Discover 19th-century house resistant to tremors

April 4, 2022 - 18:47

TEHRAN - Constructed some 150 years ago, Lari house is a gem of traditional Persian architecture that is somehow resistant to quakes.

Situated in Yazd, the precious house was completed in 1869 and the owner was Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Lari. Its prosperity was preserved until the end of Pahlavi I.

Laries were among the affluent people of Fars (province) who came to Shiraz and Yazd for business purposes.

However, once the house was abandoned, it suffered from serious damage. Particularly remarkable is the level of the house which is lower than the level of the street due to the following reasons: it made the house resistant to earthquakes, it caused thermal equilibrium and it led the water in the street to the gardens of the house.

With an area of about 1700 square meters, this building holds three yards and six houses. The biggest yard stretches on the northwest-southwest axis.

The middle yard, which is smaller compared to the main yard, lies on the east to the west axis and the third yard is on the northeast of the building. It is the smallest yard with an independent entrance and it is built on a higher level than the other two yards.  

The porch with a wind tower, located on the southwest, is the highest and the most prominent porch in this house. It used to be a place for all the seasons, especially summer, housing the people in its shadow and letting them enjoy the chill in the heart of the desert. The northern part was mostly used in the winter.  The northwest wing holds three porches in the middle, two doors on the sides, and two corridors at the end.

The rooms encircling the yard are located three steps higher than the level of the yard. These 22 rooms are connected with wooden doors, each having a unique function. The southeast wing consists of two parts; the private rooms and the service rooms. The service rooms include the kitchen, stable, and stores masterfully detached from the main yard. The most prominent mirror work, decorated with floral, diamond, and arabesque patterns, can be found in the mirror room on the eastern wing of the house. This room was restored for special ceremonies and guests.

In the middle of the southeastern wing, there is a five-door room with a porch and its surrounding rooms. This part of the house is completely different from that of the northwestern. The northeast part of the house includes a yard that forms a completely detached space and is one level higher than the central yard. There is a cross-shaped area under this yard, with the necessary light brought to it by a skylight installed in the middle of the yard. The wooden platform above the pool used to be a cozy place to take refuge to it in the afternoon and enjoy the breeze caressing the face, without any fear of the heat or the big scorpions. The other part is Sardab; a basement with 38 steps under the ground which was mainly used for keeping food. Exquisite stuccoes, fine mirror works, delicate paintings, and the graceful wind tower all witness to the aristocratic character of the house. 

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 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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