Yay for Yazd | Iran

Anyone with the good fortune to visit Iran must include Yazd on the itinerary.  Located in southeast Iran between the Kavir and Lut deserts, the city was a major stop on the caravan routes (Marco Polo called it “a good and noble city”). Yazd’s location and aridity spared it from the Mongol invasion preserved its traditional architecture.

FridayMosque_Masjid-e-Jāmeh_Yazd

This photo gives a little perspective of the enormity  of Yazd’s 14th century  Masjid-e-Jāmeh  or Congregational Mosque: its impressive minarets are the tallest in Iran (52 meters in height and 6 meters in diameter). Note: Shiite mosques have two minarets, while Sunni mosques have only one.MosqueCourtyard_Yazd

The sanctuary chamber (shabestan) is located behind the deep-set south-east iwan. The domed ceilings and walls are covered with the traditional faïence tile work that is truly wonderous to behold.

Mihrab_YazdMosque

I had to keep on reminding myself that this amazing structure was completed in 1364 CE.  The geometric designs are actually inscriptions written in Kufic script with quotations from the Koran.

Yazd_SquinchDetail

Close-up of one of a squinch  – an architectural feature devised in Iran to join a square structure to its dome. (The earliest extant example is at the Palace of Ardashir and dates to  225 AD.)

Yazd_ArtStudents

Above, more of the art and students we saw through our trip. Lucky for everyone that I have a camera, since my drawing skills are rudimentary at best!

DoubleKnockers_Yazd

The old section of Yazd adjoins the mosque.  Traditional houses had two knockers with different sounds so the women in the house would know whether the visitor was male or female and could prepare herself accordingly (male family members would use both simultaneously).

WaterTower_Yazd

This dome covers  a traditional water reservoir or Ab anbar where water is stored 20 feet or more below ground and kept fresh and cool via four wind catchers (bagdir), even during the extreme summer heat. Bagdir are prevalent throughout Yazd for good reason. Temperatures can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are many other sites to visit in Yazd, including the Water Museum, the Bagh-e-Dolat with its UNESCO-protected gardens, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and  Towers of Silence or Dakhma.

AmirChaghmaq_Square

Before leaving, be sure to sample some of the sweets for which Yazd is famous. Conveniently located on Amir Chaghmaq Square, adjacent to the Water Museum,  Haj Kahlifeh Ali Rahbar will celebrate its centennial in 2016 and is justifiably renowned for its amazing pastries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Yay for Yazd | Iran

      1. Am so relieved to know that you haven’t stopped your comments on our Iran trip! I keep reliving each in my mind’s eye.
        Happy New Year, Liz

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve so enjoyed catching up with your Iran posts now that the madness of Christmas is over! I especially loved this one – your photographs of the mosque are stunning. Iran looks like an amazing place to visit, I really hope I get a chance to go myself someday! Happy travels in 2016 – have you any big trips planned for this year?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Helen! I hope your Christmas was Merry/Happy and the Beasties, too! Going to the Galapagos for sure later this year. Planning to attend TBEX in Stockholm in July and maybe to Ireland and Scotland. Other ideas include Morocco and India. I’ll keep you “posted”! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

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