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    Zarach Qanat Yazd, Iran

    Yazd - Zarach Qanat  Yazd, Iran


    Zarach Qanat (Zarach Aqueduct), the longest Qanat in the world is located in Zarach City, Yazd province, Iran. This aqueduct emanates from Fahraj village, 60 km away from Yazd. It is one of the most ancient Qanats in Iran, about 3000 years old, and is estimated to belong to Sassanid dynasty.

    The Qanat length is 80 km (with branches) at a depth of 23 meters. There are also 2115 vertical access shafts on the route of the Qanat. This Qanat is known as the longest Qanat in the world and one of its features is its square section.



    Creating a reliable supply of water for the major human settlement in Yazd and providing irrigation in hot and arid villages of the suburban areas, the Qanat transported water as long as 120 kilometers and watered 425 hectares of land.

    The Qanat also powered the Vazeer Mill in Koushk No district of Yazd city where it passes 30 meters below the surface of the city and has a slow sloping entry into the mill.

    Plans are devised for restoring and conserving the section of Qanat between the Vazeer Mill and the Jameh Mosque of Yazd (also known as the grand congregational mosque of Yazd city) where there are 7 payabs and 2 pasheers on the passage.



    Pasheer is an underground chamber for dispensing water where one or sometimes more bronze faucets are provided to get water from the water reservoir (Ab anbar) behind the wall.

    Payab is a stairway leading to an underground chamber where there is a polygon slice on the floor on the passage of Qanat to provide access to water.

    An indigenous Iranian structure, a Qanat is a gently sloping underground channel with a series of vertical access shafts, used to transport water from an aquifer under a hill. Having been developed by the Persian people, the technology is seen in the fourth millennium BC in Iran and spread from there slowly westward and eastward.

    A part of the Zarach Qanat can actually be accessed within the Great Friday Mosque. Inside, there is a small opening on the ground that can easily be missed which leads to a payab (underground water chamber). This payab, which has been supplying the mosque the water it needs since it was erected, is one of the public openings of the Zarach Qanat. The properly lit stairway goes down to some 30 meters below the ground until one reaches the well. Going down through its small opening, several layers of water channels and chambers can be seen. Apparently, the site lies at the crossroad of three different Qanats, with the Zarach Qanat specifically powering the mill. It is also interesting to know that the temperature on the ground compared to the temperature down where the waters flow can differ from 17 to 20 degrees Celsius, making it a wonderful refuge from the heat outside.




    Notes & Recommendations:

    The Zarach Qanat runs as well under the Amir Chaqmaq Complex, but going there proved futile – there is no way to “see” the Qanat.

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    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.