Introduction of Yazd:
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.
A trip to Yazd will make you familiar with life in desert towns and how people cope with it. You learn about underground water supplement system (Yariz or qanat) for which Iranians are well-known. The water reservoirs, icehouses, wind catchers and pigeon towers make it worthwhile to have a visit to Yazd and explore the uniqueness of this ancient city of Iran.
General Information about Yazd
Yazd is located almost 270 km south east of Isfahan and with a growing population of approximately 560,000 inhabitants, it attracts more people to live in this city. The altitude of Yazd is approximately 1210m above sea level. There are high mountains to the south of the city and Taft area where lots of Yazdi people take short trips to spend hot summer days or weekends in this moderate area. The city itself is very hot and dry in summer due to its location which is between two main deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and the Kavir-e-Lut.
Traditionally Yazd has been famous for Termeh, the brocades made with Iranian patterns and sold them to the travelers who passed by this city. The ancient caravan routes went through Yazd since long time ago and people were more involved in trade than agriculture. Zoroastrians pay special attention to farming and the farmers were actually working in adjacent villages at foothills and close to the sources of water devised by kariz system.
Today a lot of tile and porcelain factories are operating outside Yazd attracting laborers and producing good quality products for domestic as well as international markets.
History of Yazd
Originally, Yazd was called Issatis at the time of Median Empire when it emerged. The city prospered under Sassanians when it was a center of the followers of Zoroastrian faith. Because of its remoteness from central Iran and populated areas, it has escaped devastating assaults of the foreign invaders like Chengiz Khan. Instead, it has turned into a safe place for the migrants who were looking for another city to relocate. However, like many other desert towns, the inhabitants of this city had to protect themselves by building high walls around the city 900 years ago and reconstruct it after each attack.
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.
There was not much improvements during Safavids in Yazd. On the contrary, the inhabitants saw the deterioration of urban infrastructure. However, under Qajars the city started to thrive as a result of the extensive trading demands. Therefore, the city grew physically:
- new residential areas were annexed to the previous ones,
- facilities like baths were built for the people,
- more areas were added to the bazaar,