Yazd’s historical texture being restored to original grandeur

November 20, 2020 - 18:6

TEHRAN –Ancient mudbrick ramparts and towers, which were once parts of defensive fortifications around the city of Yazd, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage, are being restored to their original glory.

The city walls of Yazd, its gates, ditches, and connected and detached towers, which are one of the finest expressions of a vital tradition of military architecture in central Iran, have been initially demarcated based on the written and unwritten sources and documents, provincial tourism chief said on Thursday.

After the demarcation project, the restoration project has been commenced on the fortification, ramparts, and towers, which are one of the characteristic features of Yazd, ILNA quoted Seyyed Mostafa Fatemi as saying.

The restoration project on the city walls has begun and four restoration workshops are working on the north, south, east, and west fronts, the official added.  

He also noted that the towers that are identified in the photos of the historical texture, taken in 1956, which have been changed or removed over time, will be rebuilt.

The project aims at keeping the original shape of the historical texture while making it a unique tourist complex, which would attract history buffs and tourists to the region, he mentioned.

A junction of both inter-city and regional trade routes, Yazd has predictably been a fortified settlement since its inception in the Sassanid period (224-651 CE). However, the larger military strategic importance of its geographical location within the desert region led to its successive building and expansion as one of Iran's most famed city fortifications.

Built largely of mud brick and mud straw mixture reinforced with timber, the Yazd walls demonstrate a visual continuity in color, scale, and form with the built fabric of the town. The Yazd city walls form a large part of the earliest known descriptions of the city, dating from the tenth century which describes a well-built, fortified city with iron gates.

More impressive and richer in architectonic qualities than the similar mud brick city walls of Bam (in southeast Iran), Yazd's walls were built before the active use of gunpowder in warfare. The influx of war technologies introduced by invading armies gave birth to circular, larger, and more closely spaced barbican towers that allowed defenders to target the invader's vulnerable flank. 

Protected crenellations with arrow slits provided defensive positions while series of sluices allowed invaders to be discouraged by boiling oil or burning pitch. The walls were double layered with a high protective external curtain supported by a lower inner wall.

With its winding lanes, a forest of badgirs (wind catchers), mud-brick houses, atmospheric alleyways, and centuries of history, Yazd is a delightful place to stay, being referred to as a ‘don't miss’ destination by almost all travel associates in the region. The oasis city is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and the southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain ringed by mountains.

Yazd Jameh Mosque, Dowlatabad Garden, the Yazd Atash Behram, also known as Atashkadeh-e Yazd, Towers of Silence, and adjacent desert landscape are among its tourist sites.


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