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Sultan Han Caravanserai ( Kayseri )



Sultan Han Caravanserai

It is located in the village of Sultanhan (Tuzhisar),  45km along the Kayseri-Sivas road. It is understood from the inscription on the portal of the hall that the Han was built between 1232-1236 upon the orders of Alaaddin Keykubat. 


Sultan HanKayseri Sultanhan, covering an area of 3900 m square, is rather similar to Aksaray Sultanhan in terms of plan.

On  both sides of the portal of Sultanhan, the entrance of which faces north, are towers , the lower parts of which are square whereas the bodies are semi-circle columns. Although its partially collapsed portal is an example of the classical Seljuk portals, it has a monumental appearance between these towers. 



A square courtyard is reached through a hall with a high arch. The kö?k mescid, located right in the  centre of the courtyard, is seated on four piers with arches. Access to the mescid is gained up two flights of stairs on the northern side. The decorations composed of geometrical motifs, rosettes, borders with double knots, and designs of symmetrical dragons  on the fronts of the mescid and the arches are examples of expert stonemasonry. The terrace where the calls to prayer were done is reached by a flight of stairs from a niche in the mescid, the sanctuary of which is square planned and barrel vaulted.


The domed bath house, to the northwest of the courtyard, is composed of five divisions. The bath house is reached from the door on the northwest corner of the portico on the right hand side. First the entrance hall and the dressing room, then the domed bathing place with basins is reached. The cistern of the bath house,heated using underground heating, is in a rectangular plan and barrel vaulted. The other places with porticoes on this side belonged to guests and their animals. Opposite this section are the places also used in summer time. 


Sultan Han Caravanserai  KayseriThe fronts of the porticoes and vaults facing the courtyard are equilateral arches. The portal of the winter hall,  protruding about 2 m into the courtyard, has a monumental appearance, like the outer portal, due to the embellished decorations on its front and the workmanship, although its sides have no decorations. 


Above the entrance of the portal, the outer border of which is composed of geometrical decorations, is a nine lined mukarnas. The entrance door is a basket-handled arch. Across the entrance is the middle nave and on the sides are 24 high vaulted arches with square piers in six lines in groups of four. 

kayseri saruhan


At the piers of the arches are the 60-70 cm high platforms separating the areas for people and animals. Places close to the walls were for the animals whereas  places close to the middle nave were used by travellers and the middle nave was communal for services. The oculus, 6 m in width and quite high, is seated on pendentives. In this section also is a prayer written in a scattered way.


Kayseri Sultanhan was restored to its present state in 1951.



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