Yazd's Ziyaeeyeh School: A School Belongs to Eight Centuries Ago
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Alexander's prison is a 15th century domed school, located next to the tourist office in the old town of Yazd. Alexander's prison is advertised as being built as a mosque and Ziaeeyeh religious school and to have no connection to Alexander.
On the other hand, some believe that this is known as Alexander’s Prison because of a reference in a Hafez poem. Other alternative is that its name comes from the claim that it was built by Alexander the Great as a prison for some Persian protesters.
The complex contains a deep, circular, brick-lined pit almost 10 meters in diameter resembling an ancient dungeon found at the heart of the old. There is also a well and some nooks in the courtyard.
The dome of Alexander's prison is made of raw clay and is decorated with plaster works and golden and azure watercolor. The noteworthy architectural features of the dome are traceable in other domes dating to the Mongolian period in Iran.
Each side of the domed tower is almost 9 meters long and it rises almost 18 meters tall. There is little left of the inscriptions inside the dome but from what remains it appears to be kufic writings.
The material used in much of the building is clay; however, it has been restored with bricks in the past few decades. Some steep stairs lead the way down into the dungeon although nowadays it is a beautiful room decorated with tables and red carpets and serves as a tea house.
Although the original purpose of the building is unknown, nevertheless, it now serves as an Ethnographic Museum. Inside there is a detailed scaled model of the old city and a collection of labeled archaeological artifacts that were dug up around the city.
What really brings the museum to life however is the staff of traditionally trained artisans who are on hand to show off their skills by working the old wood framed looms and throwing clay pots to demonstrate the crafts that made the city famous throughout Persia and along the old Silk Road to China.
Source: Oruj Travel