Yazd,The golden desert
Yazd is one of the world’s oldest adobe cities. Located at the end of Central Iranian Plateau, Yazd shines brilliantly in desert. There are a lot of tourist attractions in Yazd, the city of badgirs (wind catchers). Amir Chakhmaq mosque, Zeinoddin Caravanserai, the huge wooden palm (nakhl), Zarch Qanat, and many other things have made Yazd a distinctive city compared to other cities in Iran. Hardworking people of desert have built this city in the course of history.
Yazd is the largest community of Zoroastrians in Iran. Large groups of Zoroastrians fled to this arid city after the Arab Islamic conquest of Iran and lived by the Zoroastrian fire whose flame is still burning. Today, Zoroastrian ceremonies, traditions, and places are considered Yazd’s tourist attractions. Places like Chak Chak where they celebrate their religious ceremonies like Mehregan and Sade is the main shrine of Zoroastrians. Another place is Dakhma or Tower of Silence. Dakhma is a place where Zoroastrians put dead bodies based on religious customs. However, Dakhmas are not used anymore since Zoroastrians bury dead bodies in cemeteries nowadays. Mankji Limji Hatria Dakhma, Cham Taft Dakhma, Sharifabad Dakhma, and Turkabad Dakhma are some of the dakhmas out of many existing in Yazd which are now under the supervision of Yazd Zoroastrian Association.
Yazd flourished after the entrance of Islam to Iran. According to many experts, Fahraj Mosque is the first mosque in Iran after Islam. It is an adobe structure being influenced by Sasanian architecture and lacking a Mihrab (niche), a dome, inscriptions, tile work, and other elements which were later added to mosque architecture. In addition, there are other magnificent mosques belonging to Teymourian and Ilkhanid dynasties. Amirchakhmaq mosque and Jame mosque of Yazd illustrate Yazd’s glory in 14th century. In the following centuries many other structures were built corresponding the time and architecture such as Dolat Abad garden that was built in 1747 in Yazd. One of the prominent features of Dolat Abad garden is the central pavilion’s badgir (windcatcher) which is the highest one in the world. Badgirs which are the result of Iranian architecture’s innovation and intelligence ventilate the air inside buildings. A tall tower captures the blowing wind; directs it down through a chimney into the building, and cools inside the building in hot summers.
Surrounding desert is pristine and full of fabulous caravanserais like Zeinodin Caravanserai which is more than 400 years old. These calm places are the best ones for watching starry nights of deserts and stay away from the noise of the city. Central desert of Iran is the right pick to study the morale of people who keep on developing and living happily in hard situations. An instance of this characteristic is found in Zarch qanat which is 3000 years old. Qanat which is the invention of Iranians is a series of well-like shafts connected by a sloping tunnel starting from a water source in order to extract groundwater. Zarch qanat is 80 kilometers long and consists of 2115 well-like shafts. It is also the world’s longest aqueduct which provided the needed water in desert throughout history. It’s not off the mark if we say that the desert of Iran is alive in spite of its dryness and inactivity. The cypress of Abarkuh is a proof to the preceding claim. This 4500-year-old tree is one the oldest creatures in the world.
Also Yazd is well-known for its delicious and colorful pastries which are all sweet and aromatic like Shirini-Yazdi and Qottab. For you, travelers to Yazd, this is remarkable to know that people of Yazd are famous in being righteous and kind and Yazd has the lowest crime rate in Iran. Character of desert cannot be anything but kindness.