The 3,000-year-old city of Yazd is almost entirely built of adobe and is one of the most important centers of Persian architecture. Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo, who visited Yazd in 1272, described the city as a noble one with a notable silk-weaving industry.
With its many wind towers and Sabats, this ‘Desert Bride’ is a prime example of the compatibility of human-built architectural designs with the natural environment and the ingenuity of Iranian engineers.
For thousands of years, Yazd’s Qanats, underground water canals, have made farming possible in the desert climate, its Ab Anbars, traditional water supply systems have allowed urban settlements to take shape, and its wind towers, which function as traditional air conditioning systems, have enabled its inhabitants to survive the desert heat.
The city’s 15th century Amir Chakhmaq Complex is one of the main attractions of Yazd, particularly at night when it is lit up with orange lights.
Yazd has always been a major center of Zoroastrianism, which can be inferred from the Dakhme or Tower of Silence built outside the city with precise calculations so that the wind would not carry pollutants back to the center of population.
Today, the city still has a thriving Zoroastrian community which worships at the city’s 1,500-year old Atash Behram (Fire of Victory) Temple.
Yazd is also home to a Jame Mosque, which presumably has the tallest minarets in Iran, with magnificent mosaics.
The city is also noted for its Bazaar where one can buy anything from carpets, colorful rugs and Termeh textiles to Baklava, Qottab (almond-filled deep-fried pastry) and spices as well as its traditional hotels like Parsian Safaiyeh Hotel, Silk Road Hotel and Dad Hotel.
Top things to do:
Top foods to try:
- Shooli Ash – A delicious Persian soup made of spinach, parsley, leek, fenugreek and beetroot seasoned with vinegar or pomegranate paste.
- Baklava- Persian baklava is dry and uses a combination of chopped almonds, pistachios or coconut spiced with cardamom.
- Pashmak or cotton candy