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Ashkezar Water Mill

Ashkezar Water Mill

Ashkezar Water Mill

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As a historical city, Ashkezar belongs to the pre-Islamic era. In historical texts, such as “the new history of Yazd”, it is attributed to the Parthian. Archeologists found an area near Ashkezar, which called Mohavateh Toodeh (the area of mass), however, there remain just a few walls and pisés. The researchers believe that people live there from middle age to Safavid. There is also some evidence like a watermill, ancient castle, Haji Rajab Ali Mosque, Mirza Abulhadi Mosque, anthropology museum, and the complex of Hojjat Abad minister, which testify the city's antiquity. The watermill is the most important one because it works by the water of a qanat in the middle of a desert and it is full of beautiful decorations.

Twenty kilometers after Yazd, we reach to Ashkezar. In Mohavateh Toodeh near the white ḥosayniya, there are one of the biggest watermills in Iran. It was the only mill where many, from Meybod to Ashkezar, go there to flour their cereals. The governor of this region, Ali Naghi Khan built this mill in 1214 AH which worked with the water of Hemmat Abad Qanat eight kilometers of Ashkezar.

It was registered in the National heritage list in 1377 SH but since the qanat dried, the mill also lost its function and remained abandoned for some time. It was repaired in 1393 SH by Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran.

All the components of this mill located in the basement and the depth of fourteen meters. A wooden door with a brick vault and some lightwells inside the roof is all that you can see on earth. You can reach a Sahn (courtyard) through a steep way and after that door and vault. The courtyard is eight-sided rectangular which four sides are bigger than the other ones. On small sides, there is a room which includes a funnel chimney starter, and two rocks (one on top, and another beneath). Being full of water, the water moves through the narrow channel of chimney starter and it hits strongly the blades, causing the axis of the mill to rotate, and the axis attached to the upper rock moves and flakes the cereal slowly.

There are also domes on the top of each side of the courtyard and there are also some remarkable muqarnas that make this mill special.


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