered by a qanat, until the very recent past it was used for the residence of the provincial governor. The most impressive part of the complex is a 33-meter high bad-gir (wind-tower) on the roof and a water stream in the interior. The air was conducted into the interior and cooled through the action of the flowing water. Lattice doors and windows with stained glass patterns impart a pleasing sight to the complex.

Finally, if you like to visit Yazd, have a look on our tours and select your favorite itinerary.

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