1136 GMT December 04, 2021
The city of Mehriz’s Pahlevanpour Garden, in the central province of Yazd, enjoys a unique status among historical areas in Iran, as it is a place where two UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet, according to the cultural heritage deputy at the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization in Yazd.
Speaking to Iran Daily, Ali-Asghar Sadiani said, “The Pahlevanpour Garden, along with eight other gardens, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011, under the name, ‘The Persian Garden,’ while the Hassan Abad-e Moshir Qanat, which flows through Pahlevanpour Garden, was also granted a UNESCO status in 2016, together with 10 other water systems, as ‘The Persian Qanat’.”
Elaborating on the architectural attributes of the garden, Sadiani said, “The place has a rectangular segmentation, which is the main characteristic of Persian gardens, with a kushk (pavilion) built in the middle, with water flowing through it.”
The Iranian official added, “Of the nine Persian gardens on the UNESCO list, the Pahlevanpour Garden is the only one associated with ordinary people’s lives [built in the Qajar Era], while others – such as the Dowlat-Abad Garden, also in Yazd, Fin Garden in Kashan, or Shahzadeh Mahan Garden in Kerman – were properties of the ruling king.”
“The paving and waterways are built with bricks in the other eight gardens but the rural attributes of those architectural elements are preserved in an organic manner in the Pahlevanpour Garden, giving it a unique aesthetic quality.”
Speaking of the Hassan Abad-e Moshir Qanat, Sadiani said, “The qanat dates back some 700 years. It begins in the Gharbalbiz Mountains [southwest of Mehriz] and extends 58 kilometers through Mehriz, as well as the villages of Dehnow, Hassan Abad, and Maryam Abad in Yazd. The qanat was restored some 200 years ago.”
The cultural heritage official said, “Each of the 11 qanats was registered on the UNESCO list due to a significant feature. The Zarch Qanat [in Yazd], for instance, was selected for its 92-kilometer length, while the Hassan Abad-e Moshir Qanat is best known for its high volume, as well as the quality of water.”
When asked about the tourists visiting the garden, given the coronavirus restrictions, Sadiani said, “Since the Pahlevanpour Garden is an open place, it is easier for visitors to observe hygiene protocols. That’s why the garden was among the places most visited during the Persian New Year holidays.”
Sadiani said, “Mehriz was inscribed on the National Heritage List in 2019 for the expansive gardens within the city.”
The city, Sadiani said, is a combination of five ancient rural areas: Mehrpadin, Mang Abad, Baghdad Abad, Mazvir Abad, and Estahrij.
The city has kept its rural identity throughout the years and the rich water sources and the high number of qanats make it a perfect place for farming, according to Sadiani. “There are still many garden houses all around the city and the rural alleys have remained intact.”
“The mesmerizing nature of Mehriz has made the city one of the most-visited places in the province, while the people of the desert areas take to Mehriz during the hot summer season.”