Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yazd Water Museum


*Updated 5/31* Yazd is a city that essentially blossomed out of the desert, and one of the major issues was getting water- so much so that it has a museum dedicated to explaining how it was obtained. A few days ago a friend asked why they wouldn't build the city in a more strategic location. My answer: Because the location is magical. I don't know what it is about Yazd, but it's just got good energy. 

In Amir Chaghmagh Square

A visit to this museum will explain all about qanāt, an elaborate tunnel system used to extract groundwater. The tunnels were hand-dug and just big enough to fit one person. 


©Wikipedia
Model of the qanat system in the museum.

Here are some images from the museum courtyard. 








From the courtyard you go downstairs into the basement for the actual museum. Even though I was there in the winter, it was colder in the basement than it was outside.














Water from the qanāt are stored in āb anbār, water reservoirs, which were usually adorned with bādgir, windcatchers, to keep the water near ice cold temperature. As you make your way around Yazd, you'll see these all around.




The ab anbar from the Dakhmeh site

The Zurkhaneh I visited was above a water reservoir. While you're there, you can go into the basement and see it. It's empty now, but the vastness is quite eerie. The pictures don't really do it justice.


Windcatchers of the Zurkhaneh

Water reservoir under the Zurkhaneh



I can certainly say that I've always taken water for granted. Just turn on the faucet and it magically appears. After visiting this museum and learning what lengths people had to go through to get it though, I definitely don't anymore. Especially while I was in Yazd, I felt the need to shower as quickly as possible to save the water. Make this museum a must-see in Yazd. You won't regret it!

Pontia

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