Yazd is the capital city of Yazd province, Iran. It is located 270km away from Esfahan. Yazd is often called a city of windcatchers. This city has a unique Iranian architecture. It is like a phoenix poking out of a brown labyrinth of lanes. It is an old phoenix in a baked-brown desert. The old city of Yazd is one of the most ancient towns on Earth. As UNESCO states it, it is the best place to get a feeling for the region’s rich history. Everything in this city is made from sun-dried bricks and the brown skyline, which is the result of the sun-dried mud color, is dominated by tall wind towers (badgirs) that are seen on nearly every rooftop. The residential parts of this city seem deserted as the high walls hide them. They shield the houses from the narrow lanes (kuches) zigzagging the town. If you take time to wander around the town you will definitely discover simple courtyards, ornate wooden doors, and other lovely adobe architecture patterns. Meanwhile, you will be welcomed by numerous children eager to help you out of the maze. To get some fine views to try getting to the rooftops at some point and you will admire the vast brown expanses of the desert.
The Zoroastrian Fire Temple, also known as Yazd/Bahram/Behram Ateshkadeh, is a temple in Yazd, to the west of Yazd in Iran. A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians. It is said to be Iran’s only temple housing Atash Bahram. It was built in 1934 and enshrines the Atash Behram/Bahram, meaning “Victorious Fire”. It is one of the nine Atash Behrams, the only one of the highest grade fire in Iran where Zoroastrians have practiced their religion since 400 BC; the other eight Atash Behrams are in India. The fire inside is said to have been burning since about 470 AD which is visible through a window from the entrance hall. The flame was transferred to Ardakan in 1174, then to Yazd in 1474 and to its present site in 1940. Above the entrance of this building, there is symbolic bird-man which is a symbol of Zoroaster. The plaque at the entrance reads: “This Zoroastrians’ temple was built in 1934 in a site belonged to the Association of the Parsi Zoroastrians of India under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat.
Dowlat Abad Garden, built around 1750, is a Persian architecture jewel which annually attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visiting Iran. This beautiful garden consists of a pavilion that was built according to the original Iranian architectural style and a large garden and some other buildings. Long pool in the shade of the tall cypress trees leads to the main entrance. On the way to the mansion, there are beautiful grape and pomegranate trees behind those tall trees. The tallest wind tower of the pavilion inside the garden is conceivable from miles away. This traditional air-conditioning system of local houses around the desert in Iran is the essential elements at the residential structures. However, the exaggerated grand size of this wind catcher functioned perfectly well. Actually, the Dowlat Abad garden is also renowned for having Iran’s tallest Badgir (the wind tower), that is standing over 33 meters; though this one was rebuilt after it collapsed in the 1960s.
Amir Chakhmagh 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 sunset with orange lighting in the arched alcoves which makes it a spectacle. Amir-Chaghmaq Square was built in the 15th century by Jalal-al-Din Amir-Chakhmagh, the governor of Yazd in the Timurid era. This square was established on the north side of an important mosque called the Old Mosque, known today as Amir-Chakhmagh Mosque. According to Vahdat Zad, “the mosque was also founded by Amir-Chakhmagh between 1418 and 1438. The same year the mosque was inaugurated, Haj Qanbar Jahanshahi, who was the subsequent governor, constructed a bazaar and caravanserai at the sides of the square”.
This is one of the oldest mosques in the world, dating back 930 years, it was developed continuously era after era thus each section has a different architectural style. This is why the minarets are located quite a distance from the dome. This mosque is famous for having the tallest double minarets and the tallest façade in the world, also existence of pre-Islamic mithraistic symbols, namely swastikas, in the tile-works. A distinctive feature of the complex is the tall eastern portal iwan surmounted by two soaring minarets on each side. This portal iwan, which is a common architectural prototype of the Il Khanid period, is here given a high degree of monumentality by the verticality of the two tall minarets and the vertical orientation of the moldings' lines.
Yazd tower of silence (known also as a ‘dakhma’) is a type of structure used for funerary purposes by adherents of the Zoroastrian faith. This Zoroastrian practice for the disposal of the dead involves the exposure of the corpse to the sun and vultures. This practice has been used traditionally by Zoroastrians, though it has become less common in recent times. As a result, there are a number of disused towers of silence, which no doubt have an air of mystery around them. There is a rationale for this treatment of the dead. According to Zoroastrian belief, the four elements – fire, water, earth, and air, are sacred, and ought not to be polluted by the disposal of the dead. In order to avoid polluting these elements, Zoroastrians resorted to other means of disposing their dead. The most notable of these is the exposure of the dead to scavenging animals, which is the idea behind the construction of the towers of silence.