Alexander’s Prison: A Place with Two Different Stories

In one of the oldest regions of Yazd, there is an 800 years old historic building. The “Alexander’s Prison”: A place which its name is a matter of controversy. According to some local narratives, this place was built by Alexander the Great’s command to be a prison for his enemies and exiled persons. After Alexander’s invasion of Iran and due to the fear and hatred the people of that time had for Alexander, and this naming could have been reasonable, especially when we consider that the building was outside of the city. Another reason to reinforce the story of this naming was a hole in one part that looks like a dungeon. But during the restoration and studies of experts, it was discovered that this hole was an access point to an underground water network instead of being a prison, and was s sign of people’s concern to supply water in a dry land. Besides, it is not much like a prison and some historians mentioned that this place was a school named “Zia’iyeh” which was a congress and discussion place for religious scholars.

Prison or school, this place is the glorious work of the Iranian architects. it has been constructed based on Iranian- Mongol style. From the outside, an 18 meters adobe dome with beautiful stucco and decorations in gold and azure invites you in. The school has four porches and in the middle of the courtyard, there is a well mentioned earlier, with a diameter of two meters which leads to a 5 meters deep stone chamber. In a corner, there is a wind catcher; an inseparable part of desert architecture for creating cool air. there is a museum in the complex and there are couches to take a rest and enjoy a drink.  A colorful craft shop will complete the visit. 

In case you need to rest after visiting Alexander’s Prison, go to the west of the historical region and after passing the restaurant, there’s a coffee house on the right side. It is a clay house made by an artist couple and is named Art House. After drinking coffee or one of their different local drinks, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the historical part of the city from the rooftop.

Comments

Leave a Reply