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Ancient Trade Routes With Seljuk Caravanserais

Seljuk Caravanserais Seljuk Caravanserais on the route from Denizli to Dogubeyazit

Date of submission to the Tentative World Heritage List: 25/02/2000
List Reference:  1403

Ancient Trade Routes With Seljuk Caravanserais

The caravanserais, a new architectural type with social function developed in central Asia by the Karakhanids and Ghaznavids passed into Anatolian Turkish architecture. The institution of caravanserais has its most variations in Seljuk Anatolia, using the forms of Anatolian stone architecture. These buildings offering travellers in mountain and desert all the possibilities and comforts of civilization of the period each effectively a social fondation subject to an organized and continuous state programme, appear to present a typical characteristic of Turkish society, Denizli-Dogubeyazlt Route consists of about 40 Hans about which 10 are very well preserved. Some of these are Akhan, Ertokus Han, Saadettin Han, Obruk Han, Agzikarahan, Sultan Han (2), Oresin Han, Sikre Han, Mamahatun Caravenseria and Hacibekir Han. Caravanserais were havens in which caravans could take shelter. They have their origins in the nomadic lifestyles of the Turkish tribes of Central Asia. At a very early period there existed a social institution called muyanlık, a word that means "charity", "pious deed", and "kindsess." These were generally simple dormitories that offered travelers food and a place to sleep. By the 7 th centruy, these simple dormitories had developed into more complex establishments called ribat, a word that may be translated as "inn." There is evidence that hundreds of these ribats were built. The culmination of this line of development is the massive caravanserais that the Seljuks built in Anatolia. Caravanserais were huge accommodations, facilities that provided shelter, food and drink for a caravan's full complement of people, animals, and cargo and could also handle its needs for maintenance, treatment, and care.

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