A Travellerspoint blog

Yazd (یزد) II

Towers of Silence and Alexander's Prison

sunny 35 °C

To round off our stay in Yazd, we visited the ominously-named Towers of Silence in the desert suburbs of the city itself. These two wide stone towers were built on two opposing hills between which there were ruins of a small Zoroastrian settlement. Having been advised that this place was about as silent as a motocross dirt-track could get we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves completely alone. Ever since the dawn of Zoroastrianism (or rather Mazdaism - c. 1500 BC) and up until the 1960s, the dead were placed in the towers for the vultures to pick their bones clean. Supposedly burying pollutes the earth and cremation the atmosphere and so this curious method was chosen. A priest would stand by the body until the eyes were picked out - if the right eye was first eaten by the vultures omens were good, if the left was picked first eternal torment would await the soul...

Alexander's Prison, despite the mysterious name, is in fact a simple well in a simple well which might or might not have been used by Alexander the Great as a dungeon for his enemies. Anyway, the name keeps bringing the tourists...Souvenir-wise I bought some Iranian music as well as a mourning flag dedicated to one of the Emams - the mourning of long-dead religious figures is big business here in Iran. In the evening we treated ourselves to some delicious Fesenjun, a dish consisting of meatballs in a pomegranate and walnut sauce - and a welcome change from the usual Iranian 'pizza'.

The morning after we boarded the bus to Khur, deep in the Dasht-e-Kavir salt desert...

Posted by ameurice 04:27 Archived in Iran Tagged backpacking

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