The Seljuk Han of Anatolia
About this website....
This website contains information on caravansarais (known in Turkish as hans), an important group of buildings built in Turkey during the Seljuk era of the 13th century (1071-1306).
The objectives of this site are to:
- serve as an introduction to the Turkish han of the Seljuk era
- furnish a descriptive list of hans currently standing as well as those in ruins
- provide resources for those who wish to study the architecture of hans
- generate a greater appreciation of the art, history and architecture of the Seljuk period
- offer information for planning a visit to a han
This is a general introduction to the subject. It does not list all the hans built during the Seljuk era, and it does not detail all the elements of every han. An English-language bibliography is included for further reading on the subject should the reader wish to seek more exhaustive information. The site presents a general overview of the hans that are currently standing, in good condition and that can be visited. A list of hans now in ruins is also provided. This site does not include hans built in the Beylik or Ottoman eras.
The Turkish Government has submitted a request to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) that the "Seljuk Caravanserais on the route from Denizli to Doğubeyazit" be placed on the World Heritage List of Monuments, due to their participation in the interchange of human values and the arts, their exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of a civilization which has disappeared, and their illustration of an outstanding type of building. It is the intention of this site to foster a discovery and greater appreciation of the universal historical, social and artistic value of the Seljuk caravansarai.
In as far as possible, current photos of the restored hans are shown. Please note that due to the extensive architectural restoration endeavors undertaken by the Turkish government over the last 5 years, the photos on this site may not depict the current state of the han, but rather its pre-renovated state. These older photos provide an insight to the original building fabric and as such, are of interest for historians. Photos are by the author unless indicated otherwise. I would like to thank Ibrahim Divarci of Konya, Turkey, for his support and for his generous permission to use his photographs on this site.
The author and webmaster of this site is Katharine Branning. The site reflects the yearly field work done by the author, a librarian and art historian, in the years 1978 to the present.
Please send comments and suggestions!
last update: April 4, 2018
©2001-2018, Katharine Branning; All Rights Reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced in any form without written consent from the author.