Marco Polo visited Yazd on his way to China and called it the "good and noble city of Yazd". His comments still hold true today as the reputation of the citizens of this desert city for honesty and hard work remains undiminished. The architecture of Yazd is perhaps the most traditionally Persian to be found, preserved by the hot, dry climate and spared the devastation of the Mongols and other invaders.
The badgirs, wind-catchers, are seen from Kashan to the Persian Gulf but are most highly developed in Yazd. It is also the centre for Iran’s small Zoroastrian community, who seeking refuge from the invading Arabs, found a safe haven within its fortified walls. There are many fire temples and other Zoroastrian places of pilgrimage which attract people of the faith from all over Iran.
The main Atashkadeh of Yazd is located in the old quarter of the town, holding the eternal fire considered sacred by Zoroastrians. Outside Yazd are the two abandoned Towers of Silence, Dakhma, dating back to the 17th century, where until some 40-50 years ago the dead were carried there and left to decompose and be devoured by birds. Among Yazd’s Islamic sites are the Friday Mosque, constructed in 1324 A.D. under the Mongol Il-Khan Abu-Sa’id and completed in 1375. The simple elegance of this mosque is completed by its stately portal flanked by two minarets, the highest in Iran. Other notable Islamic monuments in Yazd are the Saljuq shrine dedicated to the Twelve Shia Imams, the tomb of Seyyed Rukn-eddin, and the shrine of Seyyed Shams-eddin.
The Mir-Chakhmagh Square is also a famous landmark. There are many beautiful old houses in Yazd, among them the Dowlat-abad Garden, with an 18th century feudal hexagonal house, including many beautiful wall and window decorations, and also the Lari House.