Yazd Tourist Attractions 26 Jan 2019 BY The Authors Group

Amir Chakhmagh Complex | A Plaza in Yazd

Amir Chakhmagh or Amir Chakhmaq historical square is the symbol of Yazd city and located at the heart of the city.

Along with other structures around the main monuments, such as a bazaar, mosque, water storage, and a mausoleum it is listed as a National Heritage Site

At night, the building is lit up after sunset with orange lighting in the arched alcoves making it a spectacular sight. It is a popular place for local people, where they spend a few hours at nights, and therefore it can be considered as a Plaza in Yazd.

Amir Chakhmaq Squar

The architecture of Amir Chakhmagh Complex

The complex is noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves. There are two very tall minarets in the center. The spiral staircase in one of the two minarets is said to give one a feeling of claustrophobia, while it provides a panoramic view of Yazd.

There is a mosque, a traditional bazaar, a caravanserai, a tekye, a bathhouse, cold water well, and a number of stores all around the square.

The Amir Chakhmagh Mosque, known as New Jame Mosque or Dohouk Mosque, Amir Chakhmaq Mosque is the oldest structure in the square, which is situated on the southern part of the square. Both interior and exterior designs are eye-catching with Persian and Islamic details all over the place which resembles Persian Art. Including text carvings, mosaic inscriptions, Quran carvings on inscriptions, tiling and marble designs, fretwork, and muqarnas structures.

The same as every city in Iran, there is a traditional bazaar at the center of Yazd. The bazaar is just behind the Amir Chakhmagh Square, is the main place for shopping fabric, sweets and candies, gold, and carpet. The oldest part of this bazaar is located in the eastern part of the bazaar and is called Haji Ghanbar Bazaar, on the name of rulers of Yazd who ordered to build the bazaar. The bazaar includes some priceless reminiscences of the 9th century in the Islamic calendar. There are also some stores that manufacture natural materials like sesame sweets, colors, fabrics, and so forth.

Amir Chakhmaq Squar

The complex includes the three-story tekye which used to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam. But only the first floor above the ground level is accessible.

History of Amir Chakhmagh Complex

Amir Chakhmagh complex was built in the 15th century between 1418 and 1438, by Jalal-al-din Amir Chakhmagh, who was the governor of Yazd in the Timurids period. It is believed that Amir Chakhmagh, ordered to build the complex to populate Yazd with the cooperation of his wife; Fatemeh Khatoun, and completing the project was not possible without her help and advice.

It is said that at the same year the mosque was inaugurated by Haj Qanbar Jahanshahi, who was the subsequent governor and constructed a bazaar and a caravanserai at the sides of the square.

Amir Chakhmaq Squar

Many parts of the complex deteriorated until the 18th century in the Safavid era, when Bahador Khan Shams Yousef Meibodi renovated some parts and reconstructed the caravanserai in the same location

The complex again encountered erosion until the late 19th century when the Tekye was built by Abu-al-Qasim Rashti at the entrance of the bazaar.

Most of the changes in Amir-Chakhmagh Square were implemented during the modernization period of Reza Shah. By completing Pahlavi Street in 1935, the northern part of the square, which connected it with the Bazaar, was demolished. This square converted also to the cemetery in the Pahlavi Period.

Nakhl Gardani in Amir Chakhmagh Complex

Amir Chakhmagh square was established on the north side of an important mosque called the Old Mosque, known today as Amir Chakhmagh Mosque. At the beginning of the 19th century, the square converted to a tekye, where Muslims used to gather for Muharram (the holy month). It is one of the largest tekye in Iran.

The three-story tekye is used to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein. In the corner of the tekye, there is a Nakhl (Palm), described as a “strong, wooden object with very large metal fixtures and studs”. This palm is a big one named Nakhl-e-Heidari (Palm of Heidari). The history of this palm dates back to 450 years ago in Safavid dynasty. It is said to be the oldest palm of Iran. It was venerated during the Shia commemoration festival of Ashura.

Carrying Nakhl Ashura Iran

Nakhl-Gardani is the act of carrying Nakhl, sometimes by "several strong men", on the Day of Ashura, as if it is Imam Hussein’s coffin. The ritual, historically dating back to pre-Safavid (almost 450 years ago), is carried out at various places in Iran, among them Yazd, Kashan, Abyaneh, and Shahroud.

People carrying the Nakhl on their shoulders are guided by the people standing on the Nakhl, among them, an old Sayyed (descendant of the prophet) chants Ya Hussein and guides the passionate mourners carrying it so that no one is left under. The Nakhl usually covers with black fabrics and hang hundreds of swords and daggers from it. Sometimes other decorations such as mirrors, fruits, decorative knots, and silk clothes, tied at two sides of the Nakhl.


Leave a Comment