The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

Hans in Ruins 



There are numerous hans which are in a ruined state. Many are mentioned in texts and it is interesting to examine the reconstruction of their plans.  Many are currently being excavated and studied by art historians. Although there are efforts to solidify their foundations and restore them, many are too fragmentary for study.  These include:

 

Ak 68 Aksaray On the Konya-Aksaray road in the village of Yenikent (Akhan Amaret exit). Remains of one wall can be seen. Built in 1156-1192; also known as the Kilic Arslan Han. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri  (2008) v.1, p. 68; Acun p. 476;  Gertrude Bell Archive photo I-193-4.
Aka Derbent 46 Karamanmaraş It is located on the Elbistan-Nurhak Road, on the old Roman road used by the First crusaders.  
Akbaş 42 Konya Konya-Aksaray road; about 45 km southwest of Obruk near the village of Akbaş. Parts of the original walls and the cistern remain, but have been masked by the recent restoration. Erdmann p. 42-43 No. 7; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2 p. 89;
Argit 42 Konya Konya-Akşehir Road, in the town of Argithan. The han is dated to 1201 as inferred by the foundation charter of the Iplikci Medrese in Konya which names Sipehsalar Semseddin Altinapa as the builder of this han as well. Erdmann, p. 32-33 (no. 2); Acun p. 481
Atabey 37 Kastamonu In the Akkaya district, 4 km from Elmayakası village.  Built by Muzaveruddin Yavlak Aslan.  Parts of the wall and the portal remain standing. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 432
Ayranci-Atlas 70 Karaman Located next to the train tracks in the village of Huyukburun in the Ayrancı district. A small han in good shape, with a central courtyard surrounded by arcades, with many spolia stones used in it's original construction. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 410
Başakpınar 38 Kayseri see Ispile Han, below.  
Burma 58 Sivas Located on the road from Divriği to Kemah on the ancient caravan road to Kemah. It is 3 km from the altı train station at the top of a little hill.  The structure consists of a covered area and an open courtyard. Most of the covered area is buried or destroyed at the present time, and other sections are used for storage by the inhabitants of the neighboring houses. The roof can be seen only on the northwest side.  The han takes its name from the twisted columns of the courtyard portal. (Burma means "twisted").  This han is mentioned in the foundation document prepared in 1234 by Ahmed Şah of the Mengcekoğullari for the Great Mosque of Divriği, which indicates the han was in existence at this time, and is generally dated to this time.  
armelik 63 Şanlıurfa Located in the village of Buyuk in the Suruc district.  This was a huge structure, now totally in ruins. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2 p. 379
at 44 Malatya In March, 2011, a project to clear the site and stabilize this han was undertaken at the same time as the ruins of the nearby Grk, Sevserek, Yandere, Tepe and Taşkale hans.  
ekereksu 66 Yozgat Located in stunning and remote countryside on the Kadişehri-Saraykent highway (39 55 05 16 N; 35 38 51 82 E), this han is 10 km from Kadişehri on the left bank of the ekereksu River. It is also known as the Kadişehri-ekereksu Han. It is dated by an inscription (now lost) to 1240, and is generally attributed to Mahperi Hatun. Nearby is a Seljuk bridge which was built at the same time as the han.  This was a large han (1175m2) and has the covered section + open courtyard plan. Erdmann p. 56-7 no. 12; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 479; Acun p. 487
iftlik 60 Tokat Tokat-Yildizeli Road; 35 km north of Yildizeli.  It is located right out of the village of Camlibel, and for this reason the han is also called the Ciftlik-Camlibel han. It is attributed to Mahperi Hatun and is part of the series of hans she built in this region between 1238-46. It is covered plan, with 3 parallel vaults and 5 crossvaults. The total area is 630 m2. Erdmann p. 156-58 no. 44; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2 p. 423; Acun p. 489.

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ınınlı 66 Yozgat This han is located on the remote Yozgat-Akdağmedeni Road (E88), north of Karamağara and 16 km north of Saraykent, near the historical thermal baths. This is also known as the Saraykent-incinli (or imcimli) Sultan Han. It is dated by the inscription on the minaret of the Karamagara (Saraykent) mosque, which states that the han was built in 1238 by Mahperi Hatun. It has the covered section + open courtyard plan, and measures 1500m2. There are thermal baths to the right of the han with numerous spolia stones, which most certainly indicate that it was originally the site of a Byzantine-era thermal spa.  It is in total ruins. Erdmann p. 140-42 no. 37; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2 p. 481; Acun p. 488.
Cirgalan 38 Kayseri

The han is located in the Cirgalan neighborhood of Kayseri on the Sivas Road. The majority of the walls of the han have collapsed, but the plan can still be distinguished.

The han is currently in ruins. The majority of the walls have collapsed, but the plan can still be distinguished. The walls are 0.90 m thick. The entry is from the north side and is fairly intact. There is a room measuring 6.5 x 6.5 m at the northwestern side of the entry, covered with pointed vaults.

The han has the covered plan, and measures 20 x 30m. There are two aisle with 5 rooms each, measuring approximately 7m wide. They are covered with pointed vaults. There is a central aisle.

There is no remaining decoration, but numerous stones bear mason's marks. Due to the fact that the use of mason marks in Kayseri buildings seems to have ceased by the 14th century, stylistic analysis of these mason marks have led scholars to attribute the construction of the han to the 13th century.

Cayirdağ, Mehmet. Kayseri'de Selcuklu ve Beylikler Devri Binalarinda Bulunan Tasi Işaretleri". Trk Ethnografya Dergisi, p. XVIII. Ankara: 1982.

 

Kayseri Taşinmaz Kltr Varlikari Envanteri. 3 vols. Yildiz zbek and Celil Arslan, editors. Kayseri, 2008, pp. 715-717.

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oğul 46 Kahramanmaraş Located in the town of oğul, this han was built by the Elbistan governor Mubariziddin Cavli between 1212-1240.  Only part of one wall remains. It is also known as the Afşin-Cul han. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v. 1. p. 400
Derebucak 42 Konya Located in the mountains south of Beyşehir, near to the village of Derebucak. This han is important for it contains a fragmentary inscription of two lines of impeccable calligraphy which point to Ismat al-Dunya wa'l-Din, the first wife of Alaeddin Keykubad I, as the patron. The inscription is identical in content to the beginning of the inscription of the Kirkgz Han, suggesting a common patron. Redford, Scott. "The Inscription of the Kirkgz Han and the problem of textural transmission in Seljuk Anatolia", Adalya 12 (2009), pp. 351-2.
Deve 26 Eskişehir This han is part of the famous complex of Seyyid Battal Ghazi, located in Seyitgazi on the Eskişehir-Ankara road.  It is 150 m southwest of the mosque complex and measures 360m2.  It was probably built at the same time as the complex in 1207-10 during the reign of Giyaseddin Kayhusrev I. It may have not been a true han but more of a resting spot for pilgrims visiting the nearby turbe and tekke. Only a few outer walls can be seen. Erdmann p. 151-2 no. 41; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 334
Dipli-Dumluca 58 Sivas Located between the villages of Gnbahe and Dumluca. A part of the roof is still intact.  It is also known as the Kara Han ("Black" Han after the dark red and brown wall stones.  The foundation remains on the southern side indicate that the han was probably much larger than the current remains. This building, which lacks its inscription plaque, is believed to date from the second half of the XIIIth century.  
Dogala 50 Nevşehir Located in the village of Dogala on the Derinkuyu-Nevşehir Road (38◦25'52.88◦N /34B◦35'49.73). It is also known as the Derinkuyu-Dogala Han.  It has both a covered section and a courtyard. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 232

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Dolay 50 Nevşehir Located in the village of Tilkoy, it is also known as the Derinkuyu-Dolay Han.  Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 233; Acun p. 491
Grk 44 Malatya In March, 2011, a project to clear the site and stabilize this han was undertaken at the same time as the ruins of the nearby Sevserek, Tepe, Yandere, at,  and Taşkale hans.  
Hanobaşı 46 Kahramanmaraş Located near the village of Hanobasi in the Pazarcik district.  It is also known as the Pazarcik-Hanobaşı-Kubatli Han. The walls and arches are remaining, and they have sunk below the ground level.  This was a very large han. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 402
Ibrahimşah 23 Elaziğ near the town of Keban Yavuz, A.T. "Concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais", p. 85
Ispile (Başakpinar) 38 Kayseri The han is located 17 km from Kayeri on the Tomarza Road, to the northeast of the village of Başakpinar. It is in the middle of a field, some 400 meters from the road, inaccessible by vehicle, THe majority of the walls have collapsed. It is dated to the 13th century. As it is located on the same road as the Kayseri Sultan Han, this han is considered a relay station, perhaps for mail and diplomatic messages. Due to the current ruined state of the han, it is not possible to determine if it originally had an inscription plaque. It is believed that it had the covered section with an open courtyard plan, but again, the current state of the  ruins make the determination of the exact plan problematic. The walls of the ruins measure approximately 18 x 49m. It is believed that the entry to the han was from the north. There are two small rooms at what is believed to be entrance to the covered section. The construction was of rubble faced with limestone. Some stones were found which were decorated with acanthus leaves and other vegetal motifs, which were perhaps a part of a crown portal. These stones are similar to examples from the Kayseri Sultan Han. Kayseri Taşinmaz Kltr Varlikari Envanteri. 3 vols. Yildiz zbek and Celil Arslan, editors. Kayseri, 2008, pp. 1169-1170.

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Karakut 40 Kirşehir 16 km from the village of Karadut.  It is in a complex that comprises a tomb and baths, and which may have been built as early as 1135. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 26
Kayseri 38 Kayseri The han is located in the southern part of town on the road leading to Talas. The construction date of 1247 is inferred from the inscription of the Karatay han, which states that another han was built in Kayseri.  The patron was thus probably Celaleddin Karatay.  It has a covered plan with no courtyard.  Parts of the other walls remain standing and are surrounded by modern houses. Erdmann p. 164-67, no. 50
Kprky 25 Erzurum Located in the middle of the town of Kprky opposite the hospital.  Only a few remaining walls. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1 p. 319
Kuru 46 Kahramanmaraş 40 km northwest of Elbistan near the village of Tanir, it is located on the old Kayseri-Malatya trade route. It  has the covered section only plan and measures 215m2.  It is totally in ruins Erdmann p. 163-4 no. 49; Hillenbrand p. 553 fig 6.60; Acun p. 512
Mellec 33 Mersin Located on the Alanya-Anamur road Yavuz, A.T. "Concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais", p. 89
Mircinge 58 Sivas Located in the village of Handere, this han, also known as the Divriği-Mincinge Han, was built by the Mengcekoğullar dynasty.  It has a foundation deed with a date of 1243.  It has a very unique plan in that it consists only of covered spaces arranged in a concentric plan.  It is not a large han, and is located near an impressive 13th century Seljuk bridge over the Livanli creek. The bridge consists of a single, large tapered arch.

The fact that this han is mentioned in the foundation document prepared in 1234 by Ahmed Şah of the Mengcekoğullari for the Great Mosque of Divriği, which indicates the han was in existence at this time, and is generally dated to this time.

Yavuz, A.T., "Mircinge Han and Concentric-planned Anatolian Seljuk Period Caravansarais" in Turk Sanatlari Kongresi vol. 3; Yavuz, A.T. "Concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais", Glru Necipoglu (ed). 1997. "Muqarnas XIV: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World." Leiden: E.J. Brill, 80-95 ; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 366;  Acun p. 515
Nurhak 46 Karamanmaraş Located on the Elbistan-Nurhak road, about 5 km east of Nurhak  
Ortapayam 42 Konya This han is located on the Beyşehir-Antalya road, 5 km east of the Goynem village in the Derebuk region. It is also know as the Kireli Han. It is in total ruins, but the plan can be determined, as some of the walls are standing.  It has a very long rectangular plan not unlike the Şarafsa Han outside of Alanya. It comprised both a covered section and a courtyard, with a total size of 1320 m2 (covered section 630 m2, courtyard section 700m2). The rear wall appears to have had towers at each corner.  Since its plan is similar in nature to the later Şarafsa Han and the nearby ruins of the Tol Han, it is probable to date this han to 1237 or later. Erdmann p. 173-74 no. 54; Kus (2004) p. 43; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 135
Paşa 58 Sivas 15 km northeast of Sivas on the Tavra River, 100 m. to the right of the road. It was probably built at the same time as the Ciftlik and Ezinepazaar Hans. It has a covered section with open courtyard plan, and is 680m2.  It is now in ruins. Erdmann p. 79-80 no. 23
Sadak 29 Gmşhane Also known as the Kelki-Sadak han, it is located in the village of Sadak on the Erzurum-Tokat road.  It is rectangular in plan and only one wall of the courtyard arcades remains visible Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 357
Sari Kayseri 38 Kayseri This han is 6 km to the right of the Kayseri-Tomarza road, not far from the village of Kefes.  It has the covered section + open courtyard plan and it was thought to have been built in 1200-1210, and measures 600 m2.  There is a spring nearby. Erdmann p. 41-42 no. 6; Gertrude Bell Archives photo O-136; Acun p. 521
Serce 58 Sivas This han is located in the town of Ulaş. It is in ruins, it is located on the former Baghdad caravan route.  
Sertavul 33 Mersin İel 38 km from Mut on the Karaman-Silifke highway at the Servavus pass, the highest point of the Toros Mountains. It is also known as the Mut-Sertavul han.  It is not confirmed that it was built during the time of Alaeddin Keykubad I or later during the Karamanoğlu period.  It is now in ruins. Only a few arches remain. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 392
Sevdili 46 Karamanmaraş Located in a field near the village of Sevdili on the Elbistan-Malatya Highway. Only parts of the foundations walls can be seen. It is also known as the Elbistan-Sevdili han. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 402
Sevserek 44 Malatya Located on the Malatya-Ptrge Road. Also known as the iflik Han, it is now being excavated and renovated. It measures approximately 1400 m2. In March, 2011, a project to clear the site and stabilize this han was undertaken at the same time as the ruins of the nearby Grk, Tepe, Yandere, at,  and Taşkale hans. Yavuz, A.T. "Concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais", p. 89, 91, fig 26

Siracak 51 Niğde Bor-Aksaray Road at km 75 at turnoff for Eğreli. It is located in a field about 15 km from the Bayat village in the Altinhisar district. The portal of the han is in good shape and has an interesting running key motif over the door arch.  It has a covered hall and open courtyard plan. Erdmann p. 150 no. 40; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2 p. 257-9; Acun p. 253
Tahtoba 60 Tokat Sivas-Tokat Road, 3 km north of Artova. This han is attributed to Mahperi Hatun, mother of Giyaseddin Keyhusrev II and was built in 1238-46 at the same time as her other hans in this area. It had a covered hall + open courtyard plan, with a total area of 1375 m2. Some of the walls of the courtyard and hall remain standing, but it is in a very ruined state.

Erdmann p. 57-8 no. 14; Gabriel p. 112; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 422; Acun p. 527

 

 

Tepe 44 Malatya In March, 2011, a project to clear the site and stabilize this han was undertaken at the same time as the ruins of the nearby Grk, Sevserek, Yandere, at and Taşkale hans.  
Tol 42 Konya On the Beyşehir-Antalya road in the Derbucak region, 10 km out of the town of Derebucak.  The old caravan route in front of the han may still be seen.  It had a long rectangular plan like the Şarafsa and Ortapayam hans.  It is now in ruins. Kus (2004) p. 44; Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 136
Yandere 44 Malatya In March, 2011, a project to clear the site and stabilize this han was undertaken at the same time as the ruins of the nearby Grk, Sevserek, Tepe, at and Taşkale hans.  
Yenice 43 Kutahya On the Afyon-Kutahya road, 15 km outside of Kutahya.  In ruins; only the entry and walls remain. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.2, p. 148
Zalmanda 42 Konya

This han is located 25 km east of Konya on the Ankara Road, near Obruk in the Altinekin province. It is also known as the Dinek Han, Altinekin Han or the Kokaya Han. The door faces south, which is an unusual orientation. It probably had the open courtyard + a covered section plan, but the courtyard has disappeared and only the three aisled covered section remains. This is a small han, with a total dimension of 380 m2 (the covered section measures 14 x 20m).  There are Byzantine reuse stones in the rear wall, as well as ribbed columns on the portal door. The main portal has been covered over by rubble, and there is now an entry on the right hand side. There is no inscription plaque, but this han probably dates from the mid 13th century or to the Beylik period. This han has been recently restored.

 

PhotosAhmet Kuş, Ibrahim Divarci, Feyzi Şimşek,  Konyadaki Belikler Dnemi  eserlerı, 2005, p. 27

 

Erdmann p. 154-56 no. 43; Kus (2004) p. 27

Zilli 46 Karamanmaraş Located on the Elbistan-Nurhak road (37 59'47.82 / 37.19'59.01). Baybars, the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, invaded Seljuk Anatolia in 1277 on his mission to defeat the Mongols. He defeated them at the Battle of Elbistan, captured the city of Kayseri, but withdrew to Syria. He stayed here and at the Aka Derbent han before withdrawing to Acre.  
Zıgana 29 Gmşhane Located 1 km outside the village of Zigana in the Torul district.  Only parts of the walls of the covered section remain standing. Karpuz Anadolu Seluklu Eserleri (2008) v.1, p. 358
Zıvarık 42 Konya 8 km to the right of the Konya-Ankara Road in the middle of the town of Zivarik in the Altinekin region. Because this han has been extensively rebuilt over the years, it is hard to determine if it is Seljuk, Beylik or Ottoman. The portal contains many interesting geometric-patterned spolia stones.  It is a covered han with no courtyard, 725m2. There was originally a well in the middle of the han.

 

PhotoAhmet Kuş, Ibrahim Divarci, Feyzi Şimşek,  Konyadaki Belikler Dnemi  eserlerı, 2005, p. 21

Erdmann, p. 169-70, no. 52; Hillenbrand, p 553 fig 6.58; Kus (2005) p. 21

 

 

 

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