Many things made and still make Persia famous today. Going along the line of Persian inventions, today we find the Towers of Wind 🙂 AKA the mother of air conditioning devices.
The towers of wind are found all over Iran. And they have to be! Desert weather, unbearable temperatures and the inhospitable heat has always made it imperious to find a solution since ancient times.
How did ancient Persians survive the torrid heat?
The Tower of Wind is basically a ‘wind catcher’, a building designed to refrigerate hot air. These towers, normally connected to water channels, are capable of storing water so efficiently that even during summer water can feel nearly freezing.
The invention proved so effective that it rapidly spread out in many Middle-eastern and Asian countries.
Their invention is certainly credited to the Persian Empire but we are still not sure today if the first Tower was actually built in Iran. What we know is that one of the oldest of these magnificent towers is about 3,000 years old and located in the city of Yazd.
Yazd is a desert city which has been able to maintain its ancient architecture, and as such, it represents today a beautiful example of Iranian planning engineering.
The Towers of Wind may come in different designs. The ones you find in Iran all come with a qanat, meaning underground water flows, which aggregates an even better cooling effect.
These Towers made it possible for very hostile environments to become fit for residential use. Inhabitable.
Its invention was widely applauded in the region, becoming an integral part of sacred temples and palaces.
Paradise is Persian. An old Persian word that comes from an Old Iranian *pardis- “walled enclosure”.
By around the sixth century though, Persians started to associate the idea of Paradise with cooling and refreshing gardens due to the obvious high summer temperatures, so Paradise quickly found a beautiful graphic association.
And truly, Persian gardens are something unique. These are mostly royal parks where rulers (mostly kings and shahs) spent their time escaping hot summer (and Paradise could not be more appropriate due to the intense Iranian summers), entertaining foreign guests or simply spending family time away from political duties.
Because of the desert predominance in the country, it was vital to find a way to preserve water and create oasis of fresh air. In fact, dear Reader, Iranians (or Persians) are famous for pioneering a number of engineering projects in the world and one of these is precisely the invention of ventilation towers, else known as wind catchers.
The invention proved to be highly efficient in terms of sustainability and economic costs, so it comes to no surprise that the method was soon adopted and implemented in many other countries in the Middle-East.
Wind towers or wind catchers are traditional Iranian architectural invention built to provide natural ventilation for buildings that are located in dry arid regions. The structure normally looks like the picture above, where the structure conducts the outside air into the building to provide cooling. Wind or no wind, the airflow is generated with the temperature difference between outside and inside the building
The interior of the pavilion is superb, with intricate latticework and exquisite stained-glass windows.