Yazd is the capital of Yazd province, "the second ancient and historic city in the world" and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located some 175 miles southeast of Isfahan. In 2006 it had an estimated population of 505,037. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd is an architecturally unique city. It is also known in Iran for the high quality handicrafts, especially silk weaving, and its sweets shops.
The city has a 3000 year long history, dating back to the time of the Median empire. The city was definitely a Zoroastrian centre during Sassanid times. After the Islamic conquest of Persia, many Zoroastrians fled to Yazd from neighbouring provinces. The city remained Zoroastrian even after the conquest by paying a levy, and only gradually did Islam come to be the dominant religion in the city.
Because of its remote desert location and the difficulty of approach, Yazd had remained largely immune to large battles and the destruction and ravages of war. For instance, it was a haven for those fleeing from destruction in other parts of Persia during the invasion of Genghis Khan. It was visited by Marco Polo in 1272 who remarked on the city's fine silk weaving industry. It briefly served as the capital of the Muzaffarid Dynasty in the 14th century, and was sieged unsuccessfully in 1350–1351 by the Injuids under Shaikh Abu Ishaq. The Friday (or Congregation) Mosque, arguably the city's greatest architectural landmark, as well as other important buildings date to this period. During the Qajar dynasty (18th Century AD) it was ruled by the Bakhtiari Khans.
There is a very amazing thing about Yazd and its people who moved to the east of Yazd. In the rule of the Savafis (16. century) people from Yazd migrated to a place and called it Yazdi: This place is currently on the iranian-afghan border in the province of Farah in Farah city in Afghanistan. The people of Yazdi in Farah city in the province of Farah are all persians and shiite muslims. They speak a very similar accent like the iranian people of Yazd.
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