Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dowlat Abad Garden

Baghe Dowlad Abad in Yazd was a garden built for Mohammad Taghi Khan 300 years ago. There are two different areas: the summer pavilion with a badgir, wind tower; and the winter pavilion which faces the south for warmth. 

Summer pavilion with Badgir

At 33 meters, the badgir of this building is the tallest in the world. These ancient air conditioners kept water at near freezing temperature. Underneath the badgir felt like a wind tunnel! Even in the winter, the inside of this building was much colder than outside. 

A view from under the badgir

Everywhere you looked, there were odd numbers of things (rooms, windows, badgir) because odd numbers are considered holy with 7 being the most important number: 7 floors of hell, 7 doors to paradise, 7 days of the week. 

Winter pavilion

The 208 meter long pool, howz in Persian, is the longest in Iran and has 47 fountains. Inside the building were several smaller howz, each with a pocket hole that was used to keep the fish while the rest of it was cleaned. This little hole also made it easy to find lost things under water since they would collect there. 

Orosi window from inside and out

The Orosi doors were a beautiful feature of this building. They are used in places where you don't need to open the door much because it disturbs the space. They have a number of different functions: they are beautiful, you can't see inside, they block direct sunlight so rugs don't get ruined, the harmony is similar to rugs, and the reflection at night keeps mosquitos away (it's said they especially don't come near green, red, and blue). It's also said that these windows have health benefits: the light that comes through the colored glass is not only good for the skin, but it also helps prevent Alzheimer's and depression. 

View of the winter pavilion from the summer pavilion


The view from the citadel offered a closer look at other shorter badgir around this complex. 


Even with the empty pools and bare gardens with half-pecked pomegranates hanging from the trees, this place offered a certain kind of charm in the winter. I'd love to return here during the warmer months, though, and catch a glimpse of the lush gardens and check out just how well that badgir can cool down the rooms during those notoriously scorching Yazd summers!

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