There are many famous historical monuments in Yazd, in this article we will deal with one of the historical monuments of Yazd, behind which there is a strange story. Alexander Prison or Ziaieh School. In fact, the question now undoubtedly arises for you whether this place is a prison or a school? Then join us to unveil the secret of Ziaieh School or Iskander prison, one of the attractions of Yazd.
The mysterious place is located in one of the old neighborhoods of Yazd, in central Iran. However, as a modern visitor, what you see is like a centuries-old domed building made of bricks, clay, and mortar; it does not match a prison or so at all.
The complex, however, contains a deep, circular, brick-lined pit almost 10 meters in diameter resembling an ancient dungeon found at the heart of the old. There is also a well and some nooks in the courtyard.
Prison or school? This is the problem. We will answer your question. In fact, at the time of Alexander's invasion, this building was built as a prison and it has been used as such for a long time. But as the building continued to flourish, the prison, where many were imprisoned, became a place for many others to study science and knowledge. Yes, this school turned from a prison into a school! Regarding the fame of Ziaieh School or Alexander Prison, it should be said that in addition to the various narrations about it, one of them is much more logical than the other. This narration says that because a group of Alexander's exiles came to Yazd, several factors such as geographical features, remoteness and difficulty of getting to Yazd and its distance from large and busy centers in the distant past, has led to the construction of this prison.
According to the legend, a deep well in the middle of the courtyard of the structure was in fact built by Alexander the Great and used as a dungeon.
Some locals say that Alexander's Prison, or the Zia’iya school in the Fahadan neighborhood of Yazd, was built on the request of Alexander the Great, during his invasion of Iran, centuries before the complex being modified and reconstructed as a school.
Another narration says that Alexander Prison in Yazd was built in 631 AH by one of the famous mystics known as Zia-ud-Din Hossein Razi and in 705 AH it was rebuilt and completed by his sons Majdaldin Hassan and Sharafuddin Ali. As you can see, there are many narrations, but what we are sure of is that this school has changed from a prison to such a historical and ancient place.
No tile works have been used in the construction of this building and perhaps this is the secret of the survival of this monument until today. The beautiful dome of this building is made of brick and is decorated with azure and golden plaster that nowadays only a part of it leftover. It has an old courtyard with three balconies around it. It is also possible to mention the presence of a well in the middle of the courtyard, which ends with the cellar
The noteworthy architectural features of the dome are traceable in other domes dating to the Mongolian period in Iran. Each side of the domed tower is almost 9 meters long and it rises almost 18 meters tall. There is little left of the inscriptions inside the dome but from what remains it appears to be Kufic writings.