The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

Lost Hans  


  

Of the estimated 400 hans built by the Anatolian Seljuks, only approximately 50 remain standing in good condition. Another 75 are in ruins, and the rest have been completely lost over the years, due to destruction by nature, wars, pillaging, modernization, neglect, etc. Some, such as the Altinapa and the Ibrahimshah Hans, have been covered over by dam waters. In addition, as trade routes changed and different transport venues arose, many of these hans and their caravan routes become redundant and disappeared, and the stones of these were carted away by villagers for other building projects.

 

Modern scholars, notably Dr. Osman Eravşar, have set out to discover the ruins of many hans. Hunting down clues from historical texts and travelers' journals, he and others have discovered many ruined hans over the last 10 years, and more are expected to come to light. Although these hans are not interesting for the average visitor, they do provide precious information for researchers concerning trade routes, the chain of stations along a route and commercial patterns, in addition to architectural details. Many of these ruins have enough walls and foundations still standing to reconstitute their plans and derive certain conclusions concerning architectural features and construction techniques. Some are being actively excavated with efforts to solidify their foundations and to restore them, while others lie crumbling and forgotten across the steppes of Anatolia.

 

Many hans now have completely disappeared or their remains are virtually non-existent.  Their names appear in reference books or on old maps, but no evidence of them remains today. Below is a list of han which are either in a totally ruined state or whose traces have been completely lost.

 

Ağlasun 15 Burdur On the Antalya-Isparta road, 28-30 km from Bucak, in the center of the town of Ağlasun. Its stones were taken by villagers to be used in the construction of various buildings. In 1965, the elders of the village could still recall its existence.

Görür, Muhammet. “Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari Kataloğu.” Acun, H. Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari, p. 473.

Özergin, Selçuklu Kervansaraylari. p. 144, n. 1

Arnaksa 38 Kayseri On the Sivas-Kayseri Route, the Arnaksa Han was located after Çubuk, which must be Gemerek, also known as Armaza. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Artova 60 Tokat Sivas-Tokat Road, near the Camlibel Pass, west towards the town of Artova.  
Atabey 57 Sinop Caravans leaving Sinop on the Sinop-Amasya Route arrived at the Durak han, after which the road bifurcated to the east and west. The branch of the road which led west arrived at the Tosya and Atabey Hans before arriving at Kastamonu. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45
Avunlar 60 Tokat Unye-Niksar-Tokat Route: The road led south from Niksar and crossed over mountains to arrive at the town of Avlunlar. One of the two inscriptions on the wall of a mosque in this town belongs to a caravanserai. It is believed it was located at the entrance of the town. The road then continued on to Tokat past the ruins of the ancient city of Comana Pontica (Gümenek). Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Bardakçi 26 Eskişehir Çay-Seyitgazi, 22 km southwest of Seyyitgazi in the village of Bardakçi. Ozergin says it is being used as a mosque at the present time. This han may be Ottoman.

 

Erdmann n. 69 (118, n. 1)

Özergin, Selçuklu Kervansaraylari. p. 145.

Besara 42 Konya North of the Konya-Beyşehir road, on the Altinapa-Derbent road  
Böğet 68 Aksaray On the Konya-Ankara road, 10km north of Böğet. In total ruins. It once measured 16.3 x 18.70m.

 

Erdmann no. 71.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 145, n. 12

Bor 51 Niğde Southwest of the city of Niğde, near Bor.

Acun, H. Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari, p. 482 (with plan)

Erdmann, p. 160-161, No. 46

Görür, Muhammet. “Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari Kataloğu.”

Özergin, Selçuklu Kervansaraylari. p.145.

Burma

07 Antalya Located in the village of Burmahan on the Seydishehir-Alanya Road, 15 km to the south of the Ebu'l Hasan Han. In ruins.

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 146, n. 13.

Caca Bey 40 Kirşehir Kirşehir-Aksaray  
Caferyat 42 Konya Konya-Karaman  
Çamalak 40 Kirşehir On the Kirşehir-Zile Road. This route crossed the ruined Karabiyik Bridge and arrived at the Çamalak Han to the north of Kirşehir, but which no longer exists. The village of Çamalak is located to the northeast of the Seyfe Lake, 45km from Kirşehir. Legend saus that the stones of this han were dismantled and taken to Yozgat to be used in the construction of the Çapanoğlu Mosque. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, pp. 146, n. 17

Cibice 24 Erzurum

On the Erzurum-Sivas road.

In a 14th century manual for merchants, the Florentine broker Francesco Pegolotti (d. after 1347) listed the toll stations along the route from the port of Ayas to Tabriz. He based his manual on the accounts of other traders who had used the Anatolian routes, since he himself never traveled to Anatolia. The Cibice Han may correspond to the stop Pegolotti called “Gavazera sulla Montagna". The exact location is not clear, but it is believed that it was located at the Cibice pass in the Keşiş mountains.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, pp. 146, n. 15

Pegolotti, Mercatura, p. 390.

Taeschner, Wegenez II, table 38.

Çifte 51 Niğde Konya-Toroslar, 20km to the east of Ulukisla, east of Ciftehan. There was a hotsprings here that was in use during Seljuk times, and the presence of a han was noted in Ottoman sources.

Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.

Özergin, M. Kemal. “Anadolu’da Selçuklu Kervansarayları”, Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, pp. 147, n. 22

Taeschner, Wegenez I, 102, 103; table 14, 15

Çubuk 58 Sivas Located along the Sivas-Kayseri Route. Although Taeschner claimed that there was a han here, no trace of it remains today. Ibn-i Bibi stated that welcoming ceremonies were held for statesmen in Çubuk and that these ceremonies were held by portable kiosks erected for the purpose. The need for portable kiosks seems to indicate that there was no han in the vicinity. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Dadıl 66 Yozgat Yozgat-Akdağmedeni Road, north of Karamağara  
Dazya 60 Tokat Amasya-Tokat  
Derbend 44 Malatya Malatya-Doğanşehir road; 5 km north of Doğanşehir; it is also known as the Derbend-Ağzi Han.

 

 
Derenos 55 Samsun Located on the Samsun-Sivas-Malatya Route. The caravan route leading south from Samsun arrived to the interior zone by traversing the rugged terrain of the Black Sea region. The first destination in the direction of Samsun-Kavak was the Çakalli Han. The road followed the Deronos valley and led to another documented han, but no traces of it remain. The road then arrived at the Derenos Han, which is now submerged under dam waters. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Dibli 23 Elazığ Harput-Divriği  
Dolgu 42 Konya The first station on the Konya-Ankara route was the Horozlu Han. F. Sarre stated that the next station was the Dolgu Han; however, it has not been able to determine its location. The Zivarik Han was located next. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Ebü'l-Hasan 42 Konya Seydişehir-Alanya  
Ebu'l-Kasim 51 Niğde Niğde  
Gedik 58 Sivas Sivas-Sarkişla Road  
Gırvat 42 Konya Konya-Şeydişehir-Alanya Route originated in Meram to the southeast of Konya, and continued along the Hatunsaray Valley. The first station on this road was the Kavak Han, which no longer exists. The road continued through the gorge after the Kavak Han and arrived at a caravanserai called the Yikik Han. Some sources indicated a han called the Girvat Han existed after this han, but its location has not yet been determined. After this station, the road connected to Şeydişehir. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Gökçeağaç 57 Sinop Sinop-Amasya Route: The road departing from Sinop arrived at the Durak Han by passing first in front of the Taş, Gokçeağaç and Sazli Hans. The road bifurcated here and led east, connecting to Amasya through Vezir Köprü and Merzifon. The branch of the road which continued west from the Durak Han visited the Tosya and Atabey Hans before arriving at Kastamonu. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.

Gölbasi

44 Malatya Diyarbakir-Malatya  
Gülüçagaç 57 Sinop Sinop-Ankara  
Ilgın 42 Konya This han was commissioned by the famous vizier and art patron Sahip Ata in 1267 and was built by the same architect that would build him the Sivas Gök medrese 3 years later.  The inscription has been noted in Wiet (no. 4594) but all traces of the han have been lost. The name of the architect, Kuluyan al-Qunawi, is also mentioned in the inscription of the Gök Medrese in Sivas. Erdmann p. 86
Isfani (Kemaleddin Ahmet bin Rabat) 24 Erzurum On the Erzurum-Sivas Route, the stops were Erzurum Ilica, Mamahatun Caravanserai, Kottur Bridge, Erzincan, Mughisar Han, Akşar, Grabeco, Zara, Dodurga and Isfahani Caravanserai (Kemaleddin Ahmet bin Rahat Han) and Sivas. Most of the hans on this road are in ruins today. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Kagi 58 Sivas Sivas-Kayseri  
Kalolar 44 Malatya Malatya-Darende Road, 30 km north of Darica near the village of Kalolar. It has a covered no courtyard plan. This han could be post-Seljuk era.

Acun, p. 507 has plan

Erdmann p. 161-62 no. 47

Görür, Muhammet. “Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari Kataloğu.” Acun, H. Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari, p. 507.

Kamerreddin 42 Konya Konya-Toroslar  
Kangi 42 Konya Seydişehir-Antakya  
Karamağara 40 Kirşehir    
Katranci 42 Konya Aksaray-Konya road, 14km from the Obruk Han, in a meadow next to the village of Katranci. No traces remain.

Erdmann no. 66 (IIA, n. 7)

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 155, n. 67.

 

Kavak 42 Konya On the Konya-Eğirdir Road, to the southwest of the village of Kavak. Considered a late period han. Very small (9 x 12m); lost its original form after later repairs. The Konya-Şeydişehir-Alanya Route originated in Meram to the southeast of Konya, and continued along the Hatunsaray Valley. The first station on this road was the Kavak Han, which no longer exists.

Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 155, n. 68.

Kaymaz 42 Konya Located on the Kayseri-Konya Route. The next station after the Obruk Han was the Kaymaz Caravanserai, whose location is unknown. The ruins seen by Sarre in 1896 between the villages of Dinek and Hoca could have been this caravanserai (Sarre, 1896). The next building after this han is the Zazadin Han. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Kemâleddin 38 Kayseri Besni-Kayseri  
Kemâleddin 02 Adiyaman Dogansehir-Adiyaman  
Kervansaray 40 Kirşehir Zile-Kirşehir  
Kiliç Arslan 68 Aksaray Aksaray  
Kireli 42 Konya The branch following the eastern rim of the Beysehir lake went west from the northern edge of the lake and arrived at Şarkikaraağaç. A completely-ruined han, of which only the animal stables remain, is located on this branch road, around the town of Kireli in the village of Yassibel in the Felek Pinari region. A caravanserai inscription exhibited in the Yalvaç Museum could belong to this han. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Kizil 38 Kayseri Kayseri-Elbistan-Aleppo Route : After passing from the Yabanlu Bazaar and the Melik Gazi Tomb, an early period Seljuk building, the road arrived at the Kizil Han, of which only a few elements remain. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Kole Hasan 42 Konya Located on the Konya-Beyşehir-Isparta-Denizli route.At Beyşehir the route split into branches going towards the Mediterranean in the south and Denizli to the west. The first station on this route is the Kole Hasan Caravanserai, located around Hoca Fakih Manzume, but which no longer exists. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Lâla 58 Sivas Located on the Sivas-Kayseri route. After Gemerek was the Lala Han, which was mentioned by Ibni Bibi but which has not been located. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Latif 58 Sivas Located on the Sarkişla-Sivas Road, near the town of Kayadibi; however, its exact location is not known. This was a very large han and which was studied by Taeschner. It is believed to be the han referred to by Pegolotti as the Gavazera di Casa Jacomi.  According to historic sources, the road originated in Sivas and reached the Latif Han after crossing the Kesikköprü Bridge spanning the Kizilirmak River. Although this han was mentioned in many resources and, despite the fact that it was quite large and important, it has not been able to determine its exact location. This location was possibly the same place as the Evdagina stop mentioned in the Tabula Petungeriana. However, no information exists concerning a han built at this location in the Seljuk period.

Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45

Erdmann n. 74 (IIB, n. 6)

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 157, n. 81.

Taeschner, Franz. Das Anatolische Wegenetz Nach Osmanischen Quellen: 1. Frankfurt am Main: Institute for the History of Arab-Islamic Science, 2008, I, table 23: II, 75.

Makit 44 Malatya East of Elazağ, near Ağin on the road to Ağri, 15km northwest of Keban.

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 157, n. 83.

Mogan 42 Konya The first station on the Konya-Ankara route was the Horozlu Han. F. Sarre stated that the next station was the Dolgu Han; however, it has not been able to determine its location. The Zivarik Han was located next. Özergin stated that there had to have been a han around Lake Mogan, but no trace of this han has been found. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Mughisar 24 Erzurum Located on the Erzurum-Sivas Route. The stops of this road were the following: Erzurum Ilica, Mamahatun Caravanserai, Kottur Bridge, Erzincan, Mughisar Han, Akşar, Grabeco, Zara, Dodurga and Isfahani Caravanserai (Kemaleddin Ahmet bin Rahat Caravanserai). Most of the hans on this road are in ruins today. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Muhliseddin 60 Tokat Zile  
Murat 60 Tokat Tokat-Yildizeli Road near the Camlibel pass.  
Okla 68 Aksaray Located on the Aksaray-Konya road, 10-12 km from the Obruk Han. This may be the han referred to by Ibn Bibi as the Sultan II. Kilic Arslan (1156-92) Han. The covered section measured 20 c 28m, and the courtyard is destroyed. Erdman no. 62 (IIA, n. 3)

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 158, n. 90.

Pamukçu 42 Konya Konya-Seydişehir  
Pazarcik 07 Alanya Alanya-Anamur  
Pervane 38 Kayseri Kayseri-Aksaray  
Pinarbaşı 42 Konya Located on the Konya-Afyon road near Denizli.  The road continued west from Eğirdir and bifurcated in different directions around Isparta. The road going to the south led down to Antalya and the road leading west arrived at Denizli. The western branch road arrived at the Pinarbaşi Han, now in ruins, via Keçiborlu-Başmakçi, and then came the Çardak Han, the Ak Han.

Acun, H. Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari, p. 518.

Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.

Görür, Muhammet. “Anadolu Selçuklu Dönemi Kervansaraylari Kataloğu.”

Rodar 42 Konya Beyşehir-Alanya Route continued on in the direction of Şeydişehir, with the Yenice, Derebucak Tol and Orta Payam Hans respectively aligned along this road. The Tol Han #2 and the Rodar hans were other hans on this road. The last station was the Alara Han. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Sahruhköprülü 58 Sivas Sivas-Kayseri  
Saray 58 Sivas Yildizeli-Sivas road; 5 km before Yildizeli. This han is probably post-Seljuk. Erdmann no. 107
Sarihan 44 Malatya Malatya-Kayseri  
Sazlı 57 Sinop Sinop-Amasya Route: The road departing from Sinop arrived at the Durak Han by passing first in front of the Taş, Gokçeağaç and Sazli Hans. The road bifurcated here and led east, connecting to Amasya through Vezir Köprü and Merzifon. The branch of the road which continued west from the Durak Han visited the Tosya and Atabey Hans before arriving at Kastamonu. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Selçuk 57 Sinop Sinop-Ankara  
Selçukhani 44 Malatya Malatya-Sivas  
Seyfeddin Ferruh 42 Konya Konya-Seydişehir  
Silinti 07 Alanya Alanya  
Sultan 42 Konya Konya-Toroslar  
Sultan Marsh 38 Kayseri Kayseri-Konya Route arrived at a triple-naved han around the Sultan Marsh. This unspecified han was described by the travelers who visited the region at the beginning of the 20th century as ruined. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Suluhan 01 Adana Kozan-Feke  
Sünnetli 68 Aksaray Located on the Kayseri-Aksaray route: The Konya road arrived at a triple-naved han around the Sultan Marsh. The road split in two after the han, with one branch leading to Niğde in the southwest direction and the other to Aksaray in the northwest direction. There must have been another han, called the Sunnetli Han, after the anonymous han, but it location has not been determined. The next station in the direction of Aksaray was the Avanos Sari Han. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Taş 57 Sinop Sinop-Amasya Route: The road departing from Sinop arrived at the Durak Han by passing first in front of the Taş, Gokçeağaç and Sazli Hans. The road bifurcated here and led east, connecting to Amasya through Vezir Köprü and Merzifon. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Tatlıcan 58 Sivas Sivas-Sarkişla road, before the Yesibel pass Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Tecer 44 Malatya Located on the Samsun-Sivas-Malatya route. The road continued on from the center of Sivas center to the south, crossing over the Eğri Bridge on the Kizilirmak River and on towards Ulaş, which was in the southeast direction. It passed by the Tuzla and Tecer Hans and arrived at the Alaca Han. The locations of the Tuzla and Tecer Hans are known, but there are no remains of these buildings. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Tosya 57 Sinop Caravans leaving Sinop on the Sinop-Amasya Route arrived at the Durak han, after which the road bifurcated to the east and west. The branch of the road which led west arrived at the Tosya and Atabey Hans before arriving at Kastamonu. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Tuzla 58 Sivas Located on the Samsun-Sivas-Malatya Route, 30 km south of Sivas. The road continued on from the center of Sivas center to the south, crossing over the Eğri Bridge on the Kizilirmak River and on towards Ulaş, which was in the southeast direction. It visited the Tuzla and Tecer Hans and arrived at the Alaca Han. The locations of the Tuzla and Tecer Hans are known, but there are no remains of these buildings. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Yazı 44 Malatya    
Yeni 58 Sivas Yildizeli/Tokat-Sivas. This han is probably Ottoman Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Yenice 42 Konya The Beyşehir-Alanya Route continued on in the direction of Şeydişehir, with the Yenice, Derebucak Tol and Orta Payam Hans respectively aligned along this road (Kunduracı, 2001).  The road united at Şeydişehir with the road coming from Beyşehir and continued towards Ortapayam by climbing a steep slope. The first station after Şeydişehir was the ruined Seljuk caravanserai in the village of Yenice, whose location has been recently identified.

Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45

 

 

Yikik 42 Konya Konya-Şeydişehir-Alanya Route originated in Meram to the southeast of Konya, and continued along the Hatunsaray Valley. The first station on this road was the Kavak Han, which no longer exists. The road continued through the gorge after the Kavak Han and arrived at a caravanserai called the Yikik Han. Some sources indicated a han called the Girvat Han existed after this han, but its location has not yet been determined. After this station, the road connected to Şeydişehir. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Yunuslar 42 Konya Konya-Beyşehir Road near Beyşehir. The road continued over a two-arched bridge around the village of Yunuslar. Özergin states that there was a han near Yunuslar, but no ruins of this building remain today. There was a five-arched bridge on this road mentioned by F. Sarre, but it, too, no longer exists. Eravşar, Witnesses, pp. 34-45.
Zile 60 Tokat 20 km north of Zile  
Zor 24 Erzurum

The Zor Koy Han was located on the Tabriz-Erzurum route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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