Qajar-era ice storage to undergo restoration 

April 9, 2021 - 17:5

TEHRAN –A Qajar-era Yakhchal (ice storage), which stands tall in Mamuniyeh, the central province of Markazi, is scheduled to undergo some rehabilitation works within a month, a local tourism official has announced. 

“Strengthening exterior walls using cob material as well as repairing and replacing worn-out bricks are amongst restoration work to be conducted,” Zahra Ranjbar said on Thursday. 

A budget of 200 million rials (about $4,700 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the project, the official added. 

Mahdiabad Yakhchal with its conical mud-brick adobe structure has been added to the National Heritage list. 

When there was no electricity, no refrigerators, and no appliances, people kept a huge amount of water next to the high walls of Yakhchal, which cast a shadow that kept the water cool.

The water turned into ice during the wintertime. Then people cut the ice into many portable parts and put them in the ice house and covered the surface of the ice with special local grass.

The structure is built high to minimize the contact of warm air with the ice surface as the warm air floats upwards. The feature of the ice storage was essential to its functioning. 

There were also wells behind the ice storages with a connective canal at the bottom of the ice storage to the wells with a slight slope.

When people piled up the ice, a little amount of water remained under the heap of ice. If the water was not removed it would make the rest of the ice melt. By channeling the water into the well, not only did they prevent the ice stored in the ice house from melting, but also they had cold and tasty water during summer months when the weather went up to 40 degrees Celsius.


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