The historical city of Yazd in central Iran has become the country’s 22nd world heritage site after the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of its inscription on Sunday during the committee’s 41st session in Krakow, Poland.
Almost 200 hectares of the city’s 2,270-hectare historical texture now boast world heritage status.
Yazd is now the only UNESCO-listed Iranian city where people still live. It is also believed to be the world’s largest inhabited adobe city.
Registering the site on the coveted list was a tougher task than Iranian officials had hoped. The ancient city’s dossier was supposed to be considered for inscription last year but was deemed incomplete by UNESCO’s assessors who gave Iran a long list of shortcomings that had to be redressed to improve the city’s chances of inscription on the coveted list.
Cultural heritage authorities have envisioned a buffer zone of around 665.93 hectares for the designated area.
Yazd is home to UNESCO-listed ancient Persian qanats as well as Dolat Abad Garden, which is one of nine Iranian gardens inscribed collectively on the World Heritage List as “the Persian Gardens”.
The city is known for its adobe architecture, Zoroastrian fire temples and tall structures known as badgirs, or wind-catchers, which in ancient times functioned as natural ventilation in large buildings.
With 22 world heritage sites, Iran is ranked first in the Middle East and eleventh worldwide.