The Historic City of Yazd

The Historic City of Yazd

The Historic City of Yazd is a traditional earthen city where life has been adapted to its desert location, most notable via the water system of the qanats.

Yazd is a city with a long history dating back to the Achaemenid era and was located along the Silk and Spice Roads. It prospered from trade.

With its numerous badgirs (wind towers) rising above a labyrinth of adobe roofs, the historic city of Yazd is one of the oldest towns on earth. It encompasses thousands of ancient dwellings, screened from the narrow lanes by imposing mud walls. For the visitor, the old city offers a treasure trove of hidden courtyards and teahouses, shops selling crafts and houses converted into atmospheric hotels. Altogether, it is one of Iran’s don’t miss sights.

The historical structure of Yazd is a collection of public-religious architecture in a very large scope comprising of different Islamic architectural elements of different periods in a harmonious combination with climatic conditions.

With its winding lanes, forest of badgirs, mud-brick houses and delightful places to stay, Yazd is a ‘don’t miss’ destination. On a flat plain ringed by mountains, the city is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and southern Dasht-e Lut and is every inch a city of the desert. It may not have the big-ticket sights of Esfahan or Shiraz, but, with its atmospheric alleyways and centuries of history, it exceeds both in its capacity to enchant. Yazd warrants a lazy approach – rambling around the maze of historic lanes (referred to locally as Yazd’s ‘historical texture’), popping into random teahouses or pausing to work out calligraphic puzzles in the city’s exquisite tilework.

Originally settled 5000 years ago, Yazd has an interesting mix of people, 10% of whom follow the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. An elegant ateshkadeh (fire temple) near the city center shelters an eternal flame and visitors are welcome.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the historical structure of Yazd in central Iran to its list of world heritage sites.

Almost 200 hectares of the city’s 2,270-hectare historical texture now boast world heritage status.

Yazd is now the only UNESCO-listed Iranian city where people still live. It is also believed to be the world’s largest inhabited adobe city.