Yazd, The City of Windcatchers. Located 270 km southeast of Isfahan, Yazd is the capital of Yazd province and is currently the 15th largest city in Iran. The name Yazd means “god” in the middle Persian language. The city deserves this name due to its many Zoroastrian fire temples which contain holy fires, one of which has been burning continually for thousands of years. Yazd is famous for its hand-woven cloth (terme), persian cotton candies (pashmak), ancient underground, earthen-refrigerators (Yakhchal) and Windcatchers.
A combination of water and soil, two of the most accessible materials in this region, have made it possible for ancient human communities to build cities in this hot and dry ecosystem. Thus, this inexpensive, readily-available combination led to the creation of sun-dried mud-bricks and has served as the foundation and main building material for the whole city. The town’s buildings have outstanding harmony, in both shape and size. Yazd has escaped from the modernization that destroyed many other earthen towns and is a testimony to human interactions with their environment.
Yazd is also called “The Qanat City”. Qanat systems are ancient underground water management systems. They consist of horizontal tunnels collecting water from an underground water source, into a mother well. There are still active qanats, built over a thousand years ago, which are still functioning, distributing water throughout the city of Yazd. Qanats bear a unique living testimony to the cultural traditions of Yazd and the use of limited resources for survival in deserts.
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