Yazd is located in the central part of Iran . The neighboring Kavir Loot (Loot desert) and the lack of rainfall give this province a dry climate.
Sheer Kooh’s peaks (Sheer mountains), in the south, are covered with snow year round. Yazd is called the windy city because the floating sand of the desert is the main geographical feature of the province. It has dry hot summers and cold winters.
Yazd dates from the Sassanid period. The geographical features of this region have made people develop special architectural styles. In the older part of the city, most houses are built of mud-bricks and have domed roofs. These materials serve as insulation, preventing heat from passing through. The majority of the people live in urban areas. Muslims constitute the majority of the population while Zorastrians and Jews are the minorities. Yazd province is rich in minerals such as iron, lead, zinc, copper and uranium.
According to some historians, Yazd was established by Yazdegerd I, of the Sassand Dynasty (339-420 AD). Because of the immense deserts, the Mongols did not invade this city, As a result, many poets, artists and scholars migrated to Yazd. During this period numerous schools, mosques and mausoleums were build in this city.
The mosque Masjid-e-Jame dates back to the 11th century. This mosque has a magnificent portal and two lofty minarets. The tile-work on the altar and dome are fascinating. An extraordinary blend of grandeur and finesse, this mosque is a treasure house of Islamic architecture. UNESCO has recognized Yazd as a city having the second oldest architecture in the world.
Adjacent to the mosque is a library containing an exquisite collection of ancient manuscripts.
The complex of Amir Chakhmaq consists of a mosque, a public bath, a caravansary (inn) and one mausoleum. This complex was founded by the Governor’s wife in the 16th Century.
The Mausoleum of Seyyed Rokn-ed-Din is an edifice with a beautiful portal, a great dome, and fascinating tile-work. There are epigraphs in Kufic scripture on the plasterworks of the interior.
The Complex of Bagh-e-Doulat was the governor’s residence in the past. The most impressive feature of this complex is a building with ventilation structures (badgir) on the roof with a brook under it. The air enters and passes through the flowing water and cools the air inside the buildings. Latticed doors and stained glass windows are another interesting features of the building.
The Fire Temple of Zoroastrians was built on a hill and is encircled by evergreen trees. Inside the temple there is a fire that has been burning for 700 years. The capitals of the pillars and the detailing on the architecture of the temples is remarkable.
There are two impressive building on the hills outside the city called the Towers of Silence, In olden days, Zorastrians laid the dead bodies on the towers to be exposed to vultures until no flesh remained on them.