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  Yazd

Main Townships: Ardakan, Bafq, Maybod, Mehreez, Yazd, etc. Main Attractions: Desert, Chak Chakoo Temple, Kabir Jame' Mosque, Mir Chakhmaq Mosque, Mirror Palace Museum, Narenj (Narian) Castle, Seyed Roknedin Mausoleum, Wind Trappers, etc.


Yazd

Townships, Yazd

Abar Kooh

The town of Abar Kooh is located in the southwest of the province. In decades back, this town was a part of Abadeh in Fars province, and after joining Yazd province this section changed to a city. Abar Kooh is an area in a desert which has a very warm climate. The economy of this region is based on agriculture, laboring, carpet weaving. The agricultural products of Abar Kooh are wheat, barley, sugar beet, cotton, oil seeds etc. The fruit trees are mulberry, grapes, apples, and apricots. Many years ago, Abar Kooh was called Abarqoyeh and Barqoyeh and in 1975, its name was changed from Abarqoyeh to Abar Kooh.

Abar Kooh is a very ancient and was a florishing city, situated on the way of Silk Road. The name of Abar Kooh is mentioned in the books of Islamic geographers like Fars Nameh of Ebne Balkhi, Nazhate-Al-Qolub, Haft Eqlim, and Fars Nameh of Naseri, etc.

Ardakan

The city of Ardakan is located in the north of the province. That is to the north and west of Esfahan province. To the south is the township of Yazd and to the east is the province of Khorassan. Ardakan is the largest city of Yazd province. Ardakan is located on the road between Tehran and Bandar Abbas . The name of Ardakan is combination of two terms, "Ard" which means holy and "Kan" means mine or place. In past, Ardakan was located in a place known as Zardak, and parts of its walls still remain.

Bafq

This city is located in the east of the province. To its north is Ardakan and to its west is Mehreez. Bafq is situated at the north of the province of Kerman and in the west of Khorassan province. Bafq is located at 120 km. distance from the southeast of Yazd. The biggest salt marshes of Yazd province which are created by the salty waters of the Shoor River, is called the desert of Daranjeer, and is located in the north of Bafq. The climate of Bafq is more dry-hot in summer and moderate in winter than the other regions of province.

To the east of the township of Bafq, there are two parallel mountain ranges which elongate from northwest to southeast. The highest peak of which is mount Banlakht with an elevation of 3,002 m. which is located to the south of Behabad. The current industry of the town is carpet weaving. The mining activity is one of the main attractive factors in increasing the population of the town.

Maybod

Many years ago, Maybod was part of Ardakan and recently it has turned to a township. Maybod is located in the northwest of the province, to its south is Yazd, to its west is Esfahan and to its north is Ardakan. Maybod is near the road between Tehran and Bandar Abbas, and it is located at a proximity to the Tehran - Kerman railway. Maybod is a word of middle persian diction which was given to this town during the Sassanide era. This name was repeatedly mentioned in the historical and geographical books of the early Islamic century.

The town of Maybod is considered to be one of the rare unique examples of archaeological cities of Iran. Although the traditional structure of this town has been influenced and demolished, many of buildings and elements of the old town like the ancient roads, old castles and the remnants of ancient city are left to be seen. The most ancient document of urbanization of the territory of Yazd is the old building complex of Narenj (Narin) castle of Maybod. This ancient castle like a silent senile reveals a part of the long history of the people who lived here.

Mehreez

The city of Mehreez is located 35 km. to the south of Yazd city.It is surrounded by Bafq in east, by Yazd in north, by Taft in west and by the province of Fars in southeast and the province of Kerman in the south west.

Mehreez is the place where previously there used to be a group of villages, known as Mehrijerd. This name was attributed to Mehr Negar the daughter of Anushirvan. About 16 centuries ago, during the end of Sassanide era, Mehreez was under interest due to pleasent natural environment and climate. At that time Mehr Negar the daughter of Anushirvan ordered for the construction of some subterranean wells (qanats) and after flourishing it was reputedly known as Mehrgard. As the time passed the name of Mehrgard was changed to Mehrijerd and now it is called Mehreez.

Taft

The township of Taft is located in the southwest of the province. To its west is Fars province. One of the most important mountains of the province named as Shir Kooh, with an elevation of 4,075 m. is located here. The weather of Taft is moderate and many kinds of fruits are planted there. The name of Taft is mentioned in many historical and mystical books of the 9th century AH., Along with the name of Shah Nematollah-e-Vali.

Yazd

The city of Yazd is located to the north of Ardestan, to the south of Taft in the east of Bafq and to the west of Esfahan province. Yazd is the center of the province and is located 689 kilometer from Tehran. It is located in an extensive valley facing the desert. Consequently, its weather is hot and arid in summer and cold in winter, which are some specifications of the weather of this territory. In the 5th century AH.coinciding with the settlement of the sons of Abu-Jafar Kakoo in Yazd, the development of this city began, and the walls of Yazd were constructed. The Atabakans, took an interest in development of the city of Yazd constructed many schools and mosques.

During the Al-Mozaffar era many villages and underground canals were constructed. During the Mongol invasion many scholars and artists of the 7th and 8th century settled in this city for more protection. They chose this city as a center for their scientific and artistic activities. At that time many mosques and schools were built.

Several monasteries (praying sites of the Sufis) in the city reveals that this region was considered to be a shelter for Sufis and Gnostics. Some of the monasteries like those of Sheikh Ali Soleiman in Bidakhid, the monastery and mosque of Sheikh Dada in Bonder Abad and the monastery of Sheikh Ahmad Fahadan in Yazd are still present today. Furthermore, the city of Yazd has various historical sites in charming deserted areas worth visiting.

Fire Temples, Yazd

A good number of the people in Yazd province are zoroastrian and that is why we have several zoroastrian structure and monuments in different places of the province. The same are held in great respect by this community. Such religious sites are as follows:

Chak Chakoo Fire Temple, Yazd

It is a place located amongst the mountains of Ardakan and Anjireh (on the way to Tabas) which is at a distance of 46 kilometers from Yazd. Chak Chakoo has its name for the water dripping from the stone-cut mountains. This vicinity has suitable accommodation for pilgrims.

Dar Mehr Fire Temple, Yazd

The Zoroastrian fire temples come under three categories in terms of importance: Dadgah fire that is lit at residence and has no consecration ceremony. It is lit by the Zoroastrian priests, but ordinary people could light it too.

Peer Harisht Fire Temple, Ardakan

This shrine is located at a distance of 15 km. in the Ardakan Road and is on the skirt of low lying mountains. Several rest houses and three water reservoirs have been built near this shrine. The Zoroastrians visit this region and stay there on (Farvardin 18th) or 7th April annually.

Varharam (Bahram), Yazd

This monument which is listed as one of the Yazd's architectural works has been built by Yazd's Zoroastrian and Indian Parsis under Mr. Arbab Jamshid's supervision and Guardianship, in 1934. The main building is amidst a large courtyard and on a height. The fire is located in a container higher than the ground level in a relatively large room protected from sunshine. This is surrounded by other chambers for worship. This Fire temple is in the fire temple lane Ayatollah Kashani Street.

Other Fire Temples and Zoroastrian Religious Places, Yazd

Other Zoroastrian religious sites are as follows: The Peer Sabz Fire Temple ,Ardakan, Yazd Daremehr, Darekohan, Darbmehrnush and Daredastooran in Yazd, Pirangah Sarvocham, Pirshah and Varharam Izad in Khoram Shah, Pirmehriz in Abshahi,, Pirnarstaneh Nazdik in Bid, Pirbanu in Zarju Aqda Village, Pirnarly in south Yazd, Gahanbarkhaneh Mubadan in Dinihari Dabestan Lane.

Old Mosques, Yazd

Aqda Jame' Mosque, Aqda, Ardakan

This mosque located at a distance of 74 kilometers from Naein. It has a hot bath and a summer porch. Above the altar there is a star-like tile similar to those of 8th century AH.

Bondor Abad Mosque, Yazd

This mosque is at a distance of 36 kilometers from Yazd, and is located in a village named Bondor Abad. The structure of the mosque has a strong resemblance to the mosques of the 8th century AH. This means that the mosque courtyard is in the shape of a square with an area of 11m. x 11m. In its eastern and western section are two long nine meters wide porches. It is built in such a way that the end of the porches are connected to the southern dome of the mosque from both directions. At the side of the altar, there is a pulpit with thirteen steps decorated with turquoise and azure tiles.

Fahraj Jame' Mosque, Yazd

This mosque, is situated at a distance of 30 kilometers east of Yazd, and its date of construction goes back to the beginning of the Islamic era. It has wide pillars and the covering roof resembles that of a cradle. Only its minaret dates back to a later period. Considering its role, in expressing the essence and originality of architecture and art of mosque construction during fourteen centuries; it is undoubtedly one of the unique heritages of Islamic culture and civilization.

Kabir Jame' Mosque, Yazd

This archaic and extremely valuable structure is a collection of shimmering tiles, tall minarets, beautiful plaster work, spacious and airy courtyards, nocturnal areas for use in the winter season, and the turquoise colored dome which reflects quiet serene. These factors intermingle, bringing about a glorious masterpiece and an important remnant of Yazd. The glorious Vaziri Library exists near this mosque which in itself is a treasury of priceless Holy Qorans and other hand writen books.

Mir Chakhmaq (Amir Chakhmaq) Mosque, Yazd

The same is reputedly known as the Jame' Nou Mosque. The mosque is a relic of the Safavid period, and was constructed by Amir Jalaleddin Chakhmaq Shami and his spouse Fatimeh Khatoon (Seti Bibi). Amir Chakhmaq was the governor of the time in Yazd, and one of the Teimoorids commanders, who was held in high esteem by the monarch Shahrokh. The mosque was completed in the year 841 AH. On the threshold of the mosque, is a carved inscription in the Naskh script, revealing a deed relevant to the endowment, on the eastern entrance of the mosque is a tiled epigraph with the Tholths scrip. Around the dome of the said structure is an inscription adorned with the cuneiform or Kufic script.

Molla Esmaeil Mosque, Yazd

This mosque is situated in the south of Khan Bazaar square, built under the orders of Molla Esmaeil Aqdie, one of the prominent scholars of the clergy in the 13th century AH. Mollah Ismaeil completed the corners of the threshold and the parlors on both sides of the dome and part of the mosque designed for sleeping or nocturnal prayers in 1222 AH. After his death, Mirza Soleiman Tabatabaei made great attempts to complete the construction of mosque. The entrance width of the porch of the mosque is 15.75 meters. Its western nocturnal area has 32 pillars.

There are numerous slates in the Nastaliq and Naskh scripts around the facade. Ali Mohammad Kaveh, contemporary calligrapher, is responsible for the calligraphy around the dome, worked in blue on gypsum background. At present this mosque is used for holding Friday prayers.

Shah Vali Mosque, Taft

This mosque has a hot chamber bath and summer section. The same is situated in Taft. Its important relics are: marble stone of adythum in 125cm. x 64cm. dimension on which an encarving of flowers (gol boteh) and Qandil along with "Aqam-e-Alsalat" writings on margins and "La Elaha Ellallah" [There is no God but Allah] writings on the top, in beautiful Naskh script. A delicate reticulated wooden door, on which the lettering of Mohammad (PBUH) has been carved at several places in a circular fashion. Round the door there is a tablet in tile, on which the holy names of 12 Imams have been inscribed in Naskh script. Above the altar there is a net of brilliant and beautiful plaster work which let the light penetrate inside, and on its margin the date of 1339 AH. can be noted.

Tarzjan Jame' Mosque, Yazd

The said mosque of the Tarzjan Village is distinct in architectural techniques from other mosques in the province. Due to being located in a mountainous region, wooden pillars and beams have been used in its construction.

Other Old Mosques, Yazd

The followings can be mentioned as other old mosques of Yazd province: Behabad Jame' Mosque, Aharestan, Hadji Kamal Mosques, Jame' Mosque of Ardakan, Firooz Abad Jame' Mosque, Amand Gol in Nadooshan, Abarqoo Jame' Mosque, Imam Hassan Mosque, Large Posht-e-Baq Mosque, Zavieh Mosque, Seyed Roknedin Mosque in Yazd, Kharanaq Jame' Mosque in Bafq, Marvast Jame' Mosque etc.