An extremely integral part of Iran’s culture and architecture, the Shish Badgir Reservoir, also known as Shish Badgir Ab Anbar, is an antiquated brick water reservoir from the Qajar Era in Yazd, Iran.
As you may already know, badgir means ‘wind-catcher’ in Persian. Shish means ‘six’. And there being six of them at the Shish Badgir Water Reservoir is why it gets its name. These wind-catchers are an ancient form of air conditioning in Persian architecture. They can also be seen in many Persian palaces, mansions and other important Iranian structures.
Ab anbars (water reservoirs/storages) have also been very important structures in these hot and arid desert Iranian cities. It’s no wonder why there are over 75 of them, just in Yazd alone! Come along with goingIRAN to learn and see more about this unique functional-building in Persian culture!
Shish Badgir Flowing Through History
Built around 180 years ago during the Qajar Dynasty. Much of the Shish Badgir Reservoir has been is as it was from its initial construction. However, there was a slight renovation 24 years ago where three additional badgirs were added (total of six).
If you look carefully, you will be able to distinguish which ones were built during the Qajar Era.
What’s Going Down at the Shish Badgir’s Reservoir
The Shish Badgir Reservoir has two connecting entrances; in the south and north. The stairs leading down into the water storage, on both, sides are partially covered.
The structure is made entirely out of bricks with a small hint of plaster. The main building has an egg-shaped dome in the center of the six badgirs. Most of the domes in Iranian structures are spherical, so this one is a bit unique in its shape.
Here, there is virtually no tilework or stucco work, like many of the other traditional Persian structures. However, tourists and visitors can definitely count on seeing some beautiful intricate brickwork all over the building!
Aesthetics have always been very important to architects in the Iranian culture. This is why, even structures that are solely functional, are still very pleasing to the eye.
The giant water tank has a height of over 6 meters and wind-catchers stand at 10 meters tall. The wind-catcher towers were built in an octagonal shape; maximizing the inflow of air from every direction. Having six octagonal towers, the slightest breeze in any direction was bound to be caught by them!
The six wind-catchers flow the cooled air down to a 2,000 meters-cubed water tank. The water flowing to the reservoirs were always supplied by a qanat; stored during the winter time and used the summer.
Interestingly, Shish Badgir Reservoir has two distinct water-taps. One for people of the Muslim faith and another for the minority of Zoroastrians. The segregation of the two water taps shed a bit of light as to how the relationships were, towards the minorities during this period…
How to get there
The Shish Badgir Water Reservoir is located very fittingly on Shish Badgir Street, Tapeh Yazd neighborhood, Yazd City, Iran. GoingIRAN recommends visiting this site during daylight.
Also good to know that being a rather simpler a smaller attraction, visitors can expect spend around 30 – 45 minutes here. Safe Travels!
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