Meybod is a city in and capital of Meybod County, Yazd Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 58,295, in 15,703 families.

The History of Meybod

According to legend, Meybod was founded by the mythological king Kiomarth, the first Iranian king.

An ancient city dating back to the pre-Islamic period: the place was already inhabited during the Medes and many Sassanid coins were found there. These pieces present Meybod as one of the few cities of the time having right of coinage.

Meybod is a Sassanian city, built on a cruciform plan following the example of the Sassanid cities, with four portals opening to the four corners of the world.

The considerable presence of the Zoroastrians in certain territories reinforces certain hypotheses which consider that the name "Meybod" is derived from the Zoroastrian title "Mobad".

Invaded during the Muslim conquest by Said, son of Caliph Othman, the city of Meybod lived a long Arab domination during the Islamic era. Its apogee was under the Mozaffarid dynasty which dominated the central provinces of Iran in the 14th century (1318-1393).

Many historic monuments of Meybod were built or renovated by the Mozaffarides.
- The Mozaffariyeh school houses the tomb of its builder Emir Sharafoddin Mozaffari.
- The castle Nârin was the main military seat of the Mozaffarides.

The Mozaffarid dynasty will be dismantled by Tamerlane.

The Narin Qaleh

In the center of Meybod stands the oldest fortress in Iran, built more than two thousand years ago, the Narin Qaleh or Narenj (Narin) Castle.
The fortress dates from part of the Medes. It served as a military seat under the muzzafirides, and was conquered and then partly destroyed by the army of Tamerlane.

There is even a rumor that Narin Qaleh was built about 7000 years ago and was an ancient fire temple.
The people of the region also believe that the castle was the treasure chest of Solomon.
The fortress of Meybod is the subject of archaeological research but a few floors are open to visitors.

The position of this city is, unlike all the others of the environs, centered in the middle of the mountains.
It was necessary for the invaders to climb these mountains first, and then to traverse another 70 km, and only after preparing for all the usual events when we wanted to invade a castle like jets of water and burning oil.

The fortress stands 40 meters high from its base.
Four towers surround the castle.

The structure seems to have been the victim of many earthquakes throughout the ages.
Considering the fact that it is built only of mud bricks, it is very well preserved.

The castle is built as an ancient city, with three floors, a common living level downstairs, then a commercial and business part and a royal part (except the military part on the roof so that the patrols can to monitor distant distances in the event of a military invasion. The structure has a large underground chamber (now filled with rubble), perhaps a prison.



From the top of the terrace

It has a similarity in its design with the palace Ali Qapu of isfahan, because it has a terrace, which is accessed by two helical staircases.


Besides the fortress, Meybod is home to other historical monuments such as the Great Mosque, the Khadijeh Khatoun Mausoleum, the Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, a dovecote, badgirs, a yakhchal, a ceramic museum and a carpet museum.

Meybod was a center for the production of clay ceramics, and then since the end of the 19th century of siliceous ceramics, before devoting mostly, from the end of the 20th century, to porcelain.


The Yakhchal

A yakhchal is a natural, old refrigerator.
This semi-buried dome-shaped structure was used mostly to store ice, ice made in winter, to serve the rest of the year, but also sometimes to store food.

In Iran from the 4th century BC. AD, the Persian engineers already mastered the technique of storing ice in summer in the desert. The ice was brought from the surrounding mountains during the winter and then stored in yakhchals.

The yakhchal was a large buried space (up to 5,000 m³) that had walls at least two meters thick at the base, built with a special mortar called sarooj, consisting of sand, clay, egg, lime, goat hair and ash in specific proportions and resistant to heat transfer. The Iranians also believe that the mixture was completely waterproof.

This space was often connected to a qanat and also often had a badgir (wind tower) which could easily cool the temperatures during the summer days.

The stored ice was then used to make refreshments for the royal court. These structures were built and used mainly in Iran. Among those that survive today, many date back hundreds of years.