Yazd is a city in central Iran and the capital of the Yazd province. It is an ancient city dating back to the Sassanian Period (224-651 AD).

Yazd is a city in Iran, capital of Yazd Province.

Located on the central Iranian plateau, between the Dasht-e Kavir desert in the north and the Dasht-e Lut in the south, the city is surrounded by salt lakes.


According to UNESCO, this would be one of the oldest cities in the world, after Ur, in Mesopotamia. Yazd was known 3000 years BC. Under the name of "Yasatis" or "Issatis", located on the territories of the Medes, Indo-European people. Media spread geographically from the Elbourz range to that of the Zagros, to the east and south in present-day Iran. Yazd is known as a Sassanid city, the city of Zoroastrians and caravanserais.

For a brief period, Yazd was the capital of the dynasties of Atabakan and Mozaffarides (at the beginning of the fourteenth century). During the Qadjar dynasty (at the beginning of the 18th century), the province of Yazd was governed by the Khans Bakhtiaris Khans.

Renowned for its silk, this former caravan town founded its prosperity on its trade until the 17th century.

The Towers of Silence, the temple of Ateshkadeh and the fortress of the Lions are the occasion to discover the Zoroastrian religion, predominant on the Iranian plateau before the Arab-Muslim conquest. A small Zoroastrian community is still present in Yazd. The Zoroastrian fire temple at Yazd (Ateshkadeh) contained a traditional fire that was kept on by Zoroastrian priests uninterrupted for more than a thousand hundred years. Naren Fort is the oldest mud brick structure of the pre-Islamic period of Iran. Similarly, the mosque of Jâme 'is an example of Islamic architecture dating back more than a thousand years. Finally, the town which was placed along the Silk Road became the home of caravans and many travelers and merchants. Marco Polo in his Travel Stories speaks of "the noble city of Yazd", which he visited in 1292.

Yazd is the big city of Iran which enjoys the most arid climate with a rainfall of only 60 mm per year. The city was only able to develop thanks to the presence of an oasis at its site. In summer, temperatures can be torrid with peaks near 40 ° C, in winter temperatures can drop below 0 ° C in the early morning due to dry air and lack of nebosity.

Yazd has always developed an architecture adapted to its extreme environment. The simple and traditional architecture of the city - partly built of clay - contrasts with modern constructions. The houses are traditionally adobe, with flat roofs dominated by high towers (the famous badgir (brick towers) of which the one of Dowlat-abad, beautiful example of Iranian architecture of the desert) serving for the ventilation. This original system allowed in summer to circulate the air to cool the interior of the houses.

Similarly, the houses, which are generally low (maximum two storys), have been extended into the basement (one to four storeys below ground) to combat climatic extremes. The city procures water through underground canals diverting the sources of mountainous deserts. These qanats, dug and maintained by man, run over distances sometimes several kilometers, to supply collective underground cisterns or particular, for the houses of the richest families.

The harsh winter makes it possible to supply large adobe (yakhchal) rammed earth over 30 meters high, which keep the ice all year round despite the heat of the hot season.

The architecture of this city, due to its millennium adaptation to the strong climatic constraints, allowed the prosperity of the city despite an unfavorable environment. It is a case study for all the universities of architecture.