Category Archives: Yazd

The Ten Most Delicious and Traditional Food in YAZD

The Ten Most Delicious and Traditional Food in YAZD

Yazd province has situated in the driest belt of world and cause of that has warm & dry summers plus cold & wet winters. People of this lovely and desert land choose their diverse variety of their dairy food in accordance with seasons. Parvaz Aram Abi invites you to try the most delicious and Traditional food of people in Yazd. (more…)

All About Yazd

All About Yazd

Introduction

Yazd, an important Zoroastrian religious center during the Sassanid dynasty (226–642 c.e.) and has remained a stronghold of Zoroastrianism up to the present, although adherents of this faith comprise less than 10 percent of the city’s population, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It dates back to 3000BC when it was known as Ysatis, as part of the Medes Empire. It has long been referred to as “the Pearl of the Desert” and from a distance, it appears to have arisen from the sands like a living part of the desert — which it is. It sits about 175 miles southeast of Isfahan in an oasis where the Dasht-e Kavir (Kavir desert) and Dasht-e Lut (Lut desert) meet.

Because of its location away from other major capitals and in the harshness of desert environs, Yazd was avoided by major movements of armies and troops and the destruction they wrought. Therefore, the architecture and traditions in Yazd have remained in place across the centuries where elsewhere they were influenced and changed. Yazd was a refuge for artists, philosophers and scientists while Ghengis Khan invaded Persia in the 13th century. Marco Polo visited in 1272 and described it as a good and noble city with fabulous silk production, the refinements of which you can still find in the marketplaces today. Yazd has been a center of Zoroastrian religion since after the Sassanid Dynasty (c.600AD). Zoroastrians fled to Yazd during the Islamic conquest of Persia and only slowly did they integrate into Islam. The Zoroastrian heritage is preserved in Yazd at several locations. Two of the most important are the Tower of Silence and the Fire Temple. A fire has been burning continuously there since 470AD!

Badgir (Windward)03 - Parvaz Aram Abi

Yazd is the driest city in Iran and the hottest city north of the Persian Gulf. Temperatures can easily surpass 40˚C in the summer. There is an interesting architectural invention to alleviate the uncomfortable heat — chimneys! Before electric powered air conditioners were invented people, used tall windrowers called Badgirs (Windward), which act as air-vents to draw off some of the hot air from inside the living space. Smart.

Yazd is mostly built with adobe and because of its climate; it has one of the largest networks of water storage and irrigation in the world. These are a combination of wells and tunnels that allow for transportation of water below the surface so it does not evaporate under the desert heat. Double smart! Getting There Direct your airplane’s GPS system to Yazd – Shahid Sadooghi Airport (AZD) for a smooth landing. Yazd has daily flights to Tehran and international service to Dubai and Damascus. Transportation everything except boats is on the move in Yazd. They have buses, taxis and trains available. In addition, the roads are known for being of the best quality in Iran, so you can drive fast and still be safe. Within the old part of the city you can mostly walk wherever you want to go, but try a motorcycle taxi anyway just for the experience of it. People and Culture Iranian food is delicious and imaginative, with the richness of flavors that you can only get by spending a lot of time in the preparation. Asian people who think their culture has mastered the art of rice should visit Iran to find out what is REALLY going on… Things to do, Recommendations Go to Yazd for the legendary sweets shops alone. They take such pride in their candies that the recipes are family secrets. The province of Yazd is home to a 4500-year-old cypress tree, which is soon to be protected as one of the world’s biggest living organisms.

 Badgir (Windward)02 - Parvaz Aram Abi

With its winding lanes, forest of Badgir (Windward), mud-brick old town and excellent range of accommodation options, Yazd is one of the highlights of any trip to Iran. Wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir (Kavir desert) and southern Dasht-e Lut(Lut desert), it doesn’t have the big-ticket sights of Isfahan or Shiraz (Fars), but it’s equally enchanting. This is a place to wander and get lost in the maze of historic streets and lanes, not to mention your imagination. It is also an ideal base for day trips to several evocative villages and towns.

The city can be quite cold in winter and is boiling hot in summer, though not humid.

Moreover, some of its sights are which is listed as bellow:

  1. Desert attraction
  2. Old City
  3. Masjed-e Jameh (Jame Mosque)
  4. Towers of Silence (Borj-e KHamushan)
  5. Amir Chakhmaq Complex (Dakhmeh-ye Zartoshtiyan)
  6. Alexander’s Prison
  7. Bagh-e Dolat Abad
  8. Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh
  9. Khan-e Lari  
  10. Badgir (Windward)
  11. Fire temple
  12. Sabat

Sabat in Yazd

Sabat in Yazd

Sabat, which literally means ceiling, corridor or vestibule is made at the top the alleys and passages in the city. It is an architectural element of hot and desert regions, which is one of the significant features of old districts in Yazd. Sabat at the top of the alleys causes shade and cool place for the pedestrians. This is because of half-covered structure of it that causes natural air conditioning and air flowing in summer, thus the inside of Sabat Will be cooler than the outside of it. This half-covered structure causes inside warmer.

sabat in yazd - iran

Sabat also plays a big role in case solidifying their nearby houses by taking a part of the pressure on them. They can also be used to conquer seasonal winds. Their roofs are mostly used by the nearby houses and people usually make Rooms on it facing the alley.

sabat in yazd02- iran

Fire Temple

Fire Temple

The Atashkadeh (Fire Temple) of Yazd city is located on Kashani Street. The place of Zoroastrians houses Atash Bahram (the victorious fire).

The building was built in 1934 under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat on a piece of land donated by the Amanat brothers, and funded by various sources, HistoricalIran reported.
The fire temple is said to be Iran’s only temple housing Atash Bahram.

 Zoroastrian_Fire_Temple,_Yazd

The main building of fire temple sits in the middle of a large garden and is surrounded by pine, cedar and cypress trees.
The Farvahar above the main entrance of the temple and the adorned stone columns magnify the venue’s glory.
Designs on the columns, walls and Farvahar are the work of craftsmen from Isfahan who completed the work in their hometown and then transported the finished stones to Yazd.
A pool lies ahead of the entrance. The overall structure is heavily influenced by Parsi fire temples in India.
The plaque at the entrance of reads: “This Zoroastrians’ temple was built in 1934 in a site belonged to the Association of the Parsi Zoroastrians of India under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat.
“The sacred flame, behind a glass case and visible from the entrance hall, has apparently been burning since about 470 CE and was transferred from Nahid Pars Temple to Ardakan (Yazd province), then to Yazd (city) and to its present site.”
Zoroastrians observe certain entry rules not required of other visitors.
In addition to observing cleanliness, Zoroastrians enter barefoot and wear white or light-colored clothing. Men wear white caps and women sport white scarves.

458652_orig

The fire is inside a bronze vessel and visible only from behind a glass wall. Only priests attached to the fire temple may enter the innermost sanctum. There are no lights in the inner sanctum other than that of the fire itself.
The fire inside the temple is believed to have been burning for 1,500 years. The fire originated from the flames of the Pars Karyan Fire Temple in Larestan, Fars province, which was brought to Aqda, Yazd province, and was kept alight there for 700 years. In 1143, it was taken to Ardakan where it burnt for 300 years.
Subsequently, in 1473, it was transported to Yazd where initially it was kept in the home of a high-ranking priest named Tirandaz Azargoshasp in a neighborhood called Khalaf Khan Ali. It was finally placed in its current location upon the completion of the fire temple.
These days, the fire temple is a tourist destination, especially during Norouz (the Iranian New Year that begins on March 21).
In 1999, Yazd Fire Temple was registered on Iran’s National Heritage List.

Badgir (Windward)

Badgir (Windward)

Badgir (Windward) is an important element in traditional Iranian architecture, providing natural air-conditioning in hot, dry and humid climates for thousands of years. The first historical evidence of Badgir (Windward) in Iran dates back to the fourth millennium BC and since then windward s have been an inseparable part of the architecture of central and southern Iran, namely in Yazd, Kashan, Bam and the villages along the Persian Gulf coast.

The function of Badgir (Windward) was to provide occupants with constant comfort in harshly variable desert climates. Windward s were built with a four-directional orientation to catch and guide wind into the house from all directions.

Windward s consist of four parts: the body, which contains shafts, air shelves which catch hot air and prevent it from entering the structure, flaps which redirect wind circulation, and a roof covering.

Badgir (Windward)02 - Parvaz Aram Abi

Wind travels through the shafts on top of the tower to reach the interior of the building. The airflow inside the structure travels in two directions, up and down. The temperature difference between the interior and exterior of a building causes pressure variations that result in the creation of air currents. In cities where the wind only blows from one direction, one shaft operates to receive the breeze and the other three works as air outlet passages.

There are three types of Badgir (Windward) : The basic wind tower built over cellars and underground Ab-Anbars (cisterns), which keeps food refrigerated and provided a cool sitting room.

Badgir (Windward)03 - Parvaz Aram Abi

The second type transfers the flow into the basement where upon hitting damp walls its humidity increases while its temperature decreases. The flow could be directed into other rooms using valves.

The third type of windward is taller and was mainly used in multi-roomed one-story buildings. A dome-roofed hall under the tower helped ventilation. The function of the cistern found below most windward s in warm dry regions is to balance humidity inside the structure.

These towers rise not only above ordinary houses but also on top of Ab-Anbar and mosques. The city of Yazd which has come to be known as the ‘City of Badgir (Windward) is famous for its use of these traditional air conditioning systems.

Badgir (Windward) 04- Parvaz Aram Abi

With today’s growing emphasis on reducing energy consumption, modern architecture can make use of traditional Iranian methods to utilize air currents and evaporation in cooling and air-conditioning living quarters.

Iran has submitted a file on its age-old wind towers to UNESCO World Heritage List.

Khan-e Lari

Khan-e Lari

Khane-e Lari of Yazd is a Qajar era (1785–1925) mansion located in the historical Fahadan Neighborhood. Fahadan is the oldest neighborhood in the city of Yazd where the affluent once lived.

Khan-e Lari has been built in a 1,700-square-meter area and consists of six separate houses with desert architecture that take up 1,200 square meters. The northern part of the house was used as winter quarters and the southern part, which has a spacious hall and wind tower was used as the summer quarters. The eastern wing of the house was used as autumn quarters and the western quarter was the wing used in spring.

Khan-e Lari02 - Parvaz Aram Abi

A common feature of traditional houses in desert areas is that their basements are designed to perfectly adapt to the warm and dry climate of these cities. With the help of the wind towers raised above these houses, these basement areas had natural air conditioning and remained cool during the warmer months of the year when they were used as sitting rooms.

The rooms of Khan-e Lari are situated around the main courtyard, which has a large pool (howz) in the center and is modestly filled with plants and trees. There is a wooden platform with lattice decorations above the pool, which can be reached with three steps. The owners of the house once sat on this platform in the afternoons, enjoyed dinner and spent time with the family.

Lari-House-3

The house of Khan-e Lari features traditional Persian residential architectural features such as an Andarouni (interior), which was the private quarters used by women and servants, and a Birouni (exterior) which was the public quarters mostly used by men.

The ceilings of Khan-e Lari have been embellished with Mirror work and paintings with European and Qajar era’s themes. The paintings branch out and expand outward from around the central chandelier and even band around the top of walls in rooms. Mirror work in the form of flower and arabesque motifs have been used to frame these paintings.

Lari-House-6

Most Qajar mansions have a Hall of Mirrors, which was a room designed as an artistic space. The Hall of Mirrors in Lari House is about a century old.

The stained glass and latticed doors of Khan-e Lari combined with its mirrored rooms and wall paintings make this house an exquisite example of residential homes belonging to the affluent during the Qajar era.

Lari-House-18

Lari House was registered as a National Heritage Site in 1997.

The old city of Yazd

The old city of Yazd

With its Badgirs (wind towers or windward) poking out of a baked-brown labyrinth of lanes, the old city of Yazd emerges like a phoenix from the desert – a very old phoenix. The old city of Yazd is one of the oldest towns on earth, according to UNESCO world heritage sites, and is the perfect place to get a feel for the region’s rich history. Just about everything in the old city of Yazd is made from sun-dried mud bricks, and the resulting brown skyline is dominated by tall windward on almost every rooftop.

The residential quarters appear almost deserted because of the high walls, which shield the houses from the narrow and labyrinthine alleys crisscrossing the town.

yazd-desert-city-wideview03

Wander around; you will doubtless discover simple courtyards, ornate wooden doors and some lovely adobe architecture. In the meantime, you will be discovered by countless children who will help lead you out of the maze when you are ready. Be sure to get yourself to the rooftops at some point for fine views over Yazd and into the vast brown expanses of the desert.

Many Iranians and foreign tourists like to visit the Old city of Yazd  to view the architecture typically found in desert areas,

It is known as the city of wind towers, Zoroastrians, termeh (traditional brocade), silk weaving and sweets (like Baqlava and Qotab).

A trip to Yazd will make you familiar with life in desert towns and how people cope with it. You learn about Qanat (underground water supply system, aqueduct) for which Iranians are well known.

yazd-desert-city-wideview04

The water reservoirs, icehouses, wind-towers and pigeon towers make the visit to Yazd worthwhile, as tourists explore the uniqueness of this ancient city.

Traditionally, Yazd is famous for termeh, the brocades made with Iranian patterns and used in dresses, bags, footwear and interior decoration.

yazd-desert-city-wideview05

The ancient caravan routes went through Yazd and linked major cities of the world. Its earlier residents were more involved in trade than agriculture.

At present, many tile and porcelain factories are operating outside Yazd, attracting laborers and producing good-quality products for domestic as well as international markets.

Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh

Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh

The Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh in Yazd is the only Zurkhaneh which permits women to watch. It is located in a beautiful old ice house (dating from 1580) with four magnificent Badgirs (Windward) inside an āb anbār (Cistern), water reservoir, gracing the roof. Certainly one of the most interesting and powerful things you could see in Iran is Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh. Of course, one can not be sure what modern personal trainers would say about their techniques but it is certainly interesting. If you have a chance, do try to get there.

Zurkhaneh is a traditional Iranian gymnasium for men. It is also called varzeshe bāstāni, ancient sport, and is often referred to as “Iranian yoga and martial arts”, which sounds like a good description. It is in the way that the men all stood in a circle, moved to the beat of the zarb, drumdid moves reminiscent of the ginga, and the fact that this sport is very much a discipline.

Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh02 - Parvaz Aram Abi

Zurkhaneh is thousands of years old, having its roots in battle and warfare. These physical activities were supposed to make warriors out of ordinary men and not only prepare them for unarmed combat, but also develop their endurance, concentration, flexibility, and speed.

Practitioners of the Zurkhaneh are expected to display a sense of duty for their country and community and respect the elderly. They are expected to be chivalrous, humble, and of high ethical virtue. Overall, they should be javan mard, a Gentleman.

The circular shape of the Zurkhaneh is symbolic of the sun and unity. The entrance has a low doorway, forcing one to bow his head in acknowledgment of a higher power. Then there is the Gowd, pit, or exercise area. Being below ground level, the Gowd also reminds the practitioners of humility. In fact, when they enter the Gowd, they must first kiss the ground signifying that we are from the earth, and one day we will return to it. The Gowd faces the Sardam, the podium where the Morshed, master, sits. Historically, the Morshed would have been the most fit and highest ranking of those in the Zurkhaneh. He plays his Zarb and Zang, bell, and sings songs from Ferdowsi’s epic Shahnameh or poems from Rumi, Hafez, Sa’adi or others.

Saheb A Zaman Club Zurkhaneh03 - Parvaz Aram Abi

Throughout the session, the participants use different equipment: Meel (club bell), Takhte shena (push-up board), Sang (shield), and Kabbadeh (bow and chain). They use each of these to perform their exercises along with other exercises such as stretching, squatting, aerobics, whirling, and juggling meel.

Zurkhanehs are traditionally only for men, but this one in Yazd is the only one in Iran that admits women as spectators. It has workouts that are just over an hour at 6am, 6pm and 8pm.

Dolat Abad Garden

Dolat Abad Garden

Dolat Abad Garden is a famous complex of Zand Dynasty and its instruction dates back to 1160 HA, which was built by the order of Mohammad Taghi Khan Bafghi, the governor of Yazd.

This beautiful Dolat Abad garden consists of a pavilion that was built according to the original Iranian architectural style and a large garden and some other buildings.

Long pool in the shade of the tall cypress trees leads to the main entrance. On the way to the mansion, there are beautiful grape and pomegranate trees behind those tall trees.

The tallest wind tower of the pavilion inside the garden is conceivable from miles away. This traditional air-conditioning system of local houses around the desert in Iran is the essential elements at the residential structures. However, the exaggerated grand size of this wind catcher functioned perfectly well. Actually the Dolat Abad garden is also renowned for having Iran’s tallest badgir (the windward), that is standing over 33 meters; though this one was rebuilt after it collapsed in the 1960s.

Dolat Abad Garden02- YAZD - IRAN

The most significant characteristics of the design of Dolat abad Garden is believed to be the attempt of the architect in selecting tactful angles for providing the best views and landscape internally.

The Dowlatabad Wind Tower (badgir), presumably the world’s tallest, is said to be 260 years old and about 33 meters high. It is surrounded by intricately hand-carved wooden lattice panels and stands atop the Dowlatabad Ab-Anbar (cistern).

Water reservoirs, or ‘Ab Anbars’ as they are nationally known, are traditional water supply systems that make urban settlements possible in the Kavir desert region of Central Iran. Ab-Anbars consist of four elements: underground reservoir, platform, dome, and wind tower.

The Dolat Abad Wind Tower

The Dolat Abad Wind Tower sits atop the Howz Khaneh (pool house) in Dolat Abad Garden and has delicate stained glass decorations. This wind tower created a cool sitting room for the residents of the garden.

Wind towers are important elements in traditional Iranian architecture, providing natural air-conditioning in hot, dry and humid climates for thousands of years. The function of the cistern found below most wind towers in warm dry regions was to help balance humidity inside the structure.

Wind towers consist of four parts: the body containing shafts, air shelves which catch hot air and prevent it from entering the structure, flaps which redirect wind circulation, and a roof covering.

Iran_Yazd_Bagh-e_Dolat_Abad_Pavilion_des_Karim_Khan_Zand_1600

Wind travels through the shafts on top of the tower to reach the interior of the building. The airflow inside the structure travels in two directions, up and down. The temperature difference between the interior and exterior of a building causes pressure variations which result in the creation of air currents. In cities where the wind only blows from one direction, one shaft operates to receive the breeze and the other three work as air outlet passages.

Iran_Yazd_Bagh-e_Dolat_Abad_Pavilion_des_Karim_Khan_Zand

The Dolat Abad Wind Tower is located in the Dolat Abad garden and was originally created by Mohammad Taqi Khan also known as the Great Khan, who governed Yazd in the 18th century and who founded the Khan dynasty in Yazd. The Khan initially had a 65-kilometer deep Qanat (underground water management system resembling a well) dug to transfer water from Mahriz to the city of Yazd in order to create a heavenly garden in the midst of one of the driest cities of Iran and establish his center of rule.

Alexander’s Prison

Alexander’s Prison

Eskandar Prison (Alexander’s Prison) is an ancient domed structure apparently known by this name because of a reference in a Hafez poem. The complex contains a deep, circular, brick-lined pit almost 10 meters in diameter resembling an ancient dungeon found at the heart of the old. There is also a well and some nooks in the courtyard. It is alleged by some to have been built by Alexander to hold his captives during his conquest of Persia and alleged by others to have been built by the Persians to hold Alexander himself. Whatever the true story, the complete complex itself is almost certainly a later construction.
The dome of Eskandar Prison (Alexander’s Prison) is made of raw clay and is decorated with plaster works and golden and azure watercolor. The noteworthy architectural features of the dome are traceable in other domes dating to the Mongolian Era in Iran. Each side of the domed tower is almost 9 meters long and it rises almost 18 meters tall. There is little left of the inscriptions inside the dome but from what remains it appears to be kufic writings. The material used in much of the building is clay, however, it has been restored with bricks in the past few decades. Some steep stairs lead the way down into the dungeon although nowadays it is a beautiful room decorated with tables and red carpets and serves is a tea house.

Alexander’s Prison - YAZD - IRAN

Eskandar Prison is currently advertised as been built as a mosque and Ziaiyeh religious school and to have no connection to Alexander (although the reference is believed to have come from Hafez’s poetry. The original purpose of the building is unknown but it now serves as an Ethnographic Museum. Inside there is a detailed scaled model of the old city and a collection of labeled archaeological artifacts that were dug up around the city. What really brings the museum to life however is the staff of traditionally trained artisans who are on hand to show off their skills by working the old wood framed looms and throwing clay pots to demonstrate the crafts that made the city famous throughout Persia and along the old Silk Road to China.
It should me mentioned though that the museum has more gift shops than actual exhibits, selling the works of the artisans who are trained in the small school on site, which has lead this place to be dismissed by some visitors as a tacky tourist trap. In recent years, the complex has attracted an increasing number of tourists for Norooz.
In 2006 for the first time Cultural Heritage, authorities undertook an elaborate program to treat Eskandar Prison with pesticides to negate the threat of termites. Eskandar Prison is a registered Iranian National Heritage.