Centuries-old ice storage to be restored for tourism 

August 14, 2021 - 17:29

TEHRAN –A historical Yakhchal (ice storage), which stands tall in the oasis town of Ardestan, is planned to be revived as a tourist destination, Ardestan’s tourism chief has said.

"There will be a complete restoration of the historically significant structure that has been damaged throughout the years and partially restored once," Mehdi Mashhadi announced on Saturday.

A budget of 750 million rials ($17,800 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the project, the official added. 

Located in the central Isfahan province, the historical monument was added to the national heritage list in 2018. 

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 storage 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.