The Seljuk Han of Anatolia



Located on the Konya-Antalya caravan route, this han belongs to the group of hans with a covered section composed of a single nef.


Eravşar, 2017. p. 94; photo I. Dıvarcı

plan drawn by Erdmann




37.241831, 31.477921


The Ortapayam Han is located on the Konya-Beyşehir-Antalya road, 5 km east of the Goynem village in the Derebucak region. It is situated between Kubadabad and Manavgat, 10 km from the center of the town of Derebucak. It is on a slope of the Taurus Mountains, at the location of a pass through the mountains in the Gembos plain. This mountain pass was used by travelers coming from inland Anatolia to reach the Mediterranean coast, making this road is one of the important routes connecting central Anatolia with the Mediterranean Sea. The modern Derebucak-Ibradi road passes in front of the han.


The previous stopover on the road is the royal palace of Alaeddin Keykubad at Kubadabad on Lake Beyşehir. The road climbs the Taurus Mountains through spectacular scenery, and, once this han reached, it descends to the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Manavgat and Antalya. The next han on this road is the Derebucak Tol Han and the one after is the Mutbeli Han. The Kargi Han is also located on this road. The village of Burmahan and its han to the west of this road indicates the existence of a separate caravan road in this region.



Derebucak Ortapayam Han

Ortapayim Tol Han


Early travelers and researchers to the region have not mentioned this han. The name “tol”, which means “a heap of stones” in the local dialect, was given to another han in this region (the Eynif Tol Han) as well as the Derebucak Tol Han. These three “tol” hans were interchangeably confused and their real names are not known. The han is called the Kireçli ("Lime") Han by the villagers, who stripped it of its lime to used in the construction of their homes.



1237 or later (est.)

Since its plan is similar in nature to the later Şarafsa Han and the nearby ruins of the Derebucak Tol Han, it is probable to date this han to 1237 or later.



As there is no inscription, it has not been possible to determine the name of the patron nor the construction date with any certainty. However, as the Şarapsa, Derebucak Tol, and Ortapayam Tol Hans display very similar plans, it is feasible to consider that the same patron built all of them as part of a concerted building program. There is another han named the Ebu’l Hasan Han, and this Ebu’l Hasan could have been the patron of this group of hans.



No inscription has been found for this han.


Covered section only (C)


Although the han is in ruins, but the plan can be determined, as some of the walls are still standing. It has a very long rectangular plan. The Derebucak Tol Han, with its covered section comprised of a single nave, resembles the Kuru Han, located between Kayseri and Elbistan, and the nearby Ortapayam Tol Han, as well as the Şarapsa Han. There is no trace of a courtyard, and due to this fact, it is believed that the han was originally built as a single unit with a covered section only. 


The covered section is oriented northwest-southeast direction, and has a long, rectangular plan. It had equally-spaced pointed arches and was covered with a pointed barrel vault. It was reinforced by 14 equally-spaced arches to the roof, as can be determined by the remaining traces of the arch springing.


The crown door of the han, located on the west side is completely ruined.



The building was reinforced on the exterior by several support towers placed at various intervals. The towers in the southwest and northwest corners are circular and the others are square. The upper sections of the walls are set with equally-spaced crenellated turrets as is seen in the Şarapsa Han.


There is a square building located 15 m from the han, similar to what is seen in the Derebucak Tol and Kayseri Kuru Han, but its function has not been determined. It could have been a mosque.



Pitch-faced stones were mostly used in the main bearing walls. Smooth-faced stones were generally used for the support towers, vaults and arches. Only a few reuse spolia materials were used in the building and there is no decoration.


The traces of the lateral walls and the covering system of this ruined han resemble those of the Şarapsa Han. There are several hans in the Anatolian Seljuk region with a plan similar to the Ortapayam Han, comprised of a covered section only with one nave, such as the Derebucak Tol Han, located on the same road, and the Kuru Han 1 on the Kayseri-Elbistan road.



The total size of the covered section is 630 m2.


The building is in a ruined state today, consisting of stones and rubble. The walls and the roof of the han were dismantled by villagers for their lime content.



Bilici, Z. Sarapsa (Serapsu Han)" in Acun, Anadolu Selcuklu Donemi Kervansaraylari, 2007, p. 400.

Eravşar, O and Yavuz, A.T. "Kayseri-Elbistan Kervanyolu". Konya Kitabi X, 2007.

Eravşar, Osman. Yollarin Taniklari (Witnesses of the Way), 2017, pp. 94-96.

Erdmann, Kurt. Das Anatolische Karavansaray des 13. Jahrhunderts, 1961, pp. 173-74 no. 54; p. 97, n. 78. Erdman published this in his book as the plan of the Eynif Tol Han; however, this sketch plan is actually of the Ortapayam Han.

Karpuz, H. & Kuş, A. & Dıvarcı, I. & Şimşek, F. Anadolu Selçuklu Eserleri, 2008, v.2, p. 135.

Kiepert, R. Karte von Kleinasien, in 24 Blatt bearbeitet, 1902-1916.

Kunduracı, O. "Kubadabad-Alanya Selçuklu Kervan Yolu Güzergahı Üzerine Yeni Araştırmalar-I”, I. Uluslar Arası Selçuklu Semineri Bildirileri, Konya, 2001, pp. 56-57.

Kuş, A. & Dıvarcı, I. & Şimşek, F. Konya ve ilçelerindeki Selçuklu Eserleri, 2005, p. 43.

Özergin, M. Kemal. "Anadolu'da Selcuklu Kervansaraylari", Tarih Dergisi, XV/20, 1965, p. 158, n. 91.

Riefstahl, R. Meyer. Turkish Architecture in Southwestern Anatolia, 1931, p. 60.  





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