Zeilo Museum

Around Yazd

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 century and it is possible to see how they are made in the workshops occupying some of the former caravanserai lodgings. The cotton kilims are double-sided and many feature the cypress tree. Only a dozen zeilo masters still work at this ancient craft and prices for each piece (from around US$40) vary according to the complexity of the design.

The caravanserai complex has some interesting features, including tethers for a horse alongside each lodging and a piece of the original silk road visible in front of the building. Water from the local qanat (underground water channel) once flowed through the reservoir outside, under the direction of a caretaker. Unusually, there are only 15 steps down to the water here as the structure, with its impressive wind catchers, is built on a hill allowing for easier access.

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