logo
  • About us
  • Share

    Ziyaiyeh School Yazd, Iran

    / 15th century
    Yazd - Ziyaiyeh School  Yazd, Iran

    Overview:

    • Working Hours: 8 am. to 8 pm. and 8 am. to 7 pm. on holidays
    • Plan Your Visit: Half an hour

    Ziyaiyeh School, also known as as Alexander's Prison or Eskandar Prison, with about 8 centuries of historical background is located beside Twelve Imams Shrine in Fahadan Neighborhood in Yazd. Its Architectural style is Azerbaijani style.

     

     

    This 15th-century domed school gets the name of Alexander's Prison because of a reference to this apparently dastardly place in a Hafez poem. The story goes that during the reign of Alexander the Macedonian, a number of Iranian elite resisting his domination went on an uprising in Rey (Near Tehran). He had them arrested, and on his way through Yazd imprisoned them in a dungeon which refers to a deep well in the courtyard of this building. Eskandar Prison is currently advertised as been built as a mosque and Ziaiyeh religious school and to have no connection to Alexander. The complex contains a deep, circular, brick-lined pit almost 10 meters in diameter resembling an ancient dungeon found at the heart of the old. There is also a well and some nooks in the courtyard. It is alleged by some to have been built by Alexander to hold his captives during his conquest of Persia and alleged by others to have been built by the Persians to hold Alexander himself. Whatever the true story, the complete complex itself is almost certainly a later construction.

     

     

    The dome of Eskandar Prison is made of raw clay and is decorated with plaster works and golden and azure watercolor. The noteworthy architectural features of the dome are traceable in other domes dating to the Mongolian period in Iran. Each side of the domed tower is almost 9 meters long and it rises almost 18 meters tall. There is little left of the inscriptions inside the dome but from what remains it appears to be kufic writings. The material used in much of the building is clay; however, it has been restored with bricks in the past few decades. Some steep stairs lead the way down into the dungeon although nowadays it is a beautiful room decorated with tables and red carpets and serves as a tea house.

     

     

    The original purpose of the building is unknown but it now serves as an Ethnographic Museum. Inside, there is a detailed scaled model of the old city and a collection of labeled archaeological artifacts that were dug up around the city. What really brings the museum to life however is the staff of traditionally trained artisans who are on hand to show off their skills by working the old wood framed looms and throwing clay pots to demonstrate the crafts that made the city famous throughout Persia and along the old Silk Road to China.

     

     

    It should me mentioned though that the museum has more gift shops than actual exhibits, selling the works of the artisans who are trained in the small school on site, which has lead this place to be dismissed by some visitors as a tacky tourist trap. In recent years, the complex has attracted an increasing number of tourists for Norooz.

     

     

    In 2006 for the first time, Cultural Heritage authorities undertook an elaborate program to treat Eskandar Prison with pesticides to negate the threat of termites. Eskandar Prison is a registered in Iranian National Heritage.

     

    Notes & Recommendations:

    Weekly holiday: Does not have

    Annual holidays: 5 days in a year (The 5 Major holidays)

    Nearest tourist attractions: Tomb of the Twelve Imams, Larrys' House, Chehelmehrab Mosque, Jame Mosque of Yazd, Abulmaali Bath


    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.

    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.