The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

ERTOKUS HAN


Main portal

overview of the courtyard and covered hall entry

detail of inscription plaque (kitabesi)

courtyard, western portico

outer west wall with triangular side towers

Photograph (F253) of the han taken by Gertrude Bell in April, 1907

DISTRICT
32 ISPARTA


LOCATION
The han is located on the Eğridir-Gelendost-Akşehir Road, on the eastern side of Lake Eğridir. It is in the village of Yeşilköy, north of the village of Mahmatlar, approximately 30 miles northeast of Eğridir, 110 yards from the lakeshore, between the lake and the road.
[map]

[driving instructions]


OTHER NAMES
Gelendost Han, Selçuk Han, Kudret Han


DATE
1223-1224

The han is dated by an intact inscription over the covered section, in 4 lines of nakshi script. The simple inscription states that the han was built for the Sultan in the year 620 (1223) by the Emir Mübarizeddin Ertokuş.

REIGN OF

Alaeddin Keykubad I
 

PATRON
The han was built by the statesman Mübarizeddin Ertokuş, Atabeg of Isparta, a well-known dignitary at the court of Alaeddin Keykubad I. He also built a medrese and a tomb in Atabey, a nearby village northwest of Eğridir, in 1223. He may also have built the Pinarbaşı Han (no longer extant). He appears to have been a slave manumitted by Izzeddin Keykavus I, who then in 1207 became the commander of armies of the southern territories of the Seljuk Empire for more than 20 years. He was instrumental in the campaign of Alaeddin Keykubad I to capture Alanya in 1221, and was one of the Sultan's most important emirs. Later, he became the head military commander in Erzincan after the annexation of the city in 1228, and tutor to Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev II, the son of Alaeddin Keykubad.
 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered with open courtyard (COC)
Covered section is smaller than the courtyard
Covered section with a central aisle and 1 aisle on each side

5 bays of vaults in the covered section

4 bays of vaults in the courtyard
 

DESCRIPTION
The han lies parallel to the road, with the door facing south to Eğridir. It is on the old Antalya-Afyon trade route.
There is a group of 3 rooms on each side of the courtyard door which served probably as the bath, changing rooms, kitchen and mosque, although no trace of a mihrab can be found. The easternmost room is covered by a dome.

In addition, there are two open iwans on each side of the courtyard in front of the arcades of vaults. These iwans could have served as guard rooms or for general administrative functions.

The two arcades of 4 vaults on either side of the courtyard are covered with barrel vaults.

The covered section is slightly smaller than the courtyard in width, and comprises three aisles, with the center aisle being twice as wide as the two side aisles (6.5 m). There are 2 slit windows at the second and fourth bays on each side of the hall, and one in the rear wall.

There are four triangular towers on the outer walls of the covered section. The exterior walls are made of large square cut stones.
The solid construction, satisfying proportions, and impressive inscription plaque of this han are noteworthy.


DECORATION

This is a very plain building, and apart from the impressive inscription plaque, there is no decoration on the interior or exterior walls. The inscription plaque is recessed about 80 cm under a slightly broken arch.

DIMENSIONS
Total area is 1,030 m2
Area of hall: 340m2 (14.5 x 21 m)
Area of courtyard: 495m2 (18 x 26m)
 

STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USAGE
The portal and the courtyard walls are standing but in poor condition; the rest is in need of repair. The han has considerably deteriorated since the time it was photographed by Erdmann in the 1950's. The intact portal can be viewed in the photographs taken by Gertrude Bell in 1907, when she camped at the han during her trip across Turkey. The han is currently boarded up and can be visited only on the outside, but a view onto the courtyard and the covered section portal with the inscription is possible. A renovation of the han was started in 2007 and is ongoing.

 

A visit to this han, lost among the apple orchards in a poetic setting at a spot where the mountains meet the sweet blue waters of Lake Eğirdir, is memorable.
 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Acun, pp. 121-139 (includes extensive bibliography in Turkish); 496.

Bektaş, pp. 58-59.

The Gertrude Bell Archives. Internet web document. www.gerty.ncl.ac.uk/, folder F, photos F250, 251, 253-254.

Erdmann, pp. 51-54, no. 11.
Hillenbrand, fig. 6.49, p. 552.
Karpuz, Kuş, Dıvarcı and Şiek (2008), vol. 1, p. 376.

Rice, p. 206.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

outer wall, east

outer wall, north, with side tower

outer wall, north, partially collapsed and showing barrel vault of main aisle of covered section

outer wall, west, and triangular side tower

outer wall, north, partially collapsed and showing barrel vault of main aisle of covered section

east side cell at entry

 

barrel vault in eastern aisle of the covered section

detail of barrel vault in eastern aisle of the covered section

 

masonry detail, outer wall west

covered section, main aisle

outer wall, west, and triangular side tower

main portal

setting of the Ertokuş Han

Sunset over Lake Eğirdir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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