Yazd Province

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Yazd Province
استان یزد
Yazd Province montage.png
Map of Iran with Yazd highlighted
Location of Yazd within Iran
Coordinates: 31°53′41″N 54°21′25″E / 31.8948°N 54.3570°E / 31.8948; 54.3570Coordinates: 31°53′41″N 54°21′25″E / 31.8948°N 54.3570°E / 31.8948; 54.3570
Country  Iran
Region Region 5
Capital Yazd
Counties 10
 • Total 129,285 km2 (49,917 sq mi)
Population (2011 Census)
 • Total 1,074,428
 • Density 8.3/km2 (22/sq mi)
Time zone IRST (UTC+03:30)
 • Summer (DST) IRST (UTC+04:30)
Main language(s) Persian

Yazd Province (Persian: استان یزد‎, Ostān-e Yazd ) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the centre of the country, and its administrative center is the city of Yazd. In 2014 it was placed in Region 5.[1]

The province has an area of 131,575 km², and according to the most recent divisions of the country, is divided into ten counties: Abarkuh County, Ardakan County, Bafq County, Behabad County, Khatam County, Mehriz County, Meybod County, Saduq County, Taft County, and Yazd County. 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. At the 2011 census, its population (including Tabas County, which was transferred to South Khorasan Province) was 1,074,428, in 258,691 families; excluding Tabas County, its population (as of 2006) was 895,276, in 241,846 families.[2]

The city of Yazd is the economic and administrative capital of the province and therefore the most heavily populated.

The Zoroastrian temple of Yazd.


Yazd province with the area of 131,551 km2 (50,792 sq mi)[citation needed] is situated at an oasis where the Dasht-e Kavir desert and the Dasht-e Lut desert meet. The city itself is sometimes called "the bride of the Kavir" because of its location, in a valley between Shir Kuh, the tallest mountain in the region at 4,075 m (13,369 ft) above sea level, and Kharaneq. The city proper is located at 1,203 m (3,947 ft) above sea-level, and covers 16,000 km2 (6,200 sq mi).

Yazd panorama from the Amir Chakhmaq Complex.

According to the administrative division rules, the Yazd province is divided into 9 counties, each including at least one town and a number of districts, rural districts (dehestans), and villages.

Various Yazd counties
county area population cities dehestans
Abarkuh 5,941 75,205 2 4
Meybod 6,941 72,000 2 6
Ardakan 6,717 70,000 2 5
Bafq 15,298 41,000 2 6
Khatam 7,931 32,000 2 4
Mehriz 6,717 74,000 1 5
Saduq 5,486 26,300 3 3
Taft 5,948 56,000 2 10
Yazd 2,397 526,276 4 4
Source:Geography Book of Yazd

Mountains of Yazd[edit]

  • South- and Southwestern Mountains

This group is wider than the other ridges and includes Shir Kuh

  • Eastern Mountains

They are located in east of Yazd province with the highest peaks being Bon Lokht (3002m) and Bajegan (2879m).

  • Northeastern Mountains

These are located east of Tabas, also including the Shir Kuh.


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.[1]

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[edit]

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.[2]

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[edit]

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.

For a brief period, Yazd was the capital of Atabakan and Mozaffarid dynasties. During the Qajar Dynasty (18th Century A.D.) it was ruled by the Bakhtiari Khans.

Amidst the immense surrounding desert, Yazd retains elements of its old religion, traditions, and architecture, which is recognized by UNESCO for its architectural heritage [3]. 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.[4]

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 Jame Mosque (Friday Mosque) of Yazd crowned by a pair of minarets, the highest in Persia, the portal's facade is decorated from top to bottom in dazzling tile work, predominantly blue in colour.


4000 years old Cypress of Abarkuh is the oldest tree in Iran and the second oldest tree in the world. It is located in Abarkuh, in Yazd province

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.

Higher education[edit]

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:

  1. University of Yazd
  2. Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
  3. Yazd Institute of Higher Education - ACECR
  4. Islamic Azad University of Bafgh
  5. Islamic Azad University of Mehreez
  6. Islamic Azad University of Ardakan
  7. Islamic Azad University of Maybod
  8. Islamic Azad University of Taft
  9. Islamic Azad University of Yazd
  10. Yazd Sampad Information Center

See also[edit]

  • Chak Chak, a village in Ardakan in Yazd province


External links[edit]