The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

ALTINAPA HAN


 

 

DISTRICT
42 KONYA


LOCATION
This han is located on the Konya-Beyşehir road, about 21 km outside of Konya, right before the small bridge over the Altinapa Dam. It is now covered over by the waters of the dam. Immediately before crossing the bridge, there is a side road to the north (turn right) that goes down closer to the shore of the dam lake. In periods of drought when the lake waters are low, this han may be viewed from the road.


DATE
1201

The inscription plaque over the main door has been lost, but the han is dated in association with the date of the patron's commissioning of the Iplikci Mosque in Konya (1201-2). There is another inscription plaque over the hall door.

 

REIGN OF

Rukneddin Süleyman Shah II


PATRON
Construction was commissioned by the Seljuk statesman Şemsettin Altinapa. He was also responsible for the construction of the Argit Han on the Konya-Akşehir Road, now in ruins.
 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered open courtyard (COC)
Covered section and courtyard of the same width
Covered section with a central aisle and 1 aisle on each side running perpendicular to the back wall

5 bays of vaults parallel to the back wall

DESCRIPTION
This han faces east towards Konya, and lies perpendicular to the road (for caravans en route west). This road lead to Derbent and Doğanhisar, and was used by the Seljuks as frequently as the current one linking Konya to Beyşehir.

 

This is considered to be the earliest Seljuk han in Turkey, and is a part of the dense chain of hans between Konya and Beyşehir (Kuruçeşme, Kuruçeşme, and the now lost Yunuslar Hans), all of approximately the same date. Since it can no longer be viewed or studied, one must rely on past descriptions, notably by Erdmann who documented it in 1953.

 

Exterior:

This han had a two-storey mosque to the left of the entrance, approached by 3 steps.

The portal was flanked by two tower-like buttresses.

Immediately to the left upon entering, there are two rooms which were probably an office for the manager of the han and a treasury. There are 5 cells on each side of the courtyard, and only those on the southern side had window slits.


DECORATION

Erdmann noted that there were many Byzantine reuse stones from Christian churches in this han, as seen in the nearby hans of Obruk and Zazadin.

 

DIMENSIONS
This is not a particularly large han:

Total external area: approximately 770m2
Covered section area: 330m2
Courtyard area: 400m2


STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USAGE
This han was covered over in 1954 by the creation of the Altinapa Dam. Although now lying beneath the waters of the lake created by the dam, it may be viewed from a distance the waters of the lake are low during the summer months. It rises on a little bluff in the middle of the lake and can be seen from the side approach road.

 

 

The author would like to thank the noted Konya photographers Ahmet Kuş, Ibrahim Dıvarcı and Feyzi Şiek (see bibliography) for their guided tour of this han in August, 2007.


BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Acun, pp. 76-87 (includes extensive bibliography in Turkish); 480.

Erdmann, no. 1, p.29-32 (numerous photos).
Karpuz, Kuş, Dıvarcı and Şiek (2008), vol. 2, p. 81.

Kuban 2002, p. 238.

 

 

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