Yazd province comprising 10 counties with an area of 73,477 square kilometers in the eastern part of Iran is the eighth largest province of the country. Its neighboring provinces include southern Khorasan, Isfahan, Kerman, and Fars. Most of its residents speak Farsi with the Yazdi dialect.
The archaeological findings in Narin Qal’eh, Meybod city, referring to the Elamite Empire (2700- 539 B.C.) indicate that Yazd province was on the way from Ray city to Kerman and from Pars to Khorasan. Furthermore, it was one of the lands of the Median Empire (678-549 B.C.).
In the aftermath of the advent of Islam in 651 A.D., the central regions of Iran fell to the hands of Muslims, and a group of Arab tribes settled in this area. Later, Yazd became a part of the Daylamite’s territory but when they were dethroned, Rokneddin Sam founded the Atabegs of Yazd as a local Dynasty (1141-1319) in the city.
During this period, many monuments and mansions were built which are still considered among the city’s most magnificent historical buildings. Timurid Dynasty (1370-1507) also expanded the city by valuable buildings. Although Yazd province was not raided following the invasion of the Afghan tribes to Iran, Ashraf Afghan took control of the region including this province. Qajar Dynasty (1796-1925) also contributed to the splendor of Yazd by numerous monuments that are still in place.
Because of the geographical status of Yazd province, various natural attractions including desert areas are of special interest to both domestic and inbound tourists.
However, what makes the province more attractive are architectural styles of its clay buildings, introducing it as the second-largest clay city in the world according to UNESCO.
Importantly, the overall historical part of Yazd has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, while the province has other UNESCO-registered attractions i.e., Hasan Abad Qanat and Zarch Qanat, Dowlat Abad Garden, and Pahlavanpur Garden.
Other important attractions of this province are Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, Old Bazaar of Yazd, Historical Complex of Amir Chakhmaq, Yazd Jam-e Mosque, Chak Shrine, Zein-o-Din Caravanserai, Narin Qal’eh of Meybod, Hojat Abad Vazir Historical Complex, Kharanagh Caravanserai and Mosque, Abarkooh Ice House, and Jameh Mosque of Fahraj.
The city also has special rituals like Nakhl Gardani, Sadeh, and Mehregan. Nakhl Gardani is the tradition of carrying a huge wooden cradle around the city to commemorate the tragic death of the third Shiite Imam, Imam Hussein, and his companions, in Muharam which is the first month of Islamic Calendar. The province is also known for hosting the largest population of Zoroastrians and their different events and rituals including Mehregan and Sadeh.
Of the Yazd’s handicrafts, we mention hand-made Termeh (handwoven fabric), curtain, carpet, velvet, Zari Douzi (a kind of brocade), saddlebag, handkerchief, woven mat, canvas, Boqcheh, and blanket.
The eatable souvenirs of the province include various traditional sweets, while some of the local foods are Shouli Shalgham, Zucchini Stew, Lappeh Kufteh, Vinegar Aush, Sour Meat Stew, and Quince-Plum Stew. Finally, Vahshi Bafghi (poet), Mohammad Karim Pirnia (architecture and historian), and Mohammad Hossein Paply Yazdi (geographer) are among the prominent figures of the province.