Yazd in Iran

Tuesday, 23 May 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Ninara/cc-by-2.0

Yazd, formerly also known as Yezd, is the capital of Yazd province, Iran. The city is 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Isfahan. At the 2016 census, its population was 529,673. Since 2017, the historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has a unique Persian architecture. It is nicknamed the “City of Windcatchers” (Shahr-e Badgirha) from its many examples. It is also very well known for its Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars (cisterns), qanats (underground channels), yakhchals (coolers), Persian handicrafts, handwoven cloth (Persian termeh), silk weaving, Persian cotton candy, and its time-honored confectioneries. Yazd is also known as City of Bicycles, because of its old history of bike riders, and the highest number of bicycles per capita in Iran. It is reported that bicycle culture in Iran originated in Yazd as a result of contact with European visitors and tourists in the last century.

© flickr.com - Valerian Guillot/cc-by-2.0 Atash Behram © Mohsen.shekarrizi/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0 Moshir Caravansary © Parastoo.Atrsaei/cc-by-sa-4.0 Mosque Amir Tschaqmāq © Fabienkhan/cc-by-sa-2.5 Tomb of Seyed Roknildin © Negin Mohamadi Fard/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Wojciech Kocot/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Tomb of Seyed Roknildin © Negin Mohamadi Fard/cc-by-sa-4.0
The majority of people in Yazd are Shia Muslim. Yazd is a strongly religious, traditionalist and conservative city. Several city traditions are the Muslim parades and gatherings, which are mainly processions called azadari held to commemorate the events experienced by the main Islamic martyrs and other important figures. These huge public gatherings created a series of spaces which, since most are near important urban monuments, are used at other times as hubs from which visitors can tour the main spots in the city. There is also a sizable population of Zoroastrians in the city. In 2013, Sepanta Niknam was elected to the city council of Yazd and became the first Zoroastrian councillor in Iran. The Pir-e-Naraki sanctuary is one of the important pilgrimage destinations for Zoroastrians, where an annual congregation is held and frequent visits are made during the year; it is now also a famous tourist spot. The story of the last Persian prince to come to Yazd before the arrival of Islam adds to its importance. Such a transformation has occurred several times. There was once a relatively large Jewish-Yazdi community, however, after the creation of Israel, many have moved there for varying reasons. Former president of Israel Moshe Katsav is an example.

Yazd is an important centre of Iranian architecture. Because of its climate, it has one of the largest networks of qanats (underground water supply systems) in the world, and Yazdi qanat makers are considered the most skilled in Iran. To deal with the extremely hot summers, many old buildings in Yazd have magnificent wind towers and large underground areas. The city is also home to prime examples of yakhchals, which were used to store ice retrieved from glaciers in the nearby mountains. Yazd is also one of the largest cities built almost entirely out of adobe. Yazd’s heritage as a center of Zoroastrianism is also important. There is a Tower of Silence on the outskirts, and the city has an ateshkadeh which holds a fire that has been kept alight continuously since 470 AD. Zoroastrians make up a significant minority of the population, around 20,000–40,000 or 5 to 10 percent. The 11th-century brick mausoleum and shrine Davāzdah Imām is the oldest dated building in the city. Built in 12th century and still in use, Jame Mosque of Yazd is an example of the finest Persian mosaics and excellent architecture. Its minarets are the highest in the country. Tomb of Sayyed Rukn ad-Din is nearby the mosque.

Read more on Wikivoyage Yazd and Wikipedia Yazd (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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