The World City of Yazd

According to Iranian historians when Alexander the Great was on his way to Khorassan (a province in the east of Iran) he built a castle in Yazd and named it Kaseh (which means prison in Greek). This was later called Zulqarnain’s Prison and today is popularly known as “Alexander’s Prison”.  Zulqarnain is an epithet used in the Quran, which some scholars believe refers to Alexander. Whether Kaseh was actually Yazd or a town near Yazd which later merged together with Yazd is uncertain. There is another tale about Alexander’s connection to Yazd involving Aristotle, the great philosopher and Alexander’s teacher. According to this narrative, Aristotle found Yazd to be a proper place for captives, saying: “Yazd is a sandy land with a stable climate, so as long as the sand particles do not mingle, the captives cannot unite”. Hafez-e-Shirazi, the renowned poet in the 14th century also mentions Alexander’s Prison in his poetry. The name “Yazd” is believed to be derived from the word yazdan which means God in Persian.

 

Historical documents attest to the essential role Yazd had in the Silk Road trade and international trade, as referenced by Marco polo in the 13th century who praises the ‘noble and resourceful people’ of Yazd and the famed silk fabrics of Yazd. Another distinguishing factor about the history of Yazd is the prominent role women had in its development and deserves merit as the city of innovative women. Anushiruwan (the Sassanid king in 531-579) had two children, a son and a daughter. He granted authority over Yazd to his daughter Mehrnegar, and she embarked on major developments in Yazd. After Anushiruwan, Khosrow Parviz became the king, who did the same thing and gifted Yazd to his two daughters, Irandokht and Turandokht; today the village named Turan Posht is a memorial to her and that era. Also, during the Islamic period, the role of the Turkic princesses in the prosperity of Yazd is undeniable.

 

As the first adobe city of the world, Yazd is remarkable in many ways; its earthen architecture and narrow alleyways are reminders of the first villagers of the world. The introverted architecture of Yazd is a collection of beautiful houses, minarets, wind catchers, and domes, which transport visitors to the depths of history. The wind catchers or the coolers of those times were so amazing that Sir Percy Sykes, a 19th century British soldier and diplomat has described them this way: “The minarets and wind catchers of Yazd are reminiscent of the stories of “A Thousand and One Nights”. The qanat system (underground water channels) is also an impressive example of sustainable development which began in Yazd some four thousand years ago.

Yazd

According to Iranian historians when Alexander the Great was on his way to Khorassan (a province in the east of Iran) he built a castle in Yazd and named it Kaseh (which means prison in Greek). This was later called Zulqarnain’s Prison and today is popularly known as “Alexander’s Prison”.  Zulqarnain is an epithet used in the Quran, which some scholars believe refers to Alexander. Whether Kaseh was actually Yazd or a town near Yazd which later merged together with Yazd is uncertain. There is another tale about Alexander’s connection to Yazd involving Aristotle, the great philosopher and Alexander’s teacher. According to this narrative, Aristotle found Yazd to be a proper place for captives, saying: “Yazd is a sandy land with a stable climate, so as long as the sand particles do not mingle, the captives cannot unite”. Hafez-e-Shirazi, the renowned poet in the 14th century also mentions Alexander’s Prison in his poetry. The name “Yazd” is believed to be derived from the word yazdan which means God in Persian.

 

Historical documents attest to the essential role Yazd had in the Silk Road trade and international trade, as referenced by Marco polo in the 13th century who praises the ‘noble and resourceful people’ of Yazd and the famed silk fabrics of Yazd. Another distinguishing factor about the history of Yazd is the prominent role women had in its development and deserves merit as the city of innovative women. Anushiruwan (the Sassanid king in 531-579) had two children, a son and a daughter. He granted authority over Yazd to his daughter Mehrnegar, and she embarked on major developments in Yazd. After Anushiruwan, Khosrow Parviz became the king, who did the same thing and gifted Yazd to his two daughters, Irandokht and Turandokht; today the village named Turan Posht is a memorial to her and that era. Also, during the Islamic period, the role of the Turkic princesses in the prosperity of Yazd is undeniable.

 

As the first adobe city of the world, Yazd is remarkable in many ways; its earthen architecture and narrow alleyways are reminders of the first villagers of the world. The introverted architecture of Yazd is a collection of beautiful houses, minarets, wind catchers, and domes, which transport visitors to the depths of history. The wind catchers or the coolers of those times were so amazing that Sir Percy Sykes, a 19th century British soldier and diplomat has described them this way: “The minarets and wind catchers of Yazd are reminiscent of the stories of “A Thousand and One Nights”. The qanat system (underground water channels) is also an impressive example of sustainable development which began in Yazd some four thousand years ago.

Yazd

According to Iranian historians when Alexander the Great was on his way to Khorassan (a province in the east of Iran) he built a castle in Yazd and named it Kaseh (which means prison in Greek). This was later called Zulqarnain’s Prison and today is popularly known as “Alexander’s Prison”.  Zulqarnain is an epithet used in the Quran, which some scholars believe refers to Alexander. Whether Kaseh was actually Yazd or a town near Yazd which later merged together with Yazd is uncertain. There is another tale about Alexander’s connection to Yazd involving Aristotle, the great philosopher and Alexander’s teacher. According to this narrative, Aristotle found Yazd to be a proper place for captives, saying: “Yazd is a sandy land with a stable climate, so as long as the sand particles do not mingle, the captives cannot unite”. Hafez-e-Shirazi, the renowned poet in the 14th century also mentions Alexander’s Prison in his poetry. The name “Yazd” is believed to be derived from the word yazdan which means God in Persian.

 

Historical documents attest to the essential role Yazd had in the Silk Road trade and international trade, as referenced by Marco polo in the 13th century who praises the ‘noble and resourceful people’ of Yazd and the famed silk fabrics of Yazd. Another distinguishing factor about the history of Yazd is the prominent role women had in its development and deserves merit as the city of innovative women. Anushiruwan (the Sassanid king in 531-579) had two children, a son and a daughter. He granted authority over Yazd to his daughter Mehrnegar, and she embarked on major developments in Yazd. After Anushiruwan, Khosrow Parviz became the king, who did the same thing and gifted Yazd to his two daughters, Irandokht and Turandokht; today the village named Turan Posht is a memorial to her and that era. Also, during the Islamic period, the role of the Turkic princesses in the prosperity of Yazd is undeniable.

 

As the first adobe city of the world, Yazd is remarkable in many ways; its earthen architecture and narrow alleyways are reminders of the first villagers of the world. The introverted architecture of Yazd is a collection of beautiful houses, minarets, wind catchers, and domes, which transport visitors to the depths of history. The wind catchers or the coolers of those times were so amazing that Sir Percy Sykes, a 19th century British soldier and diplomat has described them this way: “The minarets and wind catchers of Yazd are reminiscent of the stories of “A Thousand and One Nights”. The qanat system (underground water channels) is also an impressive example of sustainable development which began in Yazd some four thousand years ago.

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