Yazd, the "Noble city" of Marco Polo, is an ancient city with a history of over 5,000 years dating back to the Median Empire. Yazd is one of the important cities of the Silk Road called "the bride of the desert" with a completely desertic climate. It owns lots of cultural, historical and natural attractions which caused the whole city to be considered in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yazd is a famous symbol of Persian architecture for its unique wind catchers, useful for hot areas, and the magnificent tile work of the mosques and minarets. Wandering around and getting lost in the maze of ancient narrow streets is a bliss that travelers always talk about after their visit. Another highlight of this city is the Zoroastrian sites. You can see the symbol of Zoroastrianism, Faravahar, everywhere in the town.
Some reasons that have made Yazd as one of the must-see cities of Iran:
- Considered as the second historic city in the world by UNESCO with unique architecture
- The home of Zoroastrian culture
- It is known as the magnificent mud-brick old town
- Owning picturesque buildings hidden behind the walls from the busy streets
- Producing high quality handicrafts, especially silk weavings and famous traditional sweets
- Being the hub of Muharram rituals in Iran
- Having lots of unique villages and towns such as Kharanaq, Saryazd, Meybod and Mehriz
Yazd Top Attractions
Amir Chakhmaq: The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is an architectural masterpiece which is located in the heart of the city. The complex consists of a caravanserai, a tekyeh (a place for religious mourning rituals), a public bath, a cold water well and a confectionery. It is a public place for national and religious events of the city. Amir Chakhmaq dates back to the 15th century, although it has undergone numerous renovations.
Fire Temple: Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion for about 3500 years ago. It was the principal religion in Iran before the Islamic conquests, and it still lives on in some parts. Yazd is the centre of Zoroastrianism in the country. The Fire Temple, called Atashkadeh in Persian, is one of the most important heritage sites of Zoroastrianism and contains a central fire that has been burning since the 5th century A.D.
Tower of Silence: Upon the views of travelers the most fascinating Zoroastrian site is the Tower of silence known as Gur Dakhmeh among the locals. Tower of Silence is located outside the city rises from desert landscape on a hill; until as recently as the 1960s the bodies of Zoroastrians were left in the towers’ central holes for scavenger birds. There are also abandoned Zoroastrian buildings at the base of the hills.
Jame Mosque: The Yazd's Jame Mosque is visible from all around the Old Town. The mosque is a charming symbol of Persian-Islamic architecture with its elegant blue-mosaic tile work and the highest minarets of Iran. It dates back to 14th century but some elements of the mosque were made at 12th century.
Wind catchers or Badgirs: Wind catchers are ancient natural air conditioning systems designed for hot areas. The structure catches even the lightest breeze and directs it to the rooms below. Summer visitor to Yazd can easily feel the need for cool air. The towers consist of four parts: the body or trunk that contains the shafts; air shelves that are used to catch some of the hot air and prevent it from entering the house; flaps which redirect the circulation of the wind; and the rood covering. The flows which enter the building go above a pool of cool water, thereby cooling the surrounding air, while the warm air continues its circular path, redirected upward through a different shaft.
Dowlat-Abad Garden: As one of the UNESCO Persian gardens, Dowlat-Abad has all the characteristics of a fabulous garden with an abundance of fountains, cypress trees, and pomegranates. Beyond those features there are other elements that bring this garden above the list; the world's highest wind catcher of 34 meters and the array of stained-glass windows which are great structures of Persian architecture.
Water Museum: In this museum you can gain lots of interesting information about the water distribution system in the past. The water comes from Qanats which are underground channels for irrigating crops and supplying drinking water. There is a Qanat under the water museum building itself.
Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh: The term Zoorkhaneh which means "House of Strength" refers to the place of Iran traditional sport. This popular Zurkhaneh is located on the northern side of Amir Chakhmaq Square and it opens to tourists, in addition to watching athletes of this traditional exercises, you can visit the ancient water tank housed beneath the Zurkhaneh building and also experience the cooling effects of wind-catchers.
Old Town: The inhabited Old Town in Yazd for its narrow winding alleys with arches, the best possible protection against the summer sun, is a delight of any trip to Iran. Getting lost on the maze of mud bricked lanes of the ancient city on an afternoon stroll can become your unforgettable image of Iran. The defining feature of the old town is the slender wind tower sitting upon almost every house. Look out for a great view of the city by climbing up onto the rooftops.
Lari-ha Traditional House: The city of Yazd is located in the eastern part of central Iran, so desertic climate plays the most important role in designing traditional houses in this city. Lari-ha house is famous for its Persian architecture elements such as ceiling designs, badgirs, traditional doors and stained-glass windows.