The Giant Fortress Of Saryazd
The giant fortress of SARYAZD is one of the most eye-catching and incredible fortresses. Having many distinctive features both historically and architecturally as it stands unique amongst the very many fortresses dispersed around the central desert of Iran.
The fortress, which remained in a state of inattention and obscurity for a long time is situated beside a village called by the same name in Mehriz district near the city of Yazd. It is known for its being the only three-storied fortress in Yazd province still standing.
Saryazd fortress is built three stories high with a small hidden entrance for each floor designed in such a way as to make it difficult, if not impossible, for medieval soldiers from invading armies to penetrate inside the fortress. The structure of the fortress consists of two separate cores each surrounded by its own set of massive walls. This fortress was built and rebuilt over the course of several decades and centuries. Its inner core dating back to the Sassanid era some 1800 years ago, is considered the very stronghold of the overall structure which was designed to protect the patriotic and pious inhabitants of Saryazd village during invasions. At one time it served as the last line of defense by Zoroastrians against invading armies some 1400 years ago.
The outer core was later built during Safavid era with the intention of providing security for local inhabitants. It also provided sufficient numbers of stables for protection of cattle against common banditry rampant at that time.
The whole site is surrounded by a ditch over 5 meters deep only accessible over a wooden bridge directly in front of the main gate. The fortress is also special for having a rare track-laid gate with giant patches of iron – rammed onto it, thus preventing it from catching fire.
Dark roofed alleys of the fortress are constructed narrow enough to let only one man to pass at a time. It did not take so long for an invader to find himself like a mouse caught in a dark maze while every other alleyways led to a square-like checkpoint. Here dozens of warriors and swordsmen with their backs against the sunlight would be laying in ambush to gang upon the intruder. However while men and young boys were fighting down in the alleyways, women, children and elderly were kept in safe rooms up on higher stories.
People of Saryazd are famous for their patriotism and bravery. They have repeatedly resisted against various invaders and fought to the last drop of their blood in line for upholding their dignity since time immemorial.
Over centuries, these patriotic people migrated to other parts of the country. Many ended up living in nearby city of Yazd. Today when we hear them speak, we notice how proud they are of their role in the history of their homeland.
So here it is the fortress of Saryazd, “The Gateway to Yazd”.
Article by : Arash Kazerani