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Silk Road Tours

Silk Road Tours offer tailor made holidays through Central Asia, The Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa

Yazd

Yazd grew wealthy due to its strategic location on the trade routes from India and Central Asia and the size of this trade is evidenced by the number of ruined caravanserais one passes on the roads to both Isfahan and Shiraz. As a desert city it is famous for its unique architecture with houses being cooled in the baking summers by wind towers or Badgirs, the tallest of which at 33 metres is located in Bagh-i Dawlatabad (or Governor’s Pavilion) surrounded by beautiful Persian gardens – a welcome relief in the summer heat. The city was also famous as a centre for Zoroastrianism until the 19th century when persecution led many to leave but their impact can still be seen at the Ateshkadeh or Fire Temple where a flame has been continually burning since at least 470AD and also the Towers of Silence on the outskirts of the city where the deceased where laid out to be de-fleshed by the vultures according the Zoroastrian tradition. Further places of note are the Masjid-i Jami and Zendan-i Iskandar or Alexander’s Prison which is now used as a theological college as well as the Mir Chaqmaq façade used as a viewing stand for the cities ceremonies and parades. Yazd also has one of the best preserved old towns in Iran and hours can be spent exploring its narrow alleyways and covered walk ways (covered to protect against the heat of the sun) or exploring its bazaar – famous for the Yazdi sweets.