Welcome to Yazd city! In Yazd, you can walk, see and enjoy the mud-brick architecture of Iranian desert cities. Hence, the historical structure of Yazd is on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
In fact, the earth architecture of the city is a clever solution for centuries to deal with the desert environment and climate. So Yazd attractions are mostly related to its architecture.
The historical city of Yazd is actually on World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017. City of Wind catchers and City of Bicycles are the nicknames of the city. Since the city has the highest amount of bicycles per capita in Iran.
Besides, Yazd boasts the most beautiful Termeh, Iranian precious handwoven cloth. You can enjoy the variety of colors and patterns of Termeh at the Khan Bazaar, a market from the 9th century.
Places you should not miss in Yazd city
Yazd Old City
Yazd attraction is the manifestation of an eco-friendly manner to adjust to desert climate and environment. In addition, at Yazd, the walls, roofs, domes, and other parts of buildings are from the earth!
You can find several alleys at Yazd in their original shapes. In fact, each neighborhood has a water cistern (abanbar), bathhouses, and a mosque. You can walk in Sabats, covered alleys, which are built to protect you from the sun.
The skyline of the city is a spectacle featuring windcatchers, minerals, and domes. In the old city, you can also pay a visit to the Jameh Mosque of Yazd, which is originally built on a Fire Temple. However, today building is constructed in the 19th century. The tiled entrance of the mosque and 52-meter minarets are one of the highest in Iran.
In fact, the minarets have 15th-century inspirations and the mosque is built with the Azari style of Persian architecture. Besides, the portal facades have glittering blue tiles.
Zoroastrian traces in Yazd
Yazd is the center of Zoroastrianism in Iran so it is home to several sites of religion and the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Zoroastrians, and Jews are going on for centuries in the city. Actually, nowadays about 4000 Zoroastrians live in Yazd, which is considered as one of the most concentrated of this community.
Before Islam, Zoroastrianism was the principal religion in Iran. This ancient monotheistic religion dates back to around 3500 years ago. Still, there are Iranians of the Zoroastrian community who live in different parts of Iran.
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Zoroastrian Fire Temple
Yazd houses several attractions related to Zoroastrianism, as its center in Iran. Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Atashkadeh) houses a burning fire, which has flame since 470 CE. In fact, the fire is visible from a window in the building. There is also a small museum at the place. The flame was transferred to Ardakan in 1174. It is in Yazd since 1474, and in the fire temple since 1940.
The building of the fire temple is a neoclassical construction. It also bears an emblem of Farvahar emblem on its entrance. A beautiful garden surrounds the place with a beautiful pond in front.
Tower of Silence
Zoroastrians believed that the bodies of the dead are purified by exposing them to the elements and excarnation at the Tower of Silence or Dakhmeh. It is in fact a construction built atop a hill near Yazd city. The remaining bones are in ossuaries near or inside of the towers.
The roofless structure of the tower lets the birds of prey like vultures to dive in and out. It has three concentric rings; the outer row for males, the central ring for females, and the innermost ring for children. They believe that they purify their corpses with exposure to the sun and air.
Since the 1970s, this process of burial became illegal in Iran, so the Tower of Silence is not used anymore. You can climb the hill to visit the beautiful sunset of Yazd city.
Chak Chak Fire Temple
Also known as the Temple of Pir-e Sabz, it is an important pilgrimage point for Zoroastrians. Every June thousands of Zoroastrians visit the place and fire candles.
Located on a rocky mountain slope, Chak Cak is a special place to experience tranquility. In the altar, there are three oil-burning lights. Besides in front of it, there is a set of trays that look like a lotus flower.
Zoroastrians believe that it is the refuge of Nikbanou, the daughter of Yazdgerd III of the last pre-Islamic Persian ruler Sassanid Empire. She took refuge from the invading Arab army in 640 there. According to the legend, the ever-dripping spring in the mountain is the drops of tears in commemoration of Nikbanou.
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The green Persian garden with an abundance of trees and a beautiful pond in the middle of the place is one of the must-see attractions of Yazd city.
Besides, it is home to the tallest wind catcher in Iran which is 33 meters high. Wind catchers provide natural ventilation for people who live in hot weather.
The 18th-century residence with stained-glass windows and an array of light create a great scene. You can also find pomegranate and cypress trees in the garden.
Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh
As one of the most exciting experiences, you can visit Zurkhaneh (means house of strength). It is an Iranian traditional gymnasium in which a group of men performs Pahlavani and Zoorkhanei rituals. As UNESCO suggests, it is a ritual collection of gymnastic and callisthenic movements by ten to twenty men, each wielding instruments symbolizing ancient weapons.
The Morshed (master) leads the Pahlevani ritual to performs epic and Gnostic poems. He beats out time on a Zarb goblet drum. The poems he recites transmit ethical and social teachings and constitute part of Zoorkhanei literature.
Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh is located in an ab anbar (water reservoir) of 1580 and you should remove your shoes and sit around the central area to watch an exercise session.
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Sightseeings visit near the Yazd city
Visit Meybod city
Located within one-hour distance from Yazd, Meybod is one of the places that you should not miss while visiting Yazd. Narin Castle, a mud-brick fort, is in the pre-Islamic period. This building has been built as an old fortress on three floors, each for a different class of society.
The Meybod pigeon tower, with its fantastic brickwork, is around 200 years old. About 4000 birds live in this place. There is a giant bowl of water on the roof for the pigeons. There is a smooth plaster on the walls of the tower, which makes it impossible for snakes to climb up to the pigeon’s nests.
Yakhchal (ice pit) is another place that you should visit during your travel to Meybod. This magnificent 400-year-old structure is recently restored, a dome to shelter the ice from the summer heat.
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Sar Yazd Castle
The Sassanid fortification known as Sar Yazd Castle, also spelled Saryazd, is located in the Iranian province of Yazd’s Sar Yazd village. It is 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Yazd.
The adobe fortification was built during the Sassanid era, perhaps between the third and seventh centuries AD. Two circular walls serve as its defenses; the inner wall is nine meters tall and the outside wall is six meters high. Additionally to the walls, a moat was built.
With Highlights in Yazd Outskirt tour at Exotigo, you can visit Kharanaq village, which has been occupied for about 4000 years ago. The old part of the village is a great place for taking photos from all its labyrinth of streets, tunnels, passageways. A small Qajar-era mosque, a cylindrical 17th-century shaking minaret, and an old caravanserai are the sites that you can visit while traveling to Kharanaq.
Mud-brick houses and buildings are fine examples of the historic desert architecture of Iran. With the Exotigo tour, you have an opportunity to well-known Chak Chak Fire temple, about 30 km away from Kharanaq.
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City of sweets
If you have a sweet tooth, Yazd is a must-see destination for you! You can find several shops in the city offering mouthwatering sweets and desserts, as a tasty Yazd attraction.
Ghotab, Baghlava, Pashmak, Louz, Hajji Badam, and Cake Yazdi are some of the delicious sweets that you can try in the city. Do not forget to taste these amazing sweets before leaving the city. The welcoming and kind people of Yazd can help you to find your favorite sweets!
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Cake Yazdi is actually the traditional Iranian muffin and is very popular in Iran. However, you can try its best taste in its hometown Yazd. It is a great choice with a cup of tea.
Cake Yazdi or Iranian traditional cardamom muffins is a great combination of Persian tastes. No one can underestimate the magic combination of cardamom and rose water in Persian desserts and sweets!
Food experience in Yazd city
This is one of the dishes that you should try traveling Yazd. Espionage, dill, wheat flour, beetroot, green lentil, onion, vinegar, and spice are the ingredient of this soup or pottage. If you want to have meat beside this delicious vegetable soup. Something like Tas-kebab Shotor.
Tas Kebab shotor
Tas kebab is a stew-like meal, potato, and other vegetables. Iranians cook this food with different recipes all over Iran.
In Yazd, it is cooked with camel meat and potato. It is a food for winter and is served with bread.
Handicrafts of Yazd city
The fabulous traditional handwoven silk and wool fabrics, known as termeh, is another souvenir that you can buy from Yazd.
Khan Bazaar of Yazd, an old market in Yazd that dated back to the 9th century, is a vibrant place full of colors in which you can find different kinds of termeh.
Today most of the termehs in the market are with a machine and are not from silk.
However how minds? The patterns and colors still mesmerize every visitor and you can make your house more lovely with a piece of termeh!
Such an inspiring city, thanks!
I have travelled Yazd some years ago. The whole city is a great landmark!
Wish to see you again in Iran Nina!