The most beautiful desert town that you have ever seen shines under the radiant sun while the freshwater flows inside the aqueducts to get life to the city. Yazd is the resemblance of Persian culture and history. You can stroll the old alleys of the city while the mysterious yet pleasant silence of the place allows you to meditate and capture its picturesque and unique architectural design.
Yazd can surprise you with its unique architecture, climates, and lovely people who welcome you willingly. This ancient city is the true witness of the glory of Iran. Yazd has survived the tough days of the war and disaster to look like a pure treasure in the middle of the desert.
Yazd is one of the oldest cities in Iran, where Zoroastrianism (arguably the first monotheistic religion) had the most followers. Throughout history, Yazd was always known as a religious city. In the pre-Islamic period, Zoroastrianism was practiced there, and later on, during the Islamic period, most people of Yazd became Muslims. Greeks used to call this city Isatis, which means “the big city” However, Yazd comes from the Avestan name “Izad” that translates to divinity. Therefore, Yazd means “Purify” or “The city of God,” which can be because of the citizens' love for their religion.
Yazd is located in the middle of the country and surrounded by deserts. Although the high temperature of this city made it one of the hottest places in Iran, agriculture was always popular among people, so during the Sassanid and Achaemenid Empire, Yazd was a thriving part of Iran. The postal service of that time called “Chapar” was passing through Yazd, because of its safe and secure roads.
The history of Yazd is intertwined with Persian mythology. People gave the credit of some historical ruins in Yazd to Zahhak who is a mythical Persian king. Also, the remains of Anahita and Mitra temples show that how these two divinities of Zoroastrian beliefs were popular among the people of Yazd. However, excavations show that the history of Yazd goes back to Elam which is a dynasty before Achamedian around 3000 BC.
Since then, Yazd had ups and downs throughout history in different eras, but the rich culture, intelligent people and superb architecture of Yazd are proving of its value.
Being in the track of the silk road which expanded in the world around 114 BCE enhanced the development of Yazd and turned it to a vibrant city.
What Is the Silk Road?
A network of trade routes that connects the east to the west was the main spot for cultural, political, and more importantly, economic interaction between different parts of the world. By importing silk from China to Persia, Iran could find the fundamental material for making Termeh and carpet. This road lasted until 1720 and disrupted when the Safavid Dynasty collapsed.
Located in central Iran, Yazd is a perfect destination for people from all around the world to see its wonders. This historical city has more than 557,634 inhabitants, and it is the 15th largest city in Iran.
Yazd was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017 because of its unique architectural design.
You can see the map of Yazd below.
Nothing, rather than a sustainable architecture, could make the hot weather of Yazd tolerable for its people. The talented architects of Yazd could use natural elements and materials such as clay, as well as solar power, and wind in this dry and hot area to provide effective architectural design. The usage of mudbrick, along with straws, are the main features for making the structures. These materials make the buildings cool during the summer and keep the warmness in bone-freezing winters of Yazd.
What Are Windcatchers?
As an Iranian architectural element, windcatchers or as locals call them “Baad Gir” are the landmarks of Yazd. You can look at the clay-made roofs of the building and see a tower with four or eight openings. Based on the direction of winds, the openings will be structured.
By catching the wind and guiding it to the cistern or “Ab Anbar” in Farsi, which is a place in the basement of traditional Persian houses with flowing water in the middle, they were able to invent an ingenious method of air conditioning. Since Ab Anbar is cool during summers and warm in the middle of winter, the temperature of the house would be pleasant.
These structures are not only sustainable and environment-friendly but also gorgeous and useful.
What is the Best Time to Visit Yazd?
Yazd will be your dream destination if you know when you should travel to the city of wind catchers. Like all the regions near deserts, Yazd becomes hot during the day, and it gets cold during the night, and you will experience two different climates in a single day.
Spring, autumn, and early winter are the perfect time to get a visa, pack your bag, and come to see the exceptional features of Yazd. During Nowruz, you can see the new look of the city when the locals are getting prepared for the new year. However, during the summer, the weather becomes super hot, sometimes more than 40 Celsius, to make it unbearable for those who are not used to this temperature. In Autumns, the weather is absolutely pleasant for walking among the narrow alleys and looking at the red pomegranates on the trees. You can also go camping in the desert and see all the natural and historical sites of the city.
What Are Yazd’s Top Attractions?
As one of the only adobe cities in the world, Yazd offers you many historical attractions. By Traveling to Yazd, you will find a time capsule to take you to an amazing trip and tell you the story of Persia. However, Yazd is not only popular for its history, but also for the superb natural wonders that exist in this fascinating city.
Dolat Abad Garden
Dolat Abad Garden is one of the oldest gardens in Yazd, which has the tallest windcatcher or “Baadgir” with 33.8 meters height. Entering the garden, a long pool surrounded by high trees guides you to a phenomenal pavilion, which is a masterpiece in Persian architecture.
The polygon-shaped building, which is designed with wooden windows and colorful glasses, shows the originality of the structure.
The interior design of the Dolat Abad pavilion is spectacular. The geometrical design of the ceiling catches your eye and allows you to enjoy every tiny delicate detail. You can pass through the door, walk around the pools, and stare at the sunlight, which shines through the glasses and creates colorful patterns on the floor.
Just in the middle of the mountain, after climbing a long stairway, you can close your eyes and listen to the sound of water drops on the floor while you are catching your breath.
Chak Chak or Pir-e Sabz is one of the significant Zoroastrian pilgrimage sites that are also popular among all people. Although the place itself is wonderful because of its perfect location, which allows you to see a wide fascinating landscape, the story behind it makes this place even more outstanding.
One upon a time, there was a young princess called Nikbanou who had lost all of her family when Arabs attacked Iran. To save her honor and dignity, she decided to run away from the Arabs army and find a place to hide. She was running until she reached a massive mountain, which did not allow her to go further. At this point, where she was devastated and helpless, she prayed for protection, when Anahita, who is the divinity of water, heard her voice and hid her inside the mountain. Anahita cracked the mountain and let water flow through it to help the princess survive. Another story mentions that the drops of water are nature’s tears of grief because of Nikbanou’s sad story.
By entering Chak Chak, you see a cave shaped building in which sun rays shine through the cracks of the rocks and brighten the marble floor. You can access this place using a quick ride from the city of Yazd.
Yazd’s Fire Temple
Located in Kashani Street, Yazd’s Fire Temple or Atashkadeh attracts many visitors to see the most magical fire on earth. The victorious fire or Atash Bahram is one of the highest fires in the world. One of them is in India, and the other one is being kept in Iran, which Zoroastrians respect. Fire is a significant and sacred natural element in Zoroastrianism, which is purifying and brightening.
The temple was built in 1934, and the fire had brought to it from the house of a Maggi. This eternal fire is burning from more than 1500 years ago and is still burning.
Today, you can go inside a beautiful Persian garden, enter a bright building that has a Faravahar symbol above its entrance, see the fire in front of yourself and enjoy its glory.
Jameh Mosque of Yazd.
The 800 years old mosque of Yazd, which was built during the Buyid Dynasty, is an architectural masterpiece located in Yazd to show its gorgeous tile works and delicate Islamic patterns to people. Two blue and cream minarets are standing strong on the dome of the mosque, and the inscriptions are written in “Sols” or “Thuluth,” which is an Islamic calligraphy font, on the entrance of the Jameh Mosque.
The intelligent architectural design shows itself once more when you enter the mosque and look to see how this place is brightened by natural light. The sun rays shine on the white walls and make the place bright.
Yazd Water Museum
Water was always an important feature in people of Yazd’s lifestyle. Yazd Water Museum was built to show this significance by valuing Qanats, or underground aqueducts. Inside the museum, you walk around a beautiful yard, climb downstairs, and find yourself under the ground where the temperature difference becomes obvious. Then you get to see how people delved into the ground to reach water and create the underground aqueducts. In each part of the museum, you can see different tools that people used for having water like well wheels and picks.
The dynamic of life represents itself in the Bazaar of Yazd called Khan Bazaar. This traditional market is where you can see copper dishes, Persian carpets, and golds. Walking among the chambers of the bazaar, you can see the beauty of Persian architecture in the design of the adobes and geometrical ceiling.
One of the most important handicrafts that you should look for in the bazaar is Termeh. Termeh is a luxurious handwoven Persian fabric which is made of wool or silk. For making this exquisite fabric, weavers need to use long threads to arrange their colors and use a machine to weave Termeh. The floral and paisley design on the blue or red color background is outstanding.
Termeh can be a great souvenir to bring back to your country for yourself and your loved ones.
If you are looking for a place to find peace after spending time in the crowded bazaar, the desert is your best option. Walking on the sands and listening to the pure silence of Dasht-e Kavir can take all the stress away. However, if you are looking for an exciting and tremendous adventure, you can try off-roading. Going up and down the dunes when the only visible thing around you is sand can make your heart pump hard and feel utter excitement in your cells.
Camping in the desert and looking at the sky full of stars in the middle of the night will be an unforgettable memory. You can lie on your back and link the stars to find different shapes to fall asleep.
What Are the Top Hotels in Yazd?
As one of the touristic cities in Iran, Yazd gives you different accommodation options from the most luxurious one to the most traditional or budget-friendly ones. Check the Top 9 Hotels and Hostels in Yazd article to find the place that suits you more.
The noble city of Yazd is exceptional, beautiful, and full of thrilling adventures, therefore, if you are looking for new experiences in the historical city of Yazd, do not hesitate and apply for your Iran visa right now.
⭐ Best For:
Persian Qanat, Mud-Brick Buildings, Wind Towers, Zoroastrianism, Silk Weaving
🕌 Top Sights:
Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Yazd Fire Temple, Dowlat Abad Garden, Amir Chakhmaq Complex
😋 What to Eat?
Gheymeh Yazdi, Pashmak, Ghottab, Yazdi Cupcake
🛏️ Where to Stay?
Moshir Garden Hotel, Shaarbaf Hotel, Dad Hotel, Yazd Friendly Hostel, Rest Up Hostel
💭 Interesting Fact
Yazd is the only Iranian city that is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.