January 18, 2017 1012 GMT
Extending over an area of 131,575sq.kms., Yazd Province is situated in the central plateau of Iran on the periphery of Lut Desert which boasts both hot and cool climate. Its hot summer days are made moderate by coolness of the night breeze. The twinkling of the stars adds to the beauty of the dark nights of the desert.
Yazd has 11 townships, 23 towns, 20 districts and 51 villages. It borders Semnan Province to the northwest, Isfahan Province to the west, Fars Province to the south and southwest, Khorasan Razavi Province to the northeast, South Khorasan Province to the east and Kerman Province to the east and southeast.
In terms of natural geography, Kavir-e Zarrin is the lowest spot with an altitude of 666 meters, while Shirkouh Mountain, situated in Taft, is the highest place whose elevation reaches 4,075 meters.
The most important aquifers of Yazd include the plains from Shirkouh foothills to Mehriz plains, Yazd and Ardakan. The water is used for agricultural and gardening as well as drinking and industrial uses in Mehriz, Yazd, Sadouq, Meybod, Ardakan and Taft. Exploitation of the aquifers has primarily been in the form of numerous aqueducts, but it is currently done through aqueducts and deep wells. There are 2,949 aqueducts in Yazd Province, the overall length of which is estimated to be 2,663.4km. With a total number of 1,473 aqueducts (about 924.6km), Taft township has the highest number of aqueducts in the province. Among the oldest aqueducts of Yazd Province, one can name Firoozabad-Majomerd, Abshoor, Yaqoubi, and Dehabad. Other important aqueducts of the province are Qanat-e Zarch, Vaqfabad, Qanatabad, Ahrestan, Qanat-e Ghiasabad, Qanat-e Taft, and Qanat-e Nassiri. The longest aqueduct of the province is Qanat-e Zarch, originating from mountains to the south of Mehriz and ending in Zarch. It is noteworthy that the history of aqueducts in Iran dates back to 3,000 years and they are known as one of the wonders of the world.
Aqueduct ― a phenomenon originated from the creative minds of Iranians ― has constantly been developed. Aqueduct forms the foundation and base for emergence, development and survival of cities and villages. Evidence shows that with 31,000 aqueducts, Iran is the cradle of aqueduct civilization and Yazd is the outstanding center of this culture.
Situated on the periphery of the desert, Yazd has dry and cold climate. Yazd is divided into three climatic desert areas, mountainous and semi-mountainous, and plain and desert areas. The average rainfall in Yazd fluctuates between 160mm and 210mm. The rainfall usually occurs in higher locations and as we proceed closer to the plains, the rainfall gets to its minimum which is about 50mm. Kavir-e Siakouh, Kavir-e Rig-e Zarrin and Darreh Anjir have the minimum rainfall in the province.
The mountains, deserts and the plains — together with the unbearable heat ― form the unique natural and tourism potentials of the province. The vast expanse of desert with the brilliant sunshine ― together with the beauty of stars ― and the high mountains with their long caves and constant springs attract every visitor leaving an unforgettable memory of the desert in his/her mind. The sand dunes and hills, the height of which can reach 100m, create dazzling perspectives together with the wild flowers growing there.
People of Yazd city are of Aryan race, and rarely have mixed with non-Iranian races due to the geographical location and historical background. The population of Yazd is over 1,060,000. The religion of the people is Islam and their sect is Ja'fari. Other minorities such as Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians coexist in peace in Yazd and speak their ancestors' languages. The name of the city originates from its history. Yazd is a word originating from ancient words.
The cultural potentials and historical monuments as well as adobe, mud-brick and other construction materials ― used in the desert area of the province ― are as follows:
Mosques, caves, springs, underground watercourses (qanats), wind towers, the narrow alleys known as friendship alleys, knocker and closing ring, handicrafts, tile making, gardens, fire temple, Silent Towers, ancient mansions, Kamal Synagogue, bazaars, towers, fortresses, watermills, holy shrines, pigeon towers, caravanserais, the adobe ice houses, citadels, traditional hotels, traditional bathhouses, the protected areas, the Zoroastrian pilgrim sites, rock paintings on Ernan Mountain, 4,000-year-old cypress tree, Mount Eagle, the historical texture of Kharanaq, the Zoroastrians' pilgrimage site of Chak Chak, potteries and ceramics, Taft Observatory, Alexander Prison and famous Yazdi sweets like 'baqlava'.