Under tourists’ eyes: Yazd Water Museum

July 23, 2017 - 9:29

TEHRAN – The historical city of Yazd in central Iran is famous for its qanats. Yazd Water Museum, one of the best of its kind, is devoted to the brave men who built such underground aqueducts in the past.

Located in a restored mansion with a visible qanat running underneath, the museum offers its visitors a fascinating glimpse into the hidden world of qanats through a series of photographs, exhibits and architectural drawings.

The museum charts nearly 2000 years of unique irrigation structure that has been in operation, yet describes the drilling of mother wells and associated underground water networks stretched to the ancient city.

The concept of Persian Qanat was registered on UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016. According to the UN cultural organization, the qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.

Throughout the arid regions of Iran, agricultural and permanent settlements are supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometers.

Here is a select of comments that visitors to the museum have posted to TripAdvisor, one of the most popular travel websites in the world:


We enjoyed our trip to the museum. Found it to be very informative giving us a fascinating insight into the history of water in Yazd. It is delightfully set in an old merchant’s house and has a ‘genuine’ quality unlike some of the hotel exhibits attempting to offer views of their qanats. (Vivien W. From Australia; visited June 2017)

“Give this one a go!”

My heart sank when the guide insisted on us visiting this museum. But I’m glad we did.

It was fascinating. There were very few visitors to the charming building, built around a beautiful garden. But the exhibits would interest almost anyone, not just hydraulic engineers, illustrating how a place like Yazd, in the middle of a desert, can not only support human habitation but also lush gardens. (Alexandra B. from New Zealand; visited May 2017)

“Water in the desert”

Water is the source of life and for a city you need a lot of it. It’s interesting to see how they brought the water from the mountain to the city.

Not the newest museum but still good to visit when you’re interested in such things. (Graido from Switzerland; visited May 2017)

“Look at the pictures”

This is a fascinating museum which chronicles the tunneling of the qanats which supply water to Yazd. The conditions of the workers elicits a feeling of admiration. Give yourself enough time to sit and enjoy the gardens! (Romford from United Kingdom; visited April 2017)

“Very interesting”

It’s a very interesting museum where you can learn a lot about water harvesting, transport and management in the desert environment of Yazd. Highly recommended. (Nuno B. from Portugal; visited May 2016)

Eelier this month, the historical structure of Yazd was made a United Nations World Heritage site. The oasis city is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain ringed by mountains.

PHOTO: A view of the Yazd Water Museum with one of its life-sized wax effigies in the foreground.  


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