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The Yazd Fire Temple is one of the most sacred Zoroastrian places of worship in Iran. The holy fire in this Atash Behram (Fire of Victory) Temple has been burning for 1,500 years.
An Atash Behram is the highest grade of Zoroastrian fire gathered from 16 different sources. Each of the 16 fires is subjected to a purification ritual and 32 priests are required for the consecration ceremony, which can take up to a year to complete.
This fire temple, the only temple with an Atash Behram fire in Iran, was built in 1934 during the reign of Reza Shah (1878-1944), the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty, and has been designed to resemble Achaemenid (550–330 BC) monuments.
Its fire is believed to have originated from the Adur Farnbag temple, which was one of the three main Sassanid (224–651 BC) places of worship. This fire was brought to Yazd in 1947.
Located in the middle of a large courtyard, the building of the fire temple rises 21 meters in height and is surrounded by pine, cedar and cypress trees. As fire temples must be located near water, there is a round pool (howz) in front of the building, where visitors and worshipers throw coins and make wishes in accordance with an old tradition.
There is a Faravahar Symbol, a winged disk with a male upper body which has become the symbol of Zoroastrianism, above the entrance of the building.
Each part of the Faravahar signifies an idea or a philosophy: The male upper body represents the wisdom of age, the hand pointing upwards is a reminder that the path of righteousness is the only one to choose, the hand holding the Zoroastrian covenant ring urges man to hold true to promises, the ring in the center symbolizes the eternity of the universe or the eternal nature of the soul, the two streamers extending outward from the central disc symbolize the choices between good or evil, the three-layered wings symbolize "good thoughts, good words, and good deeds," and the lower part of the Faravahar consists of three parts representing "bad reflection, bad words and bad deeds," which cause misery and misfortune for man.
The fire burns inside a bronze vessel in the innermost sanctum, where only Zoroastrian priests are allowed. Visitors can see the fire from behind a glass panel.
Yazd Fire Temple was registered as a National Heritage Site in 1999.
Ayatollah Khashani St.