Yazd is one of the most well-known desert cities of Iran that is famous for several reasons. Many Iranians and non-Iranians like to visit Yazd to see the vernacular architecture found in desert areas. It is known as the city of tourist attractions like wind catchers, Zoroastrians, Termeh (traditional brocade), silk weaving, baqlava and qotab (local sweets), etc.
History of Yazd
Yazd became the capital city of Muzaffarid dynasty who ruled there in 14th century. They fled to Yazd after Khorasan, their original birthplace was attacked by Mongols. Some of the rulers stayed in Meybod, another town in this province to the north of Yazd. During late 18th century and simultaneous with the rise of Qajars, Bakhtiari khans were ruling in Yazd.
Masjed -e- Jameh
There is no more impressive gateway in Iran than this great soaring 14th century edifice.
Crowned by a pair of minarets, the highest in Iran with 48m height, the portal’s facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling tile work, predominantly blue in color.
Inside there is a long arcaded court where, behind a deep-set southeast Ivan, is a sanctuary chamber which, under a squat tiled dome, is exquisitely decorated with faience mosaic: its tall faience altar "mihrab", Dated 1365, is one of the finest of its kind in existence.
The mosque was built on the site of 12th century building believed to have itself replaced an earlier fire temple.
In the courtyard of the mosque there is a stairwell leading down to part of the Zarch Qanat, used these days for ritual ablutions.
Amir Chakhmaq Complex
The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a prominent structure in Yazd, Iran, noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves.It is a mosque located on a square of the same name. It also contains a caravanserai, a tekyeh, a bathhouse, a cold water well, and a confectionery. At night, the building is lit up after twilight hours after sun set with orange lighting in the arched alcoves which makes it a spectacle.
The mosque is located on a square of the same name, named after Amir Jalaleddin Chakhmaq, a governor of Yazd during the Timurid dynasty (15th–16th century CE). Separate living areas for Iraqis and Afghanis are nearby. The complex is situated opposite what was the Yazd Water Museum.
Yazd Water Museum
This 124 year old Museum displays the tool, techniques used for the past 4000 years in Iran in creating underground waterways (called Qanats) and connecting them to the city and field locations for agricultural and other uses. Before the Romans built their aqueducts, Iranians had built an extensive system of underground qanats (aqueduct). A lot of these systems are still functioning today. In fact there is a large one under this Museum.
Within 30 minutes (15km) drive of Yazd city centre, this belt of rippling sand dunes is a popular spot to watch the sun set across the desert landscape. As the colours of the pink-hued mountains beyond intensify with the last of the sun's rays, the shadows of the dunes are thrown into sharp relief, making for the perfect photo opportunity. While a taxi may be persuaded to the edge of the sands, it is better to take a licensed driver-guide who can navigate the soft terrain.