Yazd is said to be the ‘oldest living city on Earth’. This might be a difficult claim to verify, but it is widely believed the site has been continually inhabited for about 7000 years.
Its position on important trading routes and a tendency towards diplomacy go some way to explaining Yazd’s longevity. The fact that commercial prosperity never really translated into real political power is probably another reason. When Marco Polo passed this way in the 13th century, he described Yazd as ‘a very fine and splendid city and a centre of commerce’. It was spared destruction by Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, and flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries, with silk, textile and carpet production the main homegrown industry. Like most of Iran, Yazd fell into decline when the Safavids were defeated and remained little more than a provincial outpost until the last shah extended the railway line to Yazd.
Yazd is the driest major city in Iran, with an average annual rainfall of only 60 millimetres (2.4 in), and also the hottest north of the Persian Gulf coast, with summer temperatures very frequently above 40 °C (104 °F) in blazing sunshine with no humidity.
Flights to Yazd with Iran Air
Yazd's confectioneries have a tremendous following throughout Iran, which has been a source of tourism for the city. Workshops (experts or khalifehs) keep their recipes a guarded secret and there are many that have remained a private family business for many generations. Baghlava, ghotab and pashmak are the most popular sweets made in the city.