The ancient city of Meybod with a history of 6000 years is located 45 kilometers northwest of Yazd. It’s the second-largest city in the province with a population of 100.000. As it’s located in the desert it has never been badly invaded or attacked by enemies. So it has kept its authenticity and charm during centuries. Here we’d like to introduce some of the most remarkable sites and places that you shouldn’t miss while you visit Meybod.
Located on a hill in the southwest of the city, it’s one of the oldest mud-brick castles in Iran. The Sassanid princess called Pourandokht chose this castle as her military center and built the first wall around the city. The pieces of evidence show that maybe she has built the castle at the top of the ruins which date back to 600 or 700 B.C. Later in the 14th century, it became the center of a local government called Āl-e Mozaffar.
The castle is fortified by an outer wall and a moat that could have been full of water at the time of the invasion. The view of the old town and the desert around it is magnificent from the rooftop. You can see very special badgirs (wind towers) which have only one open side and are typical of Meybod and Ardakan.
Built 400 years ago it’s quite an interesting building. Many people think that the residents used to bring ice from the mountains and keep it in the ice house but it’s a wrong idea. They’ve been making ice in the city but how’s it possible in a desert city like Meybod? The ice house is a conical-shaped building made of mud-bricks. There are 2 shallow pools in front of it which people could feel it with water at cold winter nights and it was frozen in the morning. By breaking ice to smaller pieces, it was stored in the ice house for 3-5 months. Then the people who they’ve been passing through Meybod could buy it to prepare cold water in the hot roads of the desert.
Shah Abbasi caravansarai:
It’s one of those 999 caravansarais built by Shah Abbas, the great king of the Safavid dynasty, in the important roads and routes of the country almost 400 years ago. Located on the road from Kerman to Rey, it’s a quite big and well-preserved place. It’s considered as an old-style hotel in the 17th century. Now there is a museum of Zilou (local carpet of Meybod which is made of cotton) in one of the long covered corridors of the caravansarai. Also there’s a traditional restaurant in one of the corners which is the best in the city. You can find the scarf a zilou workshop there which worth a visit.
Chaparkhane (old-style post office)
Located by the caravansarai it’s a recently restored building which is a museum of post and stamp collections. The system of sending messages and letters by fast horses was first established by Darius, the Achaemenid king in 500 B.C. He built hundreds of Chaparkhane to manage his vast territory so he made a route among his capitals in Iran, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia and connected them by these buildings.
As a covered circular building it’s been a great place for pigeons. Maybe you ask why should people keep pigeons in a building, but there are convincing answers. First of all because of the pigeon’s fertilizer, as it is the strongest fertilizer. The pigeon towers usually were built in the middle of big farms. Using pigeon’s meat, egg, and the feather was another logical reason to keep them. And finally, some of the pigeons were trained to deliver the letters and messages. You can see thousands of holes in the walls which are man-made and used by pigeons as their nests.
As there is very good clay in Meybod and surroundings, this city is a great place to find potteries, tiles, and ceramics. You can find workshops where the masters are making the different type of potteries with pottery wheels. You can even experience it yourself by sitting behind it and making anything you like.