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    Meybod Ice house (Yakhchal), Meybod, Yazd, Iran

    Meybod - Meybod Ice house (Yakhchal), Meybod, Yazd, Iran


    • Price: 2 $
    • Working Hours: 9 am. to 7 pm.
    • Plan Your Visit: Half an hour

    A yakhchal or ice chamber is an ancient natural refrigerator which was mainly built and used in Iran to store ice, but sometimes was utilized to store food as well. In the summer, people living in nearby villages used to satisfy their ice needs from such structures. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material kept the outside heat from reaching the interior space all year long.

    Generally ice chambers contained ice pools, walls, an ice ditch and a lofty dome. For the most part it was a large underground space, with a volume at times being up to 5,000 cubic meters, with thick walls of at least 2 meters thick at its base and composed of sand, lay, egg whites, lime, goat hair and ash in specific proportions, thus making it resistant to heat transfer. The mixture was often thought to be water impenetrable. The space often had access to a qanat and often contained a system of wind catchers that could easily reduce the inside temperature in the summer down to frigid levels.

    In the winter, a certain amount of water would be stored within the thick and high walls of designated chambers, the bottom surfaces of which would be completely flat. The winter cold during the night would be sufficient to produce a few centimeters of ice each night. This method needed a skilled approach in judging the rate of ice production at each stage. Once the thickness of the ice reached 30-40 centimeters, it was broken into pieces and stored in the circular ice chambers. A few canals were constructed in the bottom of the ice chambers to collect any ice melt during the hotter times. Each ice layer would be covered with straw to keep it separate from its neighboring layers. Each ice chamber would have 2 corridors; one for storing ice blocks in the winter and one for retrieving them in the summer.

    The icehouse of Meybod is situated by a caravan road, 50 kilometers north of Yazd and adjacent to some historic structures such as a reservoir and the main caravansary of the city. This building has remained intact and is considered as a perfect example of the architectural style of its time. It is believed to date back to the Safavid era.

    The surface of this ice pool expands about 8,000 square meters. The walls of the ice chamber are 2 meters thick and 8 meters tall. The southern, eastern and western walls are 42, 20 and 20 meters long respectively. The eastern wall has collapsed. An entrance measuring 2.2 meters wide and 2 meters high leads to the storage area and the dome. The axial plane of the dome is some 300 square meters with an approximate height of 15 meters. The storage area has a 13 meter diameter with a depth of 6 meters which is located below the dome. The thickness of the walls under the dome gradually dwindle down in thickness from the top so that the 2.4 meter wall narrows at the bottom of the pedestal to 25 centimeters. Rains and storms have somewhat damaged the northwestern side of the dome.

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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.