Amir Chakhmaq Complex: A photogenic destination

August 14, 2017 - 20:33

TEHRAN - The 19th-century Amir Chakhmaq Complex with its imposing three-story facade is one of the abundant tourist hotspots of Yazd, an oasis city in central Iran.

Located on a square of the same name, the prominent complex is noted for its eye-catching rows of symmetrical sunken alcoves, which are perfectly lit up following the sunset.

The structures that make up the complex include a mosque, a caravanserai, a bathhouse, a cold-water well and a tekyeh where Shiite Muslims come together for observing special religious ceremonies, all of which have been designed in accordance with traditional layout principles.

The perfectly proportioned niches on the façade may seem at their best and most photogenic late in afternoon, when towering exterior appears to glow against the darkening sky and copper-colored sunlight is captured within each alcove.

A pedestrianized square overlooking the complex is usually full of visitors. It is landscaped with a vast pool, illuminated fountains, well-manicured trees and shrubs that lend an attractive foreground to the splendid vista at night.

Underneath the complex is a small bazaar with rows of two-story arcades.

Once an important station on the Silk Road, the historical structure of the Yazd was named a UNESCO World Heritage site back in July. It is home to plentiful historic mosques, minarets, and public-religious buildings

Most buildings boast the presence of gorgeous wind-catchers (badgirs) atop their rooftops. The walls of the ancient city are adobe and mud brick, which seem glittering under the sunlight and blending naturally into the adjacent desert landscape. The city has an interesting mix of people as well, some 10 percent of whom follow the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.

Under tourists’ eyes:

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

‘Worth a quick trip’

This building is a facade, although there is a shopping arcade through the facade in the middle. We paid a quick visit during the daytime, and passed by at night. I recommend dropping by at night as it is beautifully lit. It is very popular with locals and it is only a short walk from the old town and the Jameh Mosque. (J0anned568 form Australia; visited May 2017)

‘Visit view at night’

Some places really come alive at night when lit up and this is one of them. The fountains in the foreground change colors as does the facade. Great atmosphere with lots of people around. (Rdella from the UK, visited April 2017)

‘Looks good in the dark’

An impressive front looks cool at dusk or in the night. During the day the square in front of it is full of people. Around it are many small shops and restaurant. (Graido form Switzerland; visited May 2017)

'Worth a visit but nothing special'

This is a nice place. It might look like a mosque in some pictures but it is not. It has a nice architecture. There is a square in front of it and a few shops around it. Some locals advised us to buy sweets from the shops there as they considered them some of the best in the city. (George X. from Greece; visited April 2017)

Yazd is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain ringed by mountains.

PHOTO: A file photo shows people visiting the three-story Amir Chakhmaq Complex in Yazd, central Iran.


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