Yazd

Yazd

Many Iranians and foreign tourists like to visit Yazd to view the architecture typically found in desert areas, Destination Iran reported.

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

Another fascinating Zoroastrian site, the ominous-sounding Towers of Silence are located just outside the city and certainly worth a visit. Rising from a solemn desert landscape, these two circular, raised structures sit atop adjacent hills. Until as recently as the 1960s, in accordance with tradition, the bodies of deceased Zoroastrians were left in the towers’ central pits for scavenger birds to pick at. Abandoned Zoroastrian buildings at the base of the hills contribute to the eerie, otherworldly atmosphere of the place.

Yazd’s architectural centerpiece, the Amir Chakhmaq complex is located in the heart of the city, in a square of the same name. The imposing three-story façade flaunts a number of beautifully symmetrical iwans, which light up and glow after sunset. It is one of the largest hosseiniehs in the country (buildings used in the commemorative ceremonies for Imam Hossein’s death), and dates back to the 15th century, although it has undergone numerous renovations. The surrounding square has a number of good sweet and ice cream shops.

Old town: The well-preserved, still inhabited Old Town in Yazd, with its warren-like streets and intriguing nooks and crannies, is a delight to get lost in whilst on an afternoon stroll. The yellow-brown of the mud-brick buildings demonstrate just how dry this city is, and the badgirs which poke out periodically are a scenic reminder of the ingenuity of Yazd’s traditional architecture. Look out for rooftop access for some unforgettable views, but remember to respect the privacy of the local residents.

Jame Mosque: Visible from all around the Old Town is the exquisite Jame Mosque. The 14th–century structure reportedly has the highest minarets in the country, and exemplifies Iranian-Islamic architecture with its delicate blue-mosaic tile work. Some elements of the mosque date back even earlier to the 12th century. The intricacies and inscriptions of the grand iwan are a particular highlight.

Bagh-E Dowlatabad: With an abundance of fountains, cypress trees, and pomegranates, the Bagh-e Dowlatabad can be said to capture the quintessence of the Persian garden. The 18th-century residence offers an abundance of shade and some beautiful buildings, attracting tourists all year round. The 33-metre central badgir, as well as the kaleidoscopic array of stained-glass windows, make for a magically idiosyncratic aesthetic, the likes of which you won’t find elsewhere or soon forget.

Khan-e Lari (a Traditional House): Iran offers loads of chances to visit traditional houses. Yazd has a cool one within the old city, it’s called Khan-e Lari. It was signposted as “Larry House” at one point. We headed in and it was basically just an old house with a courtyard. OK so it was nice, but we’d seen them before and we’d been in Iran about 3 weeks already by this point so it wasn’t that inspiring. I have included it in this top 10 though as most want to visit it.

Alexander’s Prison: This prison has a history behind it and is no longer used as a prison. Indeed it’s now open to the public as a museum. You need to pay 10,000 Rials to get inside (about 30 US cents) and have a look around. The name is more intriguing than the bog standard prison itself. Apparently a Hafez poem refers to this place and mentions that Alexander the Great had built a dungeon here. There’s a tomb next door, a courtyard and a tea house. This is nowhere near as eerie as other prisons I have been to on my travels

Yazd water museum was set up in 2000 in the wake of the first international conference on Qanat in Yazd. The museum building has once been a merchant’s house, named Kolahduz-ha, built in 1929. This museum has put on display a variety of water objects from Qanat to water ownership