Yazd is one of Iran’s historical cities, known for its rich heritage and distinctive architecture. Its historical significance has earned it a place as the first Iranian historical city and the second historical city globally. With numerous attractions and mud-brick structures, Yazd is also recognized by UNESCO as an international city.
In this article from SURFIRAN travel magazine, we will discuss the Yazd Water Museum, located in the northern part of Amir Chakhmagh Square.
This museum, situated within an ancient Yazd house, offers visitors a glimpse into the 2,000-year-old history of water in this region. Join us as we dive deeper into this ancient museum in Yazd.
A Window into Yazd’s Water History
Yazd, often referred to as the “City of Windcatchers,” is located in a desert region where water scarcity has always been a significant concern. Over the centuries, the residents of Yazd developed innovative techniques to harness, store, and distribute water efficiently.
The Yazd Water Museum aims to showcase the value and importance of water in a desert region, highlighting its vital role in sustaining life.
Read More: Yazd Travel Guide
The Architecture of the Museum
The Yazd Water Museum is housed in a historical building known as “Kolahdouzha House.” This museum has gained widespread attention among tourists visiting the city. Established in 2000, concurrently with the first International Qanat Congress, its primary goal is to emphasize the significance of water in a desert region and demonstrate the extensive network of qanats, some dating back hundreds of years, which once supplied water to the city.
Kolahdouzha House: The Museum’s Setting
Kolahdouzha House is an invaluable piece of Yazd’s heritage. Constructed between 1887 and 1897 under the supervision of the late Seyed Ali Akbar Kolahdouz, a prominent Qajar-era merchant, it is now owned by the Yazd Water and Wastewater Company and serves as a prominent attraction in the city. The building boasts five floors, each with a distinct purpose:
The Ground Floor: Qanats of Rahimabad and Zarch
Here, you can observe the Rahimabad and Zarch qanats, which have a history spanning over 2,000 years and still function today.
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The Basement: Food Storage
The “Payab” or basement was used for storing various food items using special preservation techniques. It featured a constant temperature of around 14 degrees Celsius, suitable for food storage. A unique feature in this area is a pool that helps maintain humidity.
The Second Floor: Summer Residence
This floor provided respite during the scorching summer months. It consisted of multiple rooms and courtyards, offering a cool refuge for inhabitants.
The Third Floor: Permanent Residence
This floor accommodated permanent residents and included five rooms, a hall, an arsi room, a kitchen, and living quarters for household staff.
The Fifth Floor: The Rooftop, Known as “Chahkhaneh”
The rooftop was famous for the “Chahkhaneh,” a unique water well. Using a pulley system, it drew water from qanats, specifically the “Chahleh-Gozar” qanat, which was then distributed within the house for drinking and hygiene. The museum allows visitors to see the ancient water distribution system, including pipes installed approximately 150 years ago.
The Museum’s Exhibits
The Yazd Water Museum boasts a collection of over 200 historical items related to qanats, as well as original documents and records about Yazd’s primary qanats. These exhibits shed light on the fascinating history of water distribution and allocation, including documents related to marriage contracts, where some individuals used water as dowry – a testament to the value of water in the desert.
Plan Your Visit
To access the Yazd Water Museum, head to Amir Chakhmagh Square and take the bus from the Qur’an Gate terminal to the Shahid Mahrab bus terminal. From there, it’s a short walk to this captivating attraction.
8:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Note: The museum is closed from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM)
Explore Nearby Attractions
While visiting the Yazd Water Museum, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area, including Amir Chakhmagh Square and the Khan Bazaar, located just 300 meters away.
The Yazd Water Museum offers a unique opportunity to uncover the historical significance of water in Yazd and the ingenious methods developed by its inhabitants to ensure their survival. As you walk through the halls of Kolahdouzha House, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the vital role that water has played in sustaining life in this desert city throughout its rich history.