The article “City of Yazd, manifestation of ancient civilization” written by Mina Ahmadi, was published in Mehr News Agency on October 16, 2017.
Kindly note that the text as well as captions for the images printed below have been edited in comparison to the original version printed in Mehr News.
Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy. Yazd in central Iran has been a manifestation of the brightest cultural heritage and ancient civilization throughout history with human settlement in Yazd dating back to the third millennium BCE. Tribes, who migrated from Balkh to Pars, called this land ‘Yazdan’ during the Pishdadi era. The most important early settlements in Yazd include Mehrpadin (Mehriz), Fahrashan or Pahreh (Fahraj), Khormish and Adar (Ardakan), Aqda and Eshkezar.
A view of the city of Yazd – note the wind towers with slit openings known as “Baad-Gir” [Persian: wind-catcher] (Source: Payvand News). Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy. Yazd is known as the city of wind towers. In fact, wind towers improve ventilation. They can be seen in residential units and ancient houses.
Yazd’s historical monuments include Yazd Jame’ Mosque, Seyyed Rokneddin Mausoleum, Amir Chaqmaq Complex, Lariha House, Alexander Prison, Narin Castle, Chak Chak Temple and Water Museum.
In addition, 77 localities of Yazd known as ‘Yazd Historical Texture’ were registered as No. 15,000 on the National Heritage List in 2005. Gharbal Biz (Mehriz), Tamehr (near Taft) and Masih (Harat) are among the important springs of Yazd.
The protected zones in Yazd are the other attractions of the province, Iranreiew wrote. Taft is the hub of pomegranate and silkworm in Yazd province. Its pomegranates are exported. Peaches are also a famous product in Taft. Also, Taft’s water has been well known throughout the history of the province. An alley in Yazd is known as ‘Ab-e Taft’, which indicates the vivacity of Taft. Due to certain climatic and economic conditions as well as its remoteness, the inhabitants of Yazd have been involved in making handicrafts. Yazd handicrafts have garnered the attention of artisans and art-lovers across the country since olden times.
World Heritage List (UNESCO)
The historical city of Yazd in central Iran has become the country’s 22nd world heritage site after the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of its inscription on Sunday during the committee’s 41st session in Krakow, Poland.
Almost 200 hectares of the city’s 2,270-hectare historical texture now boast world heritage status.
Yazd is the only UNESCO-listed inhabited Iranian city. It is also believed to be the world’s largest inhabited adobe city (Source: Payvand News).
Registering the site on the coveted list was a tougher task than Iranian officials had hoped. The ancient city’s dossier was supposed to be considered for inscription last year but was deemed incomplete by UNESCO’s assessors who gave Iran a long list of shortcomings that had to be redressed to improve the city’s chances of inscription on the coveted list.
Cultural heritage authorities have envisioned a buffer zone of around 665.93 hectares for the designated area.
Yazd is home to UNESCO-listed ancient Persian qanats as well as Dolat Abad Garden, which is one of nine Iranian gardens inscribed collectively on the World Heritage List as “the Persian Gardens”.
The city is known for its adobe architecture, Zoroastrian fire temples and tall structures known as badgirs, or wind-catchers, which in ancient times functioned as natural ventilation in large buildings.
With 22 world heritage sites, Iran is ranked first in the Middle East and eleventh worldwide.
Largest Adobe City
On July 9, 2017, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the historical texture of Yazd in central Iran to its list of world heritage sites. The site was inscribed on the world heritage list during the 41st session of UNSCO’s World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland.
Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy (Source: Mehr News).
The historical structure of Yazd is a collection of public-religious architecture with a very large scope comprising of Islamic architectural elements extending over different periods of history in harmonious combination with climatic conditions. Iran nominated Arasbaran Protected Zone in East Azarbaijan Province and the historical city of Yazd for 2017 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing. Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said earlier:
“While Arasbaran Protected Zone is Iran’s second natural heritage site to be proposed for UNESCO registration, Yazd is the first city in Iran to be nominated for registration as a world heritage site. Yazd is one of the most important desert cities of Iran. The city bears distinct signs of innovation and creativity, a majority of which were promoted between the 10th and 20th centuries CE. The old texture of Yazd is in a better shape than other historical cities of Iran. Yazd is Iran’s largest adobe city and its monuments boast high architectural values. The cultural outlook of Yazd is yet to be modernized and as a result the majority of the monuments including mosques, minarets, houses and cisterns perfectly mirror ancient Islamic-Iranian architecture. One can see diverse eco-friendly architectural styles in Yazd, as if the ancient habitats were aware of the principles of sustainable development. Ancient residents of the city tried to apply wind, soil, and water energies in a way not to damage the environment.”