Meybod Yakhchal

Recently restored, this magnificent 400-year-old structure (one of the most impressive icehouses in Iran) dominates the north-facing part of the street, opposite the former post-house and caravanserai. The enormous, meticulously built mud and brick structure consists of two shallow icing ponds where water freezes in winter, tall 2m-thick walls that prevent the sun reaching the icing ponds, a pit for the storage of the ice from the ponds and a dome to shelter the ice from summer heat.

The dome walls are thick at the base but taper to a single brick at the top – a remarkable feat of engineering. Warm air, rising to the top of the dome, would have escaped through the hole that was closed once the storage area was full. A drain for any melted ice ensured that the stock wasn't spoilt by standing meltwater.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Post House

0.03 MILES

Next to the caravanserai, this 300-year-old building served as a way station on postal routes. Fibreglass horses and mannequins illustrate the various…

2. Zeilo Museum

0.03 MILES

Housed within Meybod's old caravanserai, the Zeilo Museum is dedicated to the hand-looming of prayer rugs. Some fine examples date back to the 16th…

3. Narin Castle

0.37 MILES

In the centre of Meybod, crumbling Narin castle rises imposingly above the town that has grown up around it. Revealing three layers of construction, the…

4. Pigeon Tower

1.02 MILES

Despite first impressions, this beautifully restored tower was not military in purpose but dedicated to something altogether more prosaic: it is a pigeon…

5. Pir-e-Sabz Fire Temple

24.88 MILES

The Pir-e-Sabz fire temple forms the main focus of interest at Chak Chak. Source of the drops of water after which this pilgrimage site is named, the…

6. Hidden Desert

26.27 MILES

Within 30 minutes (15km) drive of Yazd city centre, this belt of rippling sand dunes is a popular spot to watch the sun set across the desert landscape…