From Academic Kids

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Map of Iran and surrounding lands, showing location of Yazd

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The city of Yazd, as seen from the tall minarets of its 12th century mosque.

Yazd or Yezd (In Persian: یزد), is one of the most ancient and historical cities of Iran. The city is located some 175 miles southeast of Isfahan, at 31.92 North, 54.37 East. As of 2000 it had a population of about 350,000 people. The city is the capital of Iran's Yazd province.



Yazd is a unique desert city. Because of high quality and originality, handicrafts from Yazd enjoyed a global reputation before modern industrial mechanization, and they still possess such a quality comparatively. The delicacies, artwork, and architecture of Yazd are unique.


Yazd is an old and historical place and is located in the middle of Fars, Isfahan, Kerman and Khorasan provinces, making it an important crossroad during the ages. Arduous roads and shortage of water sources, among other reasons, have been a hindrance for conquering Yazd by various armies and invaders throughout history.

The city is known to date back to the 3rd millennium BC. It was anciently known as Ysatis. The city of Yazds first mention in historic records predate it back to around 3000 years BC when it was related to by the name of Ysatis, and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient settler of Iran. 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 1200s AD Yazd became a safe haven and home for many artists, intellectuals and scientists fleeing their war ravaged cities around Persia. Accoriding to UNESCO, Yazd is the second largest city in the world constructed using adobe. Yazd was settled on an oasis on a sandy plain.

The old part of the town is ringed by a tall mud-brick wall dating back to the 5th century.

Marco Polo wrote an account of visiting the city in 1272.He titles the city: the noble city of Yazd.

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The 12th century Congregation mosque of Yazd is still in use today. It was first founded by Ala'oddoleh Garshasb of the Al-e Bouyeh dynasty.

For a brief period, Yazd was the capital of Atabakan and Mozaffarid dynasties (14th Century AD). During Qajar dynasty (18th Century AD) it was ruled by the Bakhtiari Khans.

The City and province of Yazd hold many wonders of historic and architectural significance. A Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd holds a traditional fire which has been kept alight by Zoroastrian priests, continuously for over 1100 years. The Fort of Naren is Irans largest mud brick structure predating Islam. Caravansaries, Islamic architecture including the Jamea Mosque and many other works and art forms go back over 1000 years. Yazds wind-towers, which act as natural cooling systems for homes and public structures, remain a marvel of world architectural design and innovation. In addition, the city sat on the path of the ancient Silk Road and was the lodging and visiting spot for many travelers and merchants.

Yazd was long a center of Zoroastrian culture, though today many Zoroastrians have moved to the capital Tehran or abroad. The Zoroastrians have their own language called Dari. The fire of the main Zoroastrian temple in Yazd has been burning for over a millennium.

Yazd today

Yazd is one of Iran's industrial centers for textiles. There is a considerable ceramics and construction materials industry and a unique confectionaries and Jewelry industry active in Yazd. There are a number of other industries that are employing a notable portion of the population including agriculture, dairy, animal products, metal works and machines manufacturing.

There are a number of companies involved in the growing Information Technology industry, mainly manufacturing primary level materials such as cables and connectors. Currently Yazd is the home of the largest manufacturer of Fiber Optics in Iran.

Yazd's confectionaries have tremendous following throughout Iran as a delicacy, and not just a form of sweet or sweetener. This has lured many visitors to Yazd to try them closer to their source. Workshops keep their recipes a guarded secret and there are many that have remained a private family business for many generations and often housed at the same workshop location. The scent, taste and texture of the confectionaries resounds an art form; the formal placing of each product on large platters which is done by the workshops in geometrical designs, patterns and sometimes into sculptures, reflect the high value given to these products.

Famous residents

Universities of Yazd

The University of Yazd was established in 1988. It has a famous college of Architecture specializing in traditional Persian Art and Architecture. Many great architects such as Arata Isozaki (http://www.archpedia.com/Architects/Arata-Isozaki.html) and Rem Koolhaas have visited this school. Yazd and its nearby towns contain the following institutes of higher education:

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Yazd University's College of Architecture is famous for its traditional school of Persian vernacular Architecture

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