Sabats Bring Relaxing atmosphere in Yazd Streets

Sabats, showing the foresight of Persian architects in producing welfare and strength of buildings in Yazd Streets.

Introduction to Sabats

Persian architecture has always been full of grace and mystery. The details and comprehensiveness used in the design and philosophy behind the construction of each part of the Persian structures and buildings show the deep understanding of the architects who were much ahead of their time. You can see one of the examples of this intelligence in the urban planning of old neighborhoods in Sabats , see in its covered alleys and archways called Saabat. The archway is a corridor-like passage with a roof on long distances above the passers-by’s heads; The purpose of  Sabats design and execution is to protect the heatstroke in the desert area from the sun for a moment under its shadow.

Being half-covered in winter, the Sabat’s inside air is warmer than outside. Sabats are also the basis of the integrity and stability of the houses adjoining to them, supporting them to withstand the structural pressures. They are architectural features of tropical and desert ecosystems; you can see more samples in Isfahan, Yazd, and Dezful. Saabat in Persian architecture of hot and sunny cities shows the Persian architects’ experience, knowledge, and skills. In fact, the Sabats connected the two parts of an alley. Yazdi architects not only considered all aspects of the house design but also of the alley’s construction. They considered valuable features due to the needs and climatic and cultural conditions of the inhabitants.

The Meaning of The Sabats

Saabat means corridor, archway, and roof that is built on alleys and passages. It consists of two parts: Sa + Bat. “Sa” in Persian means comfort and convenience, and “Bat” means building or mansion. As a result, Sabat is a structure that was designed to bring more convenience and well-being to individuals and passers-by.

The Types and Functions of Yazd Sabats

Sabats were designed and made in two methods. In the first type, the roof was flat, with a mat or wooden beams. In the second type, Saabat was built-in arches and domes form that transferred the roof’s weight to the ground through columns and walls. Such a structure-function also transfers the earthquake pressure to the ground and prevented the buildings’ destruction at strong earthquake shocks. In addition, the semi-closed structure of Sabat also caused hot weather in winters and cold weather in summers due to the wind blowing in its space that creates pleasant air. For this reason, in most tropical parts of Iran, we see the presence of Sabats.

The construction of Sabats had been highly significant in terms of the structure’s strength and taking care of the buildings against strong winds. Another distinguished function of Sabatas was that, due to their height, no horsemen could cross them. As a result, bandits and assailants who attacked neighborhoods and homes were unable to pass the neighborhoods. Sabat has had positive functions in Persian architecture in terms of security as well.  In some of the dead-end streets, Sabat had strong doors installed at the entrance to maintain security, known as Dar Band in Persian. Sabats also had many cultural and social functions. Such structures caused the houses next to each other to form a harmonious community and inhabitants to gather and talk about various issues such as the neighborhood’s general problems.  Above the Sabats, there was usually a room for male gatherings; there were chairs and equipment for sitting and holding meetings in these rooms for men to gather and socialize.

Where to See More Examples?

Sabats still exist in old neighborhoods, showing the foresight of Persian architects in producing welfare and strength of buildings. The Khan Bazaar of Yazd Sabats is one of the examples of ancient and impressive Sabats in the province and is one of the most important sights of Yazd. There are Sabats in the Bayazeh village in Yazd where is a historical place and attracts many tourists because of its old caravanserais and a charming hotel. Bayazeh Sabats, along with historical sights and desert climate, are considered as Yazd sights.

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