Yazd – Ancient City of Meybod – Iran

April 13, 2017

Yazd is packed with day-trip opportunities. One of those is Meybod. Meybod is an ancient city that dates back to the pre-Islamic era of Iran and is located only 55km from Yazd. A visit to Meybod is often included in tours that visit Kharanaq and Chak-Chak. I have written about those two destinations previously. Find those posts and others on my Iran Travel Blog page.

Meybod

The centrepiece of Meybod, and the reason that it’s included in day trips, is the Narin Qal’eh castle. Narin Qal’eh is a mud brick fort built around 2000 years ago. Today it stands around 40m above its base.

Meybod

Meybod

Narin Qal’eh is slowly but surely, disintegrating and returning to the earth. When you visit any of these mud-brick castles or towns in Iran, it feels a little like looking at a Salvador Dali art piece. As the bricks disintegrate, the mud flows under the force of gravity and pools in the low areas of the castle. Narin Qal’eh looks like a half melted version of its original self.

Meybod

All but the stronger sections of the castle are collapsed or in the process of collapsing. Because of this, when you visit you will not be allowed to visit many internal spaces. There is supposedly a large underground chamber inside that may have been used as a prison, however it is now full of rubble.

Meybod

The image above shows part of the moat that used to surround the castle. On the right of this moat you can see part of an outer wall used to protect the castle from invasions.

Meybod

If you look carefully into the middle distance in the above image, two watch towers can be seen. One if located roughly halfway between the two domed structures at the top of the image. This watchtower was part of the outer wall and the furthest extent of the complex.

Meybod

Photo courtesy of Ellen from TtravellingTheWorldSolo.com

As you tour the Narin Qal’eh of Meybod, you start to move into the upper levels. One of these levels contains a room with a window that gives excellent views out over Meybod. Some great photo opportunities here.

Meybod

Eventually the tour takes you to the roof of the complex. From here the view is quite breathtaking as the city of Meybod stretches out towards the North.

Meybod

Photo courtesy of Ellen from TtravellingTheWorldSolo.com

Interestingly, most of the buildings and houses that make up the modern city of Meybod seem to be made of a similar mud-brick construction technique as the castle. This is a trend I have seen time and again in Iran. Mud brick construction is not an antiquated construction technique in Iran at all and is still used today.

Meybod

Notice the windcatcher in the image above. A common site everywhere in Persia. In the image below you can see that many houses use highly reflective metallic sheeting on their rooves to protect from the suns intense radiation. Another common site in the desert cities of Iran.

Meybod

Some details about the this day tour. It was organised through the Silk Road Hotel in Yazd. The cost for the tour was 500,000 IRR (about 12.5€) per person. I was particularly lucky as there were only three other people on the tour with me. Having only a small tour group made the day really enjoyable. This tour, like most of the day tours out of Yazd, included stops in Chak Chak and Kharanaq as well. It’s a fairly length day of sightseeing. We gathered at 8am in the Silk Road lobby and didn’t arrive back until mid afternoon. But definitely one of the best day tours I have been on in Iran.

(Header image Ciudadela_de_Meybod by Diego Delso under CC BY SA 2.0)

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