The Moayedi Icehouse stands as Iran’s largest traditional icehouse. Constructed in the late Safavid era, it was crucial for storing ice and certain foods during summer for the local community. Named after the famous Moayedi Qanat, which supplied its water, this icehouse is a testament to ingenious engineering and local culture.
Architectural Features of the Icehouse
Remarkably, the icehouse, built with mud bricks for insulation, preserves ice in Kerman‘s warm climate throughout the year. The structure’s 20-meter height was integral for maintaining a cool base. The thick, tall walls, facing the sun, played a vital role in resisting solar heat, ensuring the ice within didn’t melt.
Technical Aspects and Ice Making Process
The ice-making process was a marvel of precision. Each night, water was directed over frozen ice slabs, solidifying with the night’s cold. The builders meticulously leveled the ice-catching surfaces for this process. When the ice reached a thickness of 30-40 cm, it was cut and stored in the icehouse, providing essential water. Some even added pomegranate seeds to the ice, creating a visually stunning and refreshing summer treat.
Ingenious Design for Longevity and Accessibility
The designers foresaw the summer melt. A channel at the icehouse’s base transported melted water, preventing wastage. Straw layers between ice blocks prevented sticking. The icehouse featured two corridors: one for storing newly made ice and another for accessing it in summer. The steps, crafted from mud bricks, were uniquely designed for easy access, with new layers added annually to the dome for maintenance.
Other Icehouses in Kerman
While the Moayedi Icehouse is prominent, Kerman also hosted other notable icehouses like Chub Mofidi, Zarisf, Rahim Abad, and Moayedi, most of which have not survived the test of time.
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Visiting the Moayedi Icehouse
Location: Kerman Province, Kerman City.
For access, head towards the National Garden in Kerman. Located in Takhti Square, the icehouse is easily reachable by taxi or bus from various parts of the city.