|— Province —|
|• Total||129,285 km2 (49,917 sq mi)|
|• Density||7.4/km2 ( 19/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+03:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||IRST (UTC+04:30)|
The province has an area of 131,575 km², and according to the most recent divisions of the country, is divided into eleven counties: Maybod, Mehreez, Taft, Ardakan, Behabad, Khatam, Sadogh, Bafq, Abar Kooh and Yazd, the capital. According to the 1996 census, Yazd province had a population of about 750,769, of which 75.1% were urban residents while 24.9% resided in rural areas. In 2006, Yazd had an estimated population of 1,033,291. The city of Yazd is the economic and administrative capital of the province and therefore the most heavily populated.
The population of Yazd is predominantly Persian, most of whom are Shi'a Muslims. There are also small Zoroastrian communities. The city of Yazd’s first mention in historic records predate it back to around 3000 years B.C. when it was related to by the name of Ysatis (also Υσάτης in ancient greek), and was then part of the domain of Medes, an ancient empire of Iran. Excavations of Gharbal Biz remaining from the Achaemenid period are another example of the antiquity of Yazd.
Zoroastrians have traditionally been populous in Yazd. Even now, roughly ten percent of the town's population according to some estimates adhere to this ancient religion, and though their Atashkadeh (Fire Temple) was turned into a mosque after the Islamic Conquest of Persia, a dignified new fire temple was inaugurated thirteen hundred years later.
History and historical attractions
In the course of history due to its distance from important capitals and its harsh natural surrounding, Yazd remained immune to major troops' movements and destruction from wars, therefore it kept many of its traditions, city forms and architecture until recent times.
Yazd hails from an ancient history. As an example, Tehran University and Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization have teamed up with France's CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) to carry out archeological studies in Yazd province as part of a project aiming at preparing archeological plans of the area from the Mesolithic era.
During the invasion of Genghis Khan in the early 13th century, Yazd became a safehaven and home for many artists, intellectuals, and scientists fleeing their war ravaged cities across Persia.
Yazd was visited by Marco Polo in 1272 A.D, who described it as a good and noble city and remarked its silk production industry. Isolated from any approach by a huge tract of monotonous desert, the vibrancy of Yazd often comes as a surprise.
Architecture of Yazd
Although more often described as the entrance to a now non-existent bazaar, the chief function of this building known as a Tekyeh, and the square before it, was to host the Ta'ziyeh, a cycle of passion plays commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, which takes place once a year during the mourning month of Moharram. The site dates from the fifteenth century amid the efforts of its eponymous builder, Amir Jalal Al-Din Chakhmagh, governor of Yazd.
Amidst the immense surrounding desert, Yazd retains elements of its old religion, traditions, and architecture, which is recognized by UNESCO for its architectural heritage . In 2004, the Majles allocated funds to help restore historical sites in Yazd in order to nominate Yazd as a Cultural Heritage city by UNESCO.
The word Yazd means feast and worship. The city of Yazd has resisted the modern urbanization changes and has so far maintained its traditional structure. The geographical features of this region have prompted residents to develop special architectural styles. For this reason, in the older part of the city most houses are built of adobe and have domed roofs (gonbad). These materials serve as an excellent insulation preventing heat from passing through.
The existence of special ventilation structures, called Badgirs is a distinctive feature of the architecture of this city (A Badgir is a high structure on the roof under which, in the interior of the building, there is a small pool).
The province of Yazd has one of the driest climates in Iran due to its location east of the Zagros mountains, making much of Yazd subject to the rain shadow effect. Low precipitation and a high rate of evaporation in summer months due to high summer temperatures are among the factors making much of this province one of the driest regions in Iran. The only moderating climatic factor is Yazd's high terrain elevation. Shir Kuh, located in Yazd, rises to 4000 m.
The University of Yazd was established in 1988. It has a noted college of Architecture specializing in traditional Persian Art and Architecture. Yazd and its nearby towns contain the following institutes of higher education:
- University of Yazd
- Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
- Yazd Institute of Higher Education - ACECR
- Islamic Azad University of Bafgh
- Islamic Azad University of Mehreez
- Islamic Azad University of Ardakan
- Islamic Azad University of Maybod
- Islamic Azad University of Taft
- Islamic Azad University of Yazd
- Yazd Sampad Information Center
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Yazd|
- Province of Yazd on Iran Chamber Society
- Yazd Geography and History
- Official website of Yazd Governorship
- Iran Chamber of Commerce
- Cultural Heritage Organization of Yazd Province
- Panorama inside the Masjid-i-Jame mosque
- Journal of Yazd - Detailed information on the culture and heritage and tourist attractions in Yazd crafts
||Semnan Province||Razavi Khorasan Province|
|Isfahan Province||South Khorasan Province|
|Fars Province||Kerman Province|
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