Amir Chakhmaq Complex (Square & Mosque) – Yazd, Iran
Visiting Yazd soon? Then don’t miss its gorgeous Amir Chakhmaq Complex. From 1the 4th century up to the present, the complex has been a focal point of the city and different parts have been attached to it. As a symbol of Yazd and a center of social events, this place highlights local history, Persian architecture, and national culture. Like to find out its secrets? Then join me on this discovery of the history, architecture, and attractions of the different parts of this jewel of Yazd.
- 1 Why Visit Amir Chakhmaq Complex
- 2 The Strong Woman Behind Amir Chakhmaq
- 3 What’s the Rest of the Story
- 4 The Whole Amir Chakhmaq Complex
- 5 Amir Chakhmaq Mosque
- 6 Amir Chakhmaq Complex Tekyeh (Hussainieh)
- 7 Haji Qanbar Bazaar
- 8 The Historic Guest of Amir Chakhmaq
- 9 Things to Do in Amir Chakhmaq Complex
- 10 The Glorious Muharrams in Amir Chakhmaq Square
- 11 The Pleasant Nights
- 12 More About Amir Chakhmaq Complex
- 13 Like to check out Amir chakhmaq Complex?
- 14 Amir Chakhmaq Complex on Map
Why Visit Amir Chakhmaq Complex
- Amir Chakhmaq complex houses one of Iran’s biggest and most beautiful Tekyeh
- It is a relic of different historical periods
- A strong woman is behind the construction of the complex
- You can buy the delicacies of Yazd from there
- Its Muharram ceremonies are a must-see
- The nights are a perfect time to get to know the people
The Strong Woman Behind Amir Chakhmaq
Back in late 14th century AD, the caring governor of Yazd, Amir Chakhmaq, joined forces with his wife, Seti Fateme, to make Yazd a more prosperous city. As a reliable military leader, Amir Chakhmaq often joined the king in battles and so it was the high capabilities, independence and assertiveness of Seti Fateme that gave birth to many of the structures in Amir Chakhmaq Square. Over the 30 years they ruled over the region, her philanthropic activities extended beyond Yazd and her economical intelligence made the bazaar of the complex the economical heart of 14th century Yazd. As a nice example of Timurid architecture, the domed tomb of Seti Fateme rests on the northern corner of the complex.
What’s the Rest of the Story
Amir Chakhmaq had built the Mosque 15 years before he became the governor of Yazd. The same year the mosque was built, another Yazdi figure built the bazaar and the caravanserai. The couple then added the public bathhouse, the Khanqah (a spiritual retreat for Sufis), Qanats (water reservoirs) and wells. Renovations and reconstructions were made to the structures during Safavid and Qajar periods. But major changes were made in the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi’s modernization period. One of the biggest changes was that the square in front of the mosque was transformed into a lovely structure in early 13th century AD. This structure, which was used as a Tekye (a place to hold religious mourning ceremonies) later on, was not originally used as a religious place. Because such places started to become customary after Safavid Era (16th century).
The Whole Amir Chakhmaq Complex
Amir Chakhmaq Complex is made up of a number of structures. Each of these structures has its own charms and architectural significance. You can find a mosque (south), a Tekyeh (east), a caravanserai, Haji Qanbar Bazaar (east), Sati Fatemeh Mausoleum (north) and water reservoirs (north and east). The most important of these are:
Amir Chakhmaq Mosque
Also known as the Old Mosque or Dahouk Mosque, Amir Chakhmaq Mosque is the second biggest mosque in Yazd. As the oldest structure in the complex, the 15th century mosque is on the southern side of Amir Chakhmaq square. The Persian and Islamic features of the mosque, the brick art, the mosaic inscriptions, the tiling, the muqarnas works, the arabesque patterns and the marble designs, give it aesthetic and architectural significance.
The architecture of the mosque’s 2 prayer halls is so distinct that make one perfect for warmer seasons and the other for colder seasons. There is a wind tower over the summer prayer hall and a curved dome covered with green tiling manifests itself on top of the mosque. The tiling on the main entrance, on the corridor that connects the entrance to the courtyard, and on the Mihrab (altar) don’t miss to attract your admiration with their beauty.
Amir Chakhmaq Complex Tekyeh (Hussainieh)
The elegant structure you see in most pictures of the complex is Amir Chakhmaq Tekyeh. A Tekyeh is a building with many terraces for watching religious ceremonies or important events. The exact date and the historical significance of Amir Chakhmaq Tekyeh are unclear. Yet, it doesn’t stop it from shining in the complex with its architectural beauty. For someone standing in the square, the elegant high head, the forecourt, the dome, the terraces and the 2 central minarets together create a stunning view.
Built with mudbrick and beautifully decorated stucco, the facade features symmetrically-built alcoves in 3 floors. The city’s most important figures used to sit in the central alcoves that feature a higher altitude and intricate tilework. In the past, you could go to the top of the Tekyeh and enjoy the view of the old section of Yazd attractions. But today only the 1st floor is open to public.
Haji Qanbar Bazaar
The oldest section of the Grand Bazaar of Yazd is the historical Haji Qanbar Bazaar. Haji Qanbar jahanshahi, 14th century governor of Yazd, built the bazaar as part of his development project. Some parts of the bazaar were destroyed in the constructions in Pahlavi era. The bazaar is decorated with tilework and a wide variety of shops can be found in it.
The Historic Guest of Amir Chakhmaq
Yazd is popular for its Nakhl Gardani Rituals. It is a mourning ceremony in which Muslims carry a Nakhl, a huge cypress-tree-shaped wooden structure as the symbol of the coffin of their third Imam. The cypress tree is also a symbol of immortality, resistance and freedom. As a relic of Safavid Era, one of these strong structures sits in front of Amir Chakhmaq Tekyeh. This Nakhl is decorated with carvings and geometric patterns.
Things to Do in Amir Chakhmaq Complex
If you’re not a vegetarian, trying the grilled livers of the Jigari shops is a must-do! You can also enjoy shopping in the basement shops or Haji Qanbar Bazaar. Local sweets, gold, carpets and fabrics are of the delicacies you can abundantly find there. Visiting the public baths, caravanserais and water reservoirs is also a good choice.
The Glorious Muharrams in Amir Chakhmaq Square
If Muharram ceremonies interest you, this place will be a perfect choice. Yazd is famous for the glory of its ceremonies, and the ritual of Nakhl Gardani (carrying a huge cypress-tree-shaped wooden structure as the symbol of the coffin of the third Shia Imam) is a specialty of this city. Every year, on Tasu’a and Ashura (9th and 10th days of Muharram), Muslims have a Nakhl Gardani ceremony in front of Amir Chakhmaq Tekyeh. They also cover the historical Nakhl of Amir Chakhmaq.
The Pleasant Nights
Unlike many sites in Iran, Amir Chakhmaq Square is pro nightlife. After the sun sets in Yazd, the square finds a new atmosphere. The fountain and the Tekyeh alcoves are tastefully lit up and Yazdi families gather in the plaza to spend a lovely night together.
More About Amir Chakhmaq Complex
8am -8pm (earlier in winter)
Best Visit Seasons
Spring and Fall
Amir Chakhmaq Complex – The Nearby Attractions
Yazd Water Museum is very close to Amir Chakhmaq Complex. Dolat Abad Garden (7-minute drive) and Zoroastrian Fire Temple (4-minute drive) are also only a few minutes away from the complex.
Where to Eat Near Amir Chakhmaq Complex
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Amir Chakhmaq Complex on Map
Keywords: Amir Chakhmagh