Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

Freezing in a Scorching Heat
Ice house Meybod feature image2 - Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)
23 Jan

Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

Yazd is a city of heat, sunshine, scorching deserts, and numerous traditional coolers known as wind catchers. Surprisingly, it is also a city of ice and Ice Houses. Knowing all this makes a visit to the Ice House of Meybod (Meybod Ice House – Meybod Icehouse) so fascinating. It is one of the largest adobe Ice Houses in Iran. This Persian Ice House dates back to before 18th century. If you are preparing a list of places to visit, prioritize visiting this adobe Ice House. Is in interesting for you? If so, follow me on this post to find out more about the largest ice maker in ancient Iran.

Ice House of Meybod 1 - Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

Persian Ice House – Ice House of Meybod

Why Visit the Meybod Ice House?

  • This Ice House is one of the largest adobe Ice Houses in Iran.
  • It is one of the few Ice Houses left in Yazd province.
  • This place used to be the largest place for ice production in Iran.
  • Nearby, you can enjoy desert sports such as off-roading and motorcycling. The rare sky of the desert also expects you at night.

Ice and Ice Houses in Iran – Persian Ice House

In ancient times, Iranians used to build structures known as Ice Houses. What for? Well, to a modern person, it could sound weird. But ice used to be a valuable luxury in the past, especially in the desert. So, they built these lovely structures to produce ice in winter and store it until summer. Plus, ice houses made water supplies available for other seasons of the year, as well as for water shortages and possible droughts. As precious architectural treasures that are important in terms of design and materials, ice houses are also historically significant.

As a luxury that only the rich could afford, ice was also a blessing for ice house workers. The value of ice was so much that the Ice House workers received some free ice instead of their wages or in addition to their wages. Plus, the economic value of ice made Ice House owners wealthy. Even, according to some historians, it was the wealthy people who built Ice Houses. The presence of aristocratic mansions next to some Ice Houses supports this theory.

Of course, the ice produced in the Ice Houses was not of the same quality. First-class crystal ice was used for cooling drinks, medium-sized ice was used to keep the food cold, and low-grade ice was used for making ice cream. Another type of ice, ornamental ice, cost a fortune. These red crystal ices were made using pomegranate.

Ice House of Meybod 4 - Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

The Facade of the Ice House of Meybod – Persoan Ice House

The Architecture of Meybod Ice House

In the past, when there were no modern appliances for ice production, the people of Meybod provided the ice they needed in a place called Ice House. The main parts of this magnificent building are: shading walls, ice pool, ice house tank and dome. A shading wall, which is a wall with great length, thickness and height, prevents the sun from shining on the pool. Due to the location and the way this wall is built, its shadow falls on the pool all days throughout the year.

Ice pool is a shallow pool made of mud to prevent the cold to escape or hot air to enter. The process of ice production took place in the ice pool and finally the produced ice was transferred to the tank. When we enter the Ice House, we see a pit with the depth of 6 meters. There is a 1.5-meter platform around this pit for people to stand. This part is called the ice tank. The next part of this building is the dome. The dome of this Ice House is made of adobe and its height is about 15 meters. The thickness of the dome’s shell is 240 cm at the lowest part of the dome and about 20 cm at the highest part. This dome is a fascinating part in the building.

Ice House of Meybod 2 1 - Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

The Ceiling of Meybod Ice House

Meybod Ice House – Ingenious Techniques for Keeping Ice

Ancient Iranians used some interesting techniques to preserve the ice in the Ice House of Meybod. For example, during the formation of ice, they poured water between them. That’s because when there is water between the ice, it melts later. After the freezing process, they separated the ice with a layer of straw. Then they covered the surface with a layer of straw. So, they isolated the ice from the surrounding air. Even the water obtained from melting of the ice was not wasted. A narrow waterway was at the bottom of the pit so that a small amount of water from the possible melting of the ice could go into a well.

They put a hole on top of the dome and opened it in winter to allow cold air to enter. They closed it in summer to prevent sunlight from entering and melting the ice. On hot summer days, a person delivered ice to people from the south door at certain hours of the morning and evening. And so the three stages of “ice-making,” “ice-keeping,” and “ice-delivery” took place in one place.

Ice House of Meybod 3 - Meybod Ice House (Yazd, Iran)

Meybod Ice House – Persian Ice House

More about Meybod Ice House

Visiting hours

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visiting days

Every day except some holidays

When is the best time to travel to Meybod and visit Meybod Ice House?

Meybod is a desert city. So it is better to avoid going there in the hot seasons of the year. The best season to travel to Yazd and Meybod is early spring and early autumn.

Nearby Attractions

There are several monuments and attractions in Meybod, each of them has its own charm. In this section, I will introduce some of these eye-catching attractions:

Narin Castle is the most important and spectacular historical monument of Meybod. This 5000-year-old castle is onse of the oldest government citadel in Iran. Narin Castle is also one of the world’s largest mud-brick buildings left from ancient times. Meybod Chapar Khaneh (a post center with so many horses as transportation means) was one of the important postal centers in this city. This Qajar-era structure was built as a fortress or castle. This is because Chapar Khaneh was a place for the preservation of government deposits, letters and important messages. It’s a wonderful place to visit.

Where to Eat Nearby

Darbari Restaurant

Shah Abbasi Restaurant

Shah Neshin Restaurant

Like to visit the Ice House of Meybod?

You can check out the top sites of Meybod on one of our multi-day Cultural Tours.

Meybod Ice House Tours

The main magnets of Iran don’t give you all there is to its ancient history and rich culture. To take you off the beaten...
1 Day
Jump on this Yazd to Isfahan road tour to discover top attractions of Meybod & Na’in...
8 Hours

Meybod Icehouse on Map

Zahra Soltani
Content Manager, International Relations Manager

To Zahra, introducing the beauties of Iran is a delight and an inherent mission! Beyond that, arts, culture, literature, mythology, and all the astonishing secrets of our marvelous universe set her soul on fire! This is what makes Zahra a filmophile, an insatiable reader, and a passionate writer.

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