The Seljuk Han of Anatolia

SUSUZ HAN


 

post-renovation photo of lateral view from north (2009 photo courtesy of Iain McCulloch)

Lateral view from north

View of main portal showing stalactite vault

Niche inside of main portal, showing high-relief sculptures of winged angels

Central aisle of covered section showing lantern dome

Side aisle vaults of covered section

DISTRICT
15 BURDUR


LOCATION
This han is located in the village of Susuzköy, about 2 miles to the east off of the Antalya-Burdur Road. It lies 1000 m to the right of the road, south of a brick factory.

[map]

 

OTHER NAMES

Ağlasun Han


DATE
1244-46 (by stylistic analysis)


REIGN OF

Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev II
 

BUILDING TYPE

Covered with open courtyard (COC)
Covered section smaller than courtyard
Covered section with a middle aisle and 2 aisles on each side
5 bays of vaults
 

DESCRIPTION
The han faces east, perpendicular to the road. Despite its small size, this is an impressive han. Its portal is one of the most interesting of all the Seljuk hans.
At the present time it is a square building, with a dome in the center of the three vaults. It is believed that there was on open courtyard in the front which is no longer in existence. The han may have been unfinished and left incomplete.
There is no inscription plaque over the hall door, although there appears to be a place for it.
 

Of excellent stonework, the exterior is fortified with octagonal tower-like buttresses. Impressive features include the cone-shaped lantern turret with a grooved roof rising in the cross-section of the vaults, the decoration of the gateway, and the regular stone masonry.


DECORATION

The high-quality stonework of the portal is impressive, and is similar to the Ak Han in appearance. It consists of a door with a high pointed arch and an elaborate frame decorated by arrows and braid work, similar to the rich decoration seen on the sultan hans. Calligraphic and vegetal patterns dominate the decorative scheme. The spandrels of the lateral niches of the portal are decorated with radiating figures of winged angels cut in high relief. These unusual angel sculptures are famous features of this han. The angels hold a roundel that was probably once an armorial symbol, but has since eroded effaced. Over the arch surmounting the niche are figures of serpents holding small human heads in their mouths. Other decorative elements include arabesques, dragons, human figures, rope bands, and swastikas.
 

DIMENSIONS
Total area: 860 m2
Area of hall: 690 m2

STATE OF CONSERVATION, CURRENT USAGE
This han has been repaired and is in good condition. It is an impressive han to visit due to the elaborate portal. There are apparently plans to convert it into a tourism business. The han was totally restored in 2009-2009 with the addition of a fluted dome that does not appear to be a part of the Seljuk decorative canon.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

Acun, pp. 272-285 (includes extensive bibliography in Turkish); 462; 464-65; 526.

Altun, p. 200.
Bektaş, pp. 62-63.
Erdmann, pp. 111-114, no. 30.
Ertuğ, p. 80.
Karpuz, Kuş, Dıvarcı and Şiek (2008), vol. 1, pp. 219-20.

Rice, p. 206.
Unsal, p. 49.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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