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    Ashkezar Watermill, Ashkezar, Yazd, Iran

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    Iran - Ashkezar Watermill, Ashkezar, Yazd, Iran

    Overview:

    When you hear the term ‘watermill’, you immediately think of a grassy outdoor area, birds chirping, and a waterfall turning the heavy wheel of a mill; the Ashkezar Watermill is about to completely break that reality!

    Built in the middle of the desert-town of Ashkezar, Yazd, Iran, the Ashkezar Watermill is one of the biggest watermills in all of Iran. Once upon a time, it was the flow of the vigorous Hematabad Qanat that effortlessly wheeled its heavy stones. The origins of the old mill can be found stemming from the turn of the 14th century; the Safavid Era. it is also said that it may date back to Ali Naqi Khan’s rule in the 19th century, the Ilkhanid Era.

     

     

    In the same way that it was constructed around the existence of Hematabad Qanat, when it dried up, a few decades ago, the watermill also seized its operation. It was around 70 years ago, when the qanat’s water became heavily coagulated with sand and debris. As a result, the mill was completely buried for decades. It took five years and the perseverance of the local elders and ICHTO to uncover the aged watermill once again.

     

     

    Currently a restoration project is underway, in order to rejuvenate the old mill and get it producing again!

    Yet another masterpiece of Persian architecture and ingenuity. If you thought the Persian qanat system was impressive then wait to hear about this technology that extended from it!

    For hundreds of years, it was Ashkezar’s sole producer of wheat flour. At its peak rate of production, the Ashkezar Watermillcould turn around 350 kilograms (or maybe 210 kilograms) of wheat into flour, per hour.

     

     

    The Ashkezar Watermill building is constructed in an octagonal shape with four of the sides measuring 4.8 meters and the other four 2.75 meters in width. Each small side includes an arch with a notch. Two chambers have been devised on the right and left angles as well as the southern cloister, which was used for storing the mill equipment. The southern section of the watermill was where all the action happened (the wheel and grinder).

    Needing to be powered by the qanat’s flow, the mill was constructed seven meters-deep underground. Since qanats use elevation-difference to create flow, the watermill had to be located under the qanat’s level to fully utilize its water pressure.

     

     

    The entire structure of Ashkezar Watermill is made of bricks. From its tall and beautiful arcades to its capping dome, brick by brick the delicate patterns were constructed by the masterful Persian builders. To get down to milling site, visitors must travel down a 56 meter staircase and pass through the beautifully rustic wooden doors waiting at the bottom.

    Ashkezar Watermill is one of the 18 water mills in the province to have been registered on the National Heritage List.


    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.