Yazd arose around the year 1000 BCE and was initially called Issatis (or Ysatis ). The current name of the city could go back to the Persian Great King Yazdegerd I (399-420/421), a ruler from the Sassanid dynasty . The city was distinguished by the fact that it was surrounded by desert and was therefore rarely involved in wars. It was also a center of Zoroastrianism. Even after the Sassanid Empire fell and the Muslim Arabs conquered Persia in the 7th century, Yazd remained predominantly Zoroastrian and was an exile for many co-religionists who had fled other cities. The Muslims tolerated this for a fee.
In the Middle Ages, Yazd was ruled primarily by the local dynasty of the Kakuyids and then by the Atabegs of Yazd. They ruled the city from about 1141 and were swept away by the Mongols in 1319.
In 1272 none other than the most famous traveler in the world came to Yazd. Parco Polo was particularly struck by the silk production at that time.
In the 14th century, Yazd briefly functioned as the capital of the Muzaffarid dynasty and was unsuccessfully besieged by Shaikh Abu Ishaq in 1350 and 1351. In addition to the Friday Mosque, many other special buildings also date back to this time.
In the 16th century, under Safavid rule, some people emigrated from Yazd and formed a settlement near what is now the Iran-Afghan border. This settlement they called Yazdi. It spreads out where the Afghan city of Farah now lies. Even today, people from this region have an accent similar to that of the people from Yazd.
In the 18th century Yazd came under the rule of the Bakhtiary Khans governors of the ruling Qayars.
In 1907 Yazd was of great importance: in that year the border points of the British-Russian spheres of interest in Persia were contractually defined. While British influence was to dominate south of a line from Yazd, the Russians fell to the north of that line.
In 2008, ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi (b. 1957) was transferred to Yazd Central Prison, where he has been in solitary confinement since January 2009. The ayatollah and author of many treatises has been accused of claiming to be a representative of the Mahdi, the so-called Hidden Imam. According to Shia belief, this 12th Imam will one day return to rule the Islamic world empire.
No, this is neither a prison nor a building by Alexander the Great. Rather, it is a 15th-century domed school. It is extremely interesting and equipped with a café in the “prison room”. Local guides tell that the fountain in the center of the courtyard was actually built by Alexander and used as a dungeon. But is that true? Doubtful!
Amir Chakhmakh Complex (also Mir Chakhmakh)
Although this imposing building is only known as the entrance gate of a bazaar, the Amir Chakhmakh complex is one of Yazd’s most wonderful and important structures. It is named after Amir Jalal al-Din Chakhmakh, a governor who ran the city’s affairs in Yazd in the 15th century. The stunning construction is used as a sort of tribune for funeral spectacles reminiscent of the Ashura that took place in the marketplace in front of the complex. The complex, which is close to the mosque of the same name, could once be climbed. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible.
Badgir of Bagh-e Dolat Abad
In the UNESCO-recognized garden of Bagh-e Dolat Abad stands Iran’s tallest and most famous badgir (wind tower). The octagonal structure rises a total of 33 meters. It belongs to the windscreen pavilion, a building from the 18th century.
Bogheh-ye Sayyed Roknaddin
The magnificent structure with its blue tiled dome is the tomb of Sayyed Roknaddin Mohammed Qazi, a highly honored Islamic saint. The mausoleum can be seen from all elevated points in Yazd and is around 700 years old. It is also very interesting inside for its impressive decorations. The door of the tomb is often locked. Best thing to do is just knock, which should wake up the janitor.
Tomb of the 12 Imams
Unfortunately, the tomb of the 12 Imams in the old town of Yazd has fallen into disrepair. Dating back to the early 11th century, it got its name because the names of the Imams of the Twelver Shia were carved inside the mausoleum. Of course, these are not buried here; only the Imam Reza, the 8th Imam, is on Iranian soil (in Mashhad ). All others are buried in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The 12th Imam is considered missing; Messianic power is attributed to him in the Shia.
An imamzade is a mausoleum or shrine where a descendant of an imam is buried. Buried in the Imamzade Jafar is a man named Muhammad Ibn Ali who died in Yazd. The building, which has been restored several times over the years, is located on Husain Street.
The Sayyid Nasrullah was a descendant of Ahl-ul-Bait and was honored with an Imamzade that has only recently been expanded and restored.
The Imamzade Sayyid Fatih-ud-Din Ridha is dedicated to a descendant of Ahl-ul-Bait. The shrine is located northeast of Yazd on the square of the same name.