Alexander’s Prison is one of the sights in the Fahadan neighborhood in Yazd’s old town. The 15-century domed school is known as Alexander’s Prison because of a reference to this place in a Hafez poem. Some believe the building served as a prison at the time of Alexander the Great’s assault on Iran. Famous scholar Molana Ziya al-Din Hossein Razi later renovated the building and converted it to a school.
The building is a mud-brick structure. It features a dome, called Gonbad-Khaneh, which is 18 meters high. The dome is the oldest part of the building. It once boasted colorful plaster-work, but suffered serious damage over time. Today, visitors can see only a small part of the dome’s decoration. The building has also two minarets, a yard in which there are great iwans, and a huge entrance. The monument features brickwork and there is no tile-work in the building.
In the heart of the courtyard, there is a five-meter-deep well which leads to a cistern. The well is now covered and the cistern cannot be accessed through it. Instead, the cistern can be reached via Fahadan hotel’s cistern (which is the most famous one in Yazd). There are 38 steep and narrow stairs leading to the cisterns. Most of them now serve as subterranean teahouses offering a very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to spend some time and have a cup of tea with friends, family or the loved ones.