Nashtifan Windmills

Also known as: Nashtifan Asbad, Asiab Badi of Nashtifan


Nashtifan is a desert area in northeastern Iran. The name of the area is believed to have derived from Nish Toofan which literally means sting of storm. That is because of the strong blizzards and winds blowing in the area all year round. The local people of Nashtifan have long adapted themselves to the nature of their environment. They have long utilized wind power by constructing windmills which have been in place since the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736 A.D).



The horizontal windmills are made of clay, straw and wood. Wooden blades have been set up atop adobe buildings which feature the unique architecture used in Iran's desert areas. The milling stones lie in the 15-20 meter high vaulted buildings constructed to withstand the strong winds which blow up to 120 km per hour. Each windmill consists of eight including six vertical wooden blades which are revolved by wind power. The spinning blades in turn move the grinding stones and mill the grains already poured into the hob.


Windmills still working!

What makes Nashtifan's ancient windmills unique is that they are still operational! The sound of wind whispering in the plain and the light of the setting sun in the desert tinges the adobe vaulted buildings with delicate colors, setting up a wonderland for those interested to steep themselves in history.

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