Located 628 kilometers from Tehran, Yazd is one of the oldest cities of Iran dating back to the ancient times when a community of hard-working people prepared sun-dried bricks from mud to establish homes ventilated by wind-towers.
They gradually set up a town named Yazd in the heart of a desert oasis, Yazd Cultural Heritage Department wrote. There are a lot of historical and natural sites in Yazd Province. Its natural sites include mountains, springs and oases, while historical sites include qanats (underground aqueducts), badgir (wind-towers), ab-Anbar (water reservoirs), yakhchal (ice houses), museums, shrines (belonging to different religions), castles, pigeon towers, houses, caravansaries, mosques, Zoroastrian fire temples, bazaars, water mills as well as Alexander Prison.
Marco Polo wrote in his travelogue about Yazd: “Yazd also is properly in Persia; it is a good and noble city, and has a great amount of trade. They weave there quantities of a certain silk tissue known as Yasdi, which merchants carry into many quarters to dispose of. The people are worshippers of Mahomet (Prophet Muhammad (PBUH))”.
Architecture and heritage
Yazd has some of the finest examples of Persian traditional desert residential architecture. It is of foremost importance as a center of Persian architecture.
Because of its climate, it has one of the largest networks of qanats in the world and qanat-makers of Yazd are considered the most skilled in Iran.
To deal with the extremely hot summers, many old buildings in Yazd have magnificent wind-towers, and large underground areas. The city is also home to prime examples of yakhchals that were used to store ice retrieved from glaciers in the nearby mountains.
Yazd is one of the largest cities built almost entirely out of adobe. Its heritage as a center of Zoroastrianism is also important.
Built in 12th century and still being in use, the Grand Mosque of Yazd is an example of finest Persian mosaics and excellent architecture. Its minarets are the highest in the country.
Demography & climate
The population of Yazd is predominantly Persian, most of whom are Shiite Muslims. There is also a small Zoroastrian community. Yazd’s first historical mention predate it to around 3000 BC when it was referred to as Ysatis, and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient empire of Iran.
Zoroastrians have traditionally constituted a big community in Yazd. Even today, roughly 10 percent of the town’s population, according to some estimates, adhere to this ancient religion. Though a fire temple was converted into a mosque after the Islamic conquest of Persia, a dignified new fire temple was established 1,300 years later.
Although the province is significantly dry with hot desert winds, it is suitable for living mainly because it is surrounded by high mountains. Areas in the province with an altitude of over 2,500 meters enjoy moderate weather.
The province of Yazd possesses a valuable part of Iran’s great civilization and hosts remarkable elements of the world cultural and historical heritage.
In contrast with other provinces of Iran, Yazd lacks green places because of its location in the arid zone, though it is not a place without any natural tourism attraction.
Beautiful green valleys, wonderful countryside, marvelous springs, pleasant peaks and hillsides, caves, protected wildlife zones and, more importantly, the wonderful desert views of the province are very attractive and tourists as well as locals enjoy visiting these places.
Cultural attractions of the province are remarkable. The rich legacy of the people’s culture shows nice and old traditions preserved by Zoroastrians as well as by Muslims, which also constitute a marvelous tourism attraction.
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