Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The 8 day cultural trip to Iran - "Iranian Treasures" - (Day 7 late morning) - Yazd, around the Amir Chaqmaq complex - The 22nd of September 2014

We stopped briefly at an area known for its "vernacular buildings" which included ice houses, water cisterns, domestic houses embedded int narrow lanes and the spectacular windtowers, which despite having survived in Iran serve more as decoration.

The idea behind these windtowers is having a 30 cm high brick tower built, with one or more openings at the top and directional vents to catch the prevailing wind. The air is then funnelled into the building, either at ground floor level or lower with perhaps passing over a small pool or fountain to cool it further before being expanded to other rooms.

We then headed towards the Amir Chaqmaq complex, named after the former ruler of Yazd, known as being a prominent structure with a three storey elaborate façade of symmetrical sunken arched alchoves, which was undergoing works, making it difficult for us to get interesting photographs.

We walked around the square before heading towards the mosque bearing the same name, which was located not very far. I was drawn to the huge wooden nakhl, shaped like a giant palm leaf. It is normally draped in black cloth and carried by 70 or so young men during parades and ceremonies. 

Having been built by a local prince and his wife, said to be linked to the central Asian family of Timur, the mosque despite looking rather simple has quite an elaborate mosaic tile work.

Because it was prayer time we strolled around its courtyard and up onto the top floor, where we had a magnificent view over the city before being able to step into the prayer chamber, where Massoud gave us a lesson on the praying sequence and some of the praying rules. Just outside the praying chamber a very young child  in chador like clothing stood looking at us inquisitively. 


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