Amir Chakhmaq Complex 2017-03-13
Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a well-known structure in Yazd, central Iran. The complex is noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves. It is a mosque located on a square by the same name. The complex also houses a caravanserai, a tekieh (a place where religious mourning rituals are held), a public bath, a cold water well, and a confectionery.
At night, the building is lit up after twilight hours after sunset with orange lighting in the arched alcoves making it a spectacular sight.
During the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war against Iran, and Iraq’s confrontation with the United States, as well as Afghanistan civil war, many Iraqis and Afghanis established temporary lodgings in Yazd’s Amir Chakhmaq Square.
The mosque was named after Amir Jalaleddin Chakhmaq, a governor of Yazd during the Timurid rule (15th-16th century CE). Separate lodging areas for Iraqis and Afghanis are near the mosque. The complex is situated opposite what once was the Yazd Water Museum.
The prominent structure has a three-storey elaborate façade of symmetrical sunken arched alcoves. It is the largest structure in Iran. There are two very tall minarets in the center. The spiral staircase in one of the two minarets is said to give one a feeling of claustrophobia, while it provides a panoramic view of Yazd.
The public bath, in the front of the building is around 600 years old. Arcades have been added recently on its flanks to provide safety from traffic. Only the first floor above the ground level is accessible. There is a shopping mall in the basement of the structure.
The complex includes the three-storey tekieh which used to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
There is a nakhl [which symbolizes the coffin (casket) of Imam Hussein (PBUH). It is a scaffold-shaped like a tree leaf] in the corner of tekieh, described as a strong, wooden object with very large metal fixtures and studs. It was venerated to commemorate the anniversary of Ashura — the day in which Imam Hussein (PBUH), his family and supporters were martyred some 14 centuries ago.