ZoroasterYazd is also one of the largest cities in the world built from adobe. Everywhere there are windcatchers, the small towers used for cooling buildings. They are a household necessity in a desert where some of the earth’s hottest surface temperatures - 71° Celsius - have been recorded. From the top of the huge Amir Chakhmaq Complex in the city center, countless windcatchers poke up above the rooftops like periscopes in an ocean of bubbled adobe homes.
Jameh MosqueYazd’s city center is alive with people rushing home from work. We pass shops selling sugar crystals and bakeries crammed with pastries before arriving at the Seljuq shrine, the city’s holiest Islamic site. Some ninety percent of Iranians identify as Shiite Muslims. There are separate entrances for men and women and I wrap a borrowed robe around my bare legs before entering. Light reflects off the mirrored ceiling and walls and the shrine is bathed in lime green, the Prophet Muhammad’s favourite colour and the one opposition forces adopted in protests that shook the country in 2009.