Ancient City of Meybod
As your flight lands in IKA international airport and you enter Tehran, all may seem somehow familiar. After all, Tehran is the capital of the country and has many signs and qualities of modernity. However, the more you move toward the central part of the country, the more you will catch the authentic essence of Iran. Passing through Kashan, Isfahan and finally reaching Yazd, you will understand and absorb the history and culture of the country through unique architecture of mosques and castles and ancient structures of these cities. Yazd, specifically, is a very unique destination. In fact, I might include it as a must-see destination in Iran, even if you have just a few days there. The number of interesting attractions in this city and its surroundings is infinite. But, if you are tight on time, I suggest you to at least visit Meybod while you are in Yazd. If you want to know why, join me in this article to explore this ancient city together.
Where is Meybod?
Meybod is one of the most important cities in Yazd province that you can’t miss visiting. It is a major desert city of the province in central Iran which has one of the longest histories among Iranian cities. The history of Meybod goes back to the pre-Islamic era. The ancient monuments and discoveries of different excavations confirm the antiquity of the city.
Meybod has a history of several thousand years and is the second commercial and urban center of Yazd province. Due to its valuable historical background, many of the city attractions are listed in the list of Iranian monuments. It should be noted that Jahanabad is also one of the major industrial centers of the city and is considered as a hub due to its industry in producing half of the country’s ceramic tile products. Meybod is one of the earliest places in Iran where sedentism has started. So, no wonder why Meybod is home to many ancient points of interest.
Meybod is located in the north of Yazd. If you move from Tehran in your car to Maybod, you’ll have a 9-hour trip. There are trains to Kerman and Bandar Abbas which stop in Meybod as well. If you are willing to travel by bus, you should go to Azadi Square in Tehran and take off in Meybod’s Terminal. To fly to Meybod, you should take a flight to Yazd and then take a taxi to reach Meybod.
History of Meybod
As I mentioned earlier, Meybod is one of the first points where people settled down in this country. It once stood by the Saveh Sea and the inhabitants were traveling through that. There are many reasons why Meybod, especially Narin Castle, was the first human settlement in this area and has been inhabited more than any other area in Yazd. Ja’fari, the earliest historian of the eighth century, cites the mythical and legendary narrative of Narin Castle, indicating that even at that time, the castle was popular and special. He says that Solomon built the Narin castle to hide his treasures. Well, whether it is a myth or not, Meybod and its magnificent castle can clearly evoke many legends and myths in mind!
What to see in Merybod?
The most important attraction of Meybod is Narin Castle. Recently, archeologists have found a ceramic here with an illustration of a Half-Human – Half animal figure carved on this pottery. The figure resembles that of an Elamite in the third millennium BC and proves the long history of the castle. It was also of great importance in the early Islamic times as it was an impenetrable fortress. Inside the castle, there are many underground pathways to provide food and water for people living there. The strategic design of the castle is one of the major reasons why it never has been conquered by enemies. The castle is located on top of a hill and offers a panoramic, amazing view of the city and the surrounding deserts. Castle has an oval shape with rooms inside another room, underground roads, a mosque, a bathroom, a bazaar and a corridor that the people used to call it Mardom Neshin. There are holes on the walls of the castle to let the light in. Visiting Narin castle can really be an exciting experience, so I highly recommended it to you!
While in Meybod, you can also visit Shah-Abbasi caravanserai and Chaparkhaneh (something similar to today’s post offices!). The history of this caravanserai dates back to the Safavid era and still has preserved its traditional style. Here, there are some souvenir shops and a restaurant as well. In addition, don’t miss visiting Yakhchal, where they used to keep ice for caravans passing through the city!
Pigeon Tower is another attraction of Meybod. It is where they were keeping more than 4000 pigeons which were used for sending letters! You’ll see hundreds of small nests inside the tower in a magnificent design to shape a practical post system!
While visiting Meybod, remember to see Zilou, ceramics, and potteries of the city, as they are the best representations of the art of local people of this amazing city.