Experts restore historical cistern surmounted by windcatchers

December 7, 2020 - 23:16

TEHRAN – Cultural heritage experts in Yazd have begun work to restore a historical Ab-Anbar (cistern) which is surmounted by two windcatchers, the city’s tourism chief announced on Monday. 

The restoration project involves removing debris, cleaning the surrounding area, strengthening the walls using thatch material as well as repairing its windcatchers (also called wind towers), Mohammadreza Falahati said. 

Made of stones, bricks, and mortar, the 19th-century cistern dates back to the Qajar era, and it is located in the historical neighborhood of Sarsang, next to an old mosque, which has been inscribed on the National Heritage list, he said.

A windcatcher is a traditional architectural element used to create natural ventilation and passive cooling in buildings. 

The term Ab-Anbar is common throughout Iran as a designation for roofed underground water cisterns. It associates with water management systems in arid areas that are reliant on permanent springs or seasonal rainwater.

Such underground reservoirs or Ab-Anbars are parts of the iconic qanat systems, which rely on snow-fed streams flowing down from surrounding mountains.

Qanats, according to UNESCO, provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.

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.

The province has an interesting mix of people as well, some 10 percent of whom follow the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.

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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