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Encyclopedia > Caravanserai
A sample floorplan of a Safavid caravanserai.

A caravanserai (from Persian: كاروانسرا - kārwānṣarā) was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and South-Eastern Europe. Image File history File links Carvansara_plan. ... Image File history File links Carvansara_plan. ... Floor plan (floorplan, floor-plan) in its original meaning is an architecture term, a diagram of a room, a building, or a level (floor) of a building as if seen from the above (i. ... The Safavids were a long-lasting Turkic-speaking Iranian dynasty that ruled from 1501 to 1736 and first established Shiite Islam as Persias official religion. ... Santana (originally the Santana Blues Band) is a flexible number of musicians accompanying Carlos Santana since the late 1960s. ... Caravanserai marked a major point in Santanas career, as it was a sharp departure from his critically acclaimed first three albums. ... Farsi redirects here. ... Inns are establishments where travellers can procure food, drink, and lodging. ... A trade route is a commonly used path of travel for those (e. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe southeastern Europe (see the Definitions and boundaries section below). ...

Most typically it was a building with a square or rectangular walled exterior, with a single portal wide enough to permit large or heavily laden beasts such as camels to enter. The courtyard was almost always open to the sky, and the inside walls of the enclosure were outfitted with a number of identical stalls, bays, niches, or chambers to accommodate merchants and their servants, animals, and merchandise.[1] Caravanserais provided water for human and animal consumption, washing, and ritual ablutions. Sometimes they even had elaborate baths. They also kept fodder for animals and had shops for travellers where they could acquire new supplies. In addition, there could be shops where merchants could dispose of some of their goods.[2] For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ... Sponges are sold at this roadside stall near Akti Bay in the island of Kalymnos, Greece. ... Fodder growing from barley In agriculture, fodder or animal feed is any foodstuff that is used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, including cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. ...

The word is also rendered as caravansarai and caravansary. It is a Westernization of the Persian word كاروانسرا, which combines caravan (كاروان) with sara (سرا) meaning dwelling, palace, or enclosed courts, added by the Persian suffix -yi. Caravan itself has come to have a similar meaning in English, where it refers to a group or convoy of soldiers, traders, pilgrims, or other travelers engaged in long distance travel. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Farsi redirects here. ...



  1. ^ Sims, Eleanor. 1978. Trade and Travel: Markets and Caravanserais.' In: Michell, George. (ed.). 1978. Architecture of the Islamic World - Its History and Social Meaning. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 101.
  2. ^ Ciolek, T. Matthew. 2004-present. Catalogue of Georeferenced Caravanserais/Khans. Old World Trade Routes (OWTRAD) Project. Canberra: www.ciolek.com - Asia Pacific Research Online.


  • www.consideratcaravanserai.net: Text and photos on research on caravanserai and travel journeys in Central Asia and Middle East.

Further reading

  • Branning, Katharine. 2002. The Seljuk Han in Anatolia. www.Turkishhan.org, New York, USA.
  • Encyclopedia Iranica, p.798-802
  • Erdmann, Kurt, Erdmann, Hanna. 1961. Das anatolische Karavansaray des 13. Jahrhunderts, 3 vols. Berlin: Mann, 1976, ISBN 3-7861-2241-5
  • Hillenbrand, Robert. 1994. Islamic Architecture: Form, function and meaning. NY: Columbia University Press. (see Chapter VI for an in depth overview of the caravanserai).
  • Kiani, Mohammad Yusef. 1976. Caravansaries in Khorasan Road. Reprinted from: Traditions Architecturales en Iran, Tehran, No. 2 & 3, 1976.
  • Yavuz, Aysil Tükel. 1997. The Concepts that Shape Anatolian Seljuq Caravanserais. In: Gülru Necipoglu (ed). 1997. Muqarnas XIV: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 80-95. Available online as a PDF document, 1.98 MB archnet.org/library/pubdownloader/pdf/8967/doc/DPC1304.pdf.

Encyclopædia Iranica is a project of Columbia Universitys Center for Iranian Studies to create a comprehensive and authoritiative English language encyclopedia about the history and culture of Iran and Persia. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
CARAVANSERAI - LoveToKnow Article on CARAVANSERAI (586 words)
Should the caravanserai be a small one, the merchants and their goods alone find place within, the beasts of burden being left outside.
Sometimes a municipality takes on itself toconstruct and maintain a caravanserai; but in any case the institution is tax-free, and its revenues are inalienable.
When, as sOmetimes happens, those revenues have been dissipated by peculation, neglect or change of times, the caravanserai passes through downward stages of dilapidation to total ruin (of which only too many examples may be seen) unless some new charity intervene to repair and renew it.
Cappadocia Online - Caravanserai 's (496 words)
Stones cut from the volcanic rock were used in the construction of the caravanserais in the Region of Cappadocia.
Caravanserais were built along roads running from Antalya - Konya - Kayseri to the land of Turkomans passing through Erzurum and Tabriz and from the Black Sea region to Iraq via Amasya - Tokat - Sivas - Malatya -Diyarbakir at a distance of 30-40km, one day camel trek.
It is possible to see some of the most beautiful examples of caravanserais in the region of Cappadocia, especially between Aksaray and Kayseri, since it is an intersection, east to west and south to north; Sultanhan in Aksaray, Agzikarahan in Aksaray, Saruhan in Nevsehir and Sultanhan in Kayseri.
  More results at FactBites »



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