The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

ATABEY HAN


A late-period northern han perhaps built by the local clan ruling under the Seljuks.

 

Karpuz, Anadolu Selçuklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 432

Eravşar, 2017. p. 110; photo I. Dıvarcı

Eravşar, 2017. p. 113; photo I. Dıvarcı

DISTRICT
37 KASTAMONU
 

LOCATION

The Atabey Han is located in the Akkaya district on the Kastamonu-Tosya Road, 22 km south of Kastamonu and 4 km from the village of Elmayakası on the banks of the Karadere River. The Atabey Han is located The ruins of the han are situated 150-200 meters from the road and 4 km from the village of Elmakaya. It was built on the route leading to Sinop through the Ilgaz Mountains.

 

NAMES

There is no information concerning the origin of the name of the han. The name of Atabey used for the han is a title given by the Seljuks to high ranking officers. In view of this, it is possible that the han could have been built by one such atabey, to wit: Muzafferuddin Yavlak Arslan Bey of the Çobanoğullari clan who was given the title of Atabey by the Seljuks between the dates of 1280 and 1291.

 

DATE

Between 1280 and 1291.

 

The Candaroğullari Beylik, who ruled in the Kastamonu region, had an active construction program, and, for this reason, the han has been traditionally attributed to this period. However, considering the construction techniques employed in the han and the fact that the Çobanoğullari clan were in service to the Seljuks who controlled the region, this han could have been built at the beginning of the 13th century. It is believed that it was one of the first buildings erected after the Seljuks took over this region.

 

INSCRIPTION

No inscription plaque exists for this han.

 

PATRON

It is believed that the han was built by Muzaveruddin Yavlak Aslan.

 

The name of Atabey used for the han is a title given by the Seljuks to high ranking officers. In view of this, it is possible that the han could have been built by Muzafferuddin Yavlak Arslan Bey of the Çobanoğullari clan who was given the title of Atabey by the Seljuks between the dates of 1280 and 1291. He built a mosque in the region which is dated to 1273.

 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered section only (C)

 

DESCRIPTION

The han has a rectangular plan and is oriented east-west. It consists of a single unit of a covered section only.

 

The covered section is divided into three naves with two support lines. The naves are covered with barrel vaults. The middle nave is higher and wider than the side naves.

 

The entrance side is in ruins. The crown door, situated on the east side of the building, is completely ruined. Entrance to the han was directly from this door which is now an empty space. Ovens are located on the corners of the north and south walls in the first section behind the entrance, and it is believed that they and their chimneys were added at a later date. 

 

The square piers in each of the arch support lines of the nave are connected by pointed arches. Three square piers in the northern support line and one square pier in the south line remain today. There are four arches between the piers in the northern arch support line. Square openings were placed in the middle of the vaults to provide light. Some of these openings are still visible, while others have been covered over with soil.  

 

The han was built of rubble stone for the most part. Brick and ceramic pieces were used as filling material between the rubble stones. Some cut stones were also used in the building. The arches supporting the vaults are covered with brick. There is no mosque, inscription plaque or decoration in the building.

 

DIMENSIONS

14m X 21 m

 

STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USE

The Atabey Han is in ruins, but parts of the wall and the portal remain standing. The south side walls are relatively solid. The west side of the han is submerged in soil up to the joist support level. Soil falling from the hillside over the years has accumulated behind the north wall. It was in fairly good condition up until the 1970s, but has since degenerated. 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Eravşar, Osman. Yollarin Taniklari (Witnesses of the Way), 2017, pp. 110-113.

Karpuz, H. & Kuş, A. & Dıvarcı, I. & Şimşek, F. Anadolu Selçuklu Eserleri, 2008, v.1, p. 432.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 14, n. 9

 

 

 

Eravşar, 2017. p. 113; photo I. Dıvarcı

 

Eravşar, 2017. p. 113; photo I. Dıvarcı

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2001-2018, Katharine Branning; All Rights Reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced in any form without written consent from the author.