Registering Yazd as a world cultural heritage

Yazd city was added to the World Heritage list. Iran ranked first in West Asia and 11th in the world with 22 sites. The UNESCO World Heritage List in Iran includes 21 historic sites and a natural legacy.

On Sunday July 9th, the historic city of Yazd was added to the World Heritage List, after being approved by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, as the twenty-second World Heritage site of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At a meeting in Krakow, Poland, out of 2,270 hectares, about 700 hectares of the old texture of the city were registered on the World Heritage List.

Yazd is currently the only city in Iran that has been registered on the World Heritage List. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that the city of Yazd is the largest residential adobe city in the world. The description of this global record states that Dolatabad Garden has played an effective role in this regard because it is one of nine gardens listed in the Iranian Garden List of World Heritage.

The UNESCO official website states that the city, as certified by the experts, is properly using limited resources for survival in the heart of the desert. The aqueduct system, mosques, baths, markets, traditional houses, Zoroastrian temples, old gardens, and traditional fabric of this city, represent overcoming limited resources.

The ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as the first speaker of the meeting, defended the city’s register in the global list by mentioning Yazd’s unique historic features and the city’s social and cultural life. Kuwait’s ambassador also supported register of Yazd and pointing to the historic structure and glorious adobe buildings assured the register of this unique city in UNESCO world list. The Turkish ambassador as another speaker of the summit, pointing to the multicultural characteristic of Yazd and the peaceful co-existence of Muslims, Zoroastrians, and Jews, described Yazd as a great asset to the world’s valuable heritage. At the meeting, the representatives of Vietnam, Tunisia and Lebanon also reaffirmed the city’s universal value, and finally, with the consensus of the members of the committee, Yazd city was registered in the UNESCO World list. 

Pointing to the dynamism of Yazd historic fabric, UNESCO’s representative said: the Yazdis have acted as a team for protecting their historic fabric and they have not forgotten its preservation even during critical times. “Mariana Curia” on the sidelines of the trip to Yazd to assess the historical fabric for listing in the World Heritage List said: I’m traveling to Iran for the 4th time and every time I enjoyed Iran’s historic works and the spiritual works of this country have always impressed me. She added: The people of Yazd, like other parts of the country, are hospitable and warmly welcome foreigners not only on the streets but also at their homes. Iranian soup and delicious food is very common at most of the adobe homes of Yazd.

UNESCO’s assessor stated: “The value of any site that wants to be registered at the cultural heritage is to go beyond geographical borders and become a human heritage, and when it becomes global, people from all over the world come to see the human heritage from the far past.”

Curia described qanat or underground waterway as one of the most beautiful works in Yazd and added: “It was attractive to wear boots and go inside qanat and see and feel its originality closely and when I entered there I felt as if I walked in hundreds of years ago and it’s a sense that should be of universal value.”

Referring to other architectural wonders in Yazd province, Curia said: “In the Garden of Dolatabad, I saw a splendid and unique architecture that lasted for has thousands of years and this is the art of hands of the masters. It has been taught to their students through generations to prevent it from being forgotten. According to Curia, another thing that uniquely exists in Yazd is the presence of Zoroastrians alongside Muslims, and this is a Cultural attraction

She considered Yazd the city of popular organs, saying: “In a city like Yazd, this should be the case, and with the endowment and assistance of the people, life will flow in the historical fabric of Yazd. The Yazdis know well how to deal with tourists, and when I return to my country, there are definitely a lot of things to share with others, because Yazdis not only pay special attention to tourists but they also receive immigrants well among themselves. And it is interesting to note that Yazd possesses the lowest number of crimes and this is very important.”

In a famous tourist guide books like “Lonely Planet”, the city of Yazd is described as: “Yazd with unique tourist attractions, windward and old adobe buildings is undoubtedly one of the extraordinary travel destinations to Iran. It has been able to accommodate the oldest civilian attractions by separating the northern part of Kavir Desert and the southern part of Lut Desert. Here is the origin of the largest Zoroastrian community in Iran. The combination of an ancient desert city and a legacy from the juxtaposition of different religions have created a different and calm atmosphere in Yazd. The development of streets with trees on them has not been harmed its cohesion, but has somehow been solved in the existing fabric. The city has always been known as a large textile center, because silk and other textiles were known to the Silk Road even before Marco Polo’s long journey (in the late 13th century). Meanwhile, Yazd is famous throughout the world for its windtowers. Windtowers have been built to cool the air in this desert region. “

Yazd is located in the center of Iran. It has remained almost intact and undergone the least change throughout years and centuries. Yazd city is the capital of Yazd province in the center of Iranian desert. The city is located between two mountain ranges of Shirkouh and Kharanaq in a large desert known as Yazd-Ardadan desert. Some geographers attribute the history of Yazd to the Sassanid king Yazdgerd, but the climax of the city’s development was in the eighth century AH.

Yazd is ranked among the first Iranian cities in terms of literacy rate and last year for the successive 23 years the Yazdis became the first in the entrance examinations of Iranian universities. Another name of Yazd is the “the city of windtowers”, “bride of desert” and “city of bicycles”. From the middle of the seventh century, the city became an important stop for the caravans who plan to travel to Central Asia and India. In these travels, silk, all kinds of textiles and even carpet were exported to other countries. Marco Polo described Yazd as “a very beautiful and unique city, originally a large business center.”

Yazd was totally destroyed during the time of Genghis khan and Timur, but it restarted thriving in the 15th century. What was later added to it was originally built on the remnants of the ancient heritage. But the unique features of Yazd are still eye-catching to every tourist.

The old city of Yazd is originally one of the oldest cities on Earth. Almost the entire historical and ancient fabric of Yazd city is made of adobe and the result of this architecture is the horizontal line below which there are brownish buildings making the perspective more eye-catching. Jame’ Mosque is one of the main tourist attractions in Yazd. Its construction dates back to the 12th century. In the courtyard of this mosque there is a pathway that is said to lead to Zarch underground waterway. Seyed Rokneddin’s tomb with its blue dome can be seen from every high point in the city. The Lari House, which dates back to 150 years ago, is another tourist attraction in Yazd. The famous Sekandar Prison, which was once a school, is another famous attraction of the city.

 Amir Chakhmagh complex, in a market with the same name, is one of the few unique monuments among the ancient and historical sites that can be considered as a symbol of every historical, religious and artistic feature of this beautiful and lovely city. Similarly, Dolatabad Garden, which once belonged to Karim Khan Zand, dates back to the 18th century. The windtower of this garden is basically the biggest in the city, and the interior of the garden is also very beautiful. In addition to all these unique architectural masterpieces, one can mention specific collections, including the fire temple and the famous Khamoushan tower of Yazd which is unique in its style.

Yazd is a unique city, with its ancient alleys and neighborhoods. It invites everyone with any taste to discover new sceneries.

FK/RM/ME

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