News ID: 303160
Published: 1006 GMT May 18, 2021

Manifestation of long-standing wish for water in the desert

Manifestation of long-standing wish for water in the desert
Yazd Water Museum

Iranica Desk

For centuries, people around the world with different cultures have amassed a treasure trove of rare and valuable objects in one place and named it a museum.

The issue of water in Iran’s dry Yazd Province, as a rare and valuable piece of life for the people of this desert land, prompted them several years ago to establish a museum dubbed Yazd Water Museum.

This museum has been the manifestation of a long-standing wish of the people of Yazd for water. The desire for water in different periods is manifested in different forms and reflects the wise adaptation of desert people to the harsh conditions around them.

The Yazd Water Museum is located in the center of the city of Yazd. It is a beautiful old historical mansion that belonged to a famous wealthy merchant, Haj Ali Akbar Kolahduz, of the Qajar Dynasty. With an area of ​​720 square meters, the museum building was built by the merchant in 1888.

Also known as Kolahduz House, the museum consists of three parts: Basement, ground floor, and the second story, or payab.

 

Old dishes and tools

 

In the basement of the museum, old dishes and ewers are kept. Large copper pans and pitchers from 400 years ago (Safavid Dynasty), kettles, and aiguieres, from 100 to 150 years ago, are among the old objects in this section. In another corner of the museum, a pottery jar, dating back to more than a thousand years ago, is kept as the museum’s oldest object.

In another part of the museum, the aqueduct-digging tool can be seen next to the replica of the aqueduct water transfer system. In this section, objects such as levels, short-handle pickaxes for digging aqueducts, well wheels, and carbide lamps are displayed. An important feature of carbide lamps is that they not only do not produce carbon dioxide, but also increase the amount of oxygen in the space when working deep in the ground.

In an interview with Iran Daily, Seyyed Mohammad Baqaei, a museum expert who has been in charge of Yazd Water Museum for twenty years, explained the characteristics of this building.

“This aristocratic house was used as a residence until 1985. In 2000, the owners of the house decided to demolish it and turn it into a passage, but this is not allowed by the authorities. Then the house was bought and, finally, after the reconstruction in 2000, it was given to the Regional Water Company of Yazd to be turned into a museum.

 

Unique characteristics of the building

 

With its amazing architecture, Kolahduz House was selected as a water museum due to its special features in the field of the water supply system and providing favorable temperature conditions for residents.

Crossing the branch of two qanats through the house is a unique feature of the building. One of these qanats passes at a depth of ten meters from the bottom of the water reservoir. Above this section, there is an octagonal space, which has been a good place to store food due to its constant temperature and favorable atmosphere.

Baqaei explained the unique water-related features of the house, saying that inside the yard, a water well, with a depth of 24 meters, is connected to the Zarch Qanat, which still has water. Of course, the Rahim Abad Qanat, which dried up 70 years ago, also passes through this house.

He said that on the roof of the house, there is a section called Chah Khaneh, which literally means House of Water.  The reservoir’s water was supplied by a water well known as Chehel Gaz and Mohammad Abad Qanat. The water was drawn into the well by a well wheel, so the residents no longer had to go to the well to access the water.

“Behind the water reservoir, a small pond was built; with its valves opened, the fountains of the water pond began to work with the pressure of the water coming out of it,” Baqaei explained.

This shows the special technology used in the past, without the need for electricity and pumps, which caused water to escape from the fountains of the pond and make the home space pleasant.

 

   
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