Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh

Top choice cultural centre in Yazd

The cavernous ab anbar (water reservoir), built around 1580, resembles a 29m-high standing egg from the inside. Crowned with five burly badgirs, this impressive piece of architecture stored water for much of the city until modern irrigation made it redundant. The building has found a new purpose as a zurkhaneh (house of strength) in which javan mard (gentlemen) exercise using heavy wooden clubs to build muscle. The practitioners of this ancient sport are expected to display chivalrous values and embrace high integrity.

Visitors are permitted to sit around the central exercise area (shoes should be removed) and watch the exercise sessions. These are accompanied by rhythmic drumming that helps the whirling individuals to reach almost religious heights of concentration.