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Yazd, Bride of Desert
The city of Yazd first mention in historic records predate it back to around 3000 years B.C. when it was related to by the name of Ysatis, and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient settler of Iran. The city of Yazd is located in the eastern part of central Iran situated on the high, desert plateau that forms much of the country. Amidst the immense desert, Yazd retains its sterling of old in religion, traditions and architecture. In the course of history due to its distance from important capitals and its harsh natural surrounding, Yazd remained immune to major troops' movements and destruction from wars, therefore it kept many of its traditions, city forms and architecture until recent times. During the invasion of Genghis Khan in the early 1200 A.D. Yazd became a safe haven and home for many artists, intellectuals and scientists fleeing their war ravaged cities around Persia.Yazd was visited by Marco Polo in 1272, who described it as a good and noble city and remarked its silk production. Isolated from any approach by a huge tract of monotonous desert, the vibrancy of Yard is invariably a surprise.The word Yazd means, feast and worship, The city of Yazd has resisted the modern urbanization changes and maintained its traditional structure. The geographical features of this region have made people developed special architectural styles. For this reason, in the older part of the city most houses are built of mud-bricks and have domed roofs. These materials served as insulation preventing heat from passing through. The existence of special ventilation structures, called Badgir, on the roofs is a distinctive feature of the architecture of this city (A Badgir is a high structure on the roof under which, in the interior of the building, there is a small pool). Therefore, Yazd has presented its stable identity at the foothills of the 4000 meter Shir Kooh

To me and to many others, nothing is comparable with spending a night under the shallow ceiling of desert's sky whose all shining stars seem reachable. Imagine you witness this beautiful scene in a quiet night of a very old city made out of clay, which can not easily get rid of the warmth the sun has granted during the day.With one third of Iran covered with deserts, having such a delightful night is not a hard work. One of the oldest, largest and most charming desert cities, lies somewhere in the middle of Iran, in the middle of ancient silk road. It is so beautiful that people call it "the pearl of desert".

The whole city is made out of clay and adobe; it seems that it has risen out of sand. Yazd's architecture is unique. During its long history, Yazd and Yazdies have adapted themselves to the desert surrounding. It is also called, the city of "Badgirs". Badgirs are that chimney like structures raised on the roofs of Yazdies’ houses. Of course they are not chimneys; they are kind of ancient and still working ventilation systems. They gather the even faintest breezes of the desert and channel them into the building below.In the interior of the building there is usually a small pool and a central courtyard with old trees which through a narrow corridor finds its way out to a narrow alley. Still you may find some heavy wooden doors with male and female knockers. Walking through these winding narrow alleys in the evening would leave you an unforgettable memory. It seems that time has stopped.

People are still living in their Old Persian traditions. Some times when passing the houses, you may smell a delicious Yazdi food which would make you feel hungry. Yazdies are also great experts of making confectionary and sweet which have a long background and are famous in the country. Yazd's handicrafts such as rug, small carpets, Kilim, Termeh (a gorgeous hand-made silk tapestry), pottery, earthenware and ceramic are also famous. In order to find them all you need to call on bazaar.Domed twisting lane of small shops makes up one of the main symbols of Persian tradition. Bazaar twists and turns and eventually leads to Friday Mosque, one of the finest in Iran. The portal’s facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling blue tiles.

Like her sisters, Yazd is granted with great Islamic architecture and culture, but unlike them Yazd is unique in its Zoroastrian culture. Yazd is the holiest city for Zoroastrians. They hold their rituals on different occasions and every year, Zoroastrians from all over the world come here to see the sacred fire that has been burning without interruption for 1500 years. In the outlying southern suburbs of town are Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, where the bodies of believers were once left to the vultures after death.Despite the unmerciful adversities, desert's mysterious silence and unforgettable nights has endless fascination for nature lovers. Moreover, for the ones who adore people, culture, tradition, history and architecture, we cannot think of any other city that preserves so much of the traditional atmosphere better than "Bride of Desert".