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    City Walls of Yazd Iran

    / 10th century
    Yazd - City Walls of Yazd   Iran


    • Working Hours: No limits

    The city walls of Yazd are one of the finest expressions of a vital tradition of military architecture in Central Iran, witnessed in varying scale from fortified villages, road outposts, provincial castles, imperial citadels to ramparts enclosing entire cities. A junction of both inter city and regional trade routes, Yazd has predictably been a fortified settlement since its inception in the Sassanid period. However, the larger military strategic importance of its geographical location within the Kavir region led to its successive building and expansion as one of Iran's most famed city fortifications. Built largely of mud brick and mud straw mixture reinforced with timber, the Yazd walls demonstrate a visual continuity in color, scale and form with the built fabric of the town. The Yazd city walls form a large part of the earliest known descriptions of the city, dating from the tenth century which describe a well-built, fortified city with iron gates, then known as Kathah. The walls, thus can be seen to not only have influenced the layout, orientation and expansion of urban built form but be intrinsically linked to the city's perceived and projected identity.



    The city walls of Yazd have traditionally been the last shelter of threatened and eventually displaced Persian imperial dynasties. It was one of the last bastions to hold out against the Islamic, Seljuk, Mongol, Timurid, Safavid and Afghan invasions of Iran over the past millennium. Ala ud Daulah Kakoui of the Kakoui dynasty that replaced the Seljuks in 1033 is the first recorded constructor of the city's walls. The Fahadan and Seyed Golesorkh fortifications can be traced to the Kakoui period. However, the earliest existing portions of the wall and moat can be traced to constructions between 1346-47, in the Muzaffarid period as part of a larger urban design exercise to create a new imperial capital for the provinces Kerman, Fars and Shiraz. The contemporary fortifications of Shahzadeh Fazel and Kohneh castle lie in the urban area within the Muzaffarid walls, still known as shahr-e-koneh or old city. The siege and occupation of Yazd by Timur in 1393 brought about the single largest rebuilding of the city walls till date. In stark contrast to his reputation as a city pillager and destroyer, Timur exempted Yazd from taxes, undertook large urban building exercises and ordered portions of the city's southern wall to be entirely replaced, strengthened and extended with new barbicans. This strong machicolated wall, often over 15 meters high was only incrementally added to or repaired in the subsequent Safavid and Qajar periods. Large portions of the city walls encompassing the Shahr-e Nau or new city were demolished in the Pahlavi and present day Republican periods, to accommodate urban growth and expanding traffic routes.




    More imposing and richer in architectonic qualities than the similar mud brick city walls of Bam, Yazd's walls were built before the active use of gunpowder in warfare. The influx of war technologies introduced by invading armies gave birth to circular, larger and more closely spaced barbican towers that allowed defenders to target the invader's vulnerable flank. Protected crenellations with arrow slits provided defensive positions while series of sluices allowed invaders to be discouraged by boiling oil or burning pitch. The walls were double layered with a high protective external curtain supported by a lower inner wall. The hollow space sandwiched between accommodated tiered firing galleries that allowed different firing angles and range for defending armies. Designed for defense against archers, catapults and other projectile attacks in long fought military sieges in medieval times, the walls proved ineffective and ironically harmful in nineteenth and twentieth century artillery battles. Lack of maintenance brought down what was not purposefully demolished to keep pace with changing methods of defense, transport and urban sanitation. Today, sections of the walls show eroded crenellations atop ramparts and deterioration of the lower base by water seepage and human activity caused corrosion.

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    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.


    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.