Iranian caravansaries being assessed for collective UNESCO tag

September 4, 2019 - 22:22

TEHRAN – Iran is developing a dossier for a select of its historical caravansaries for a possible inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

In this regard, cultural heritage experts are assessing such monuments that are scattered across the country to make a shortlist in terms of their architecture, historical and cultural values.

The experts have recently announced their preliminary approval to five caravansaries in the eastern South Khorasan province, CHTN reported on Tuesday.

After compiling a registration dossier of these caravanserais, which contains documentation, land surveying, historical investigations, they will be added to the list of the Iranian caravansaries to be submitted to UNESCO, Parisa Jamshidi, a local cultural official, said.

“The architectural spaces of these inns include porches, chambers, luggage stations, stables, cisterns, and porticos. In addition, some caravanserais bear interacted brickworks and plaster decorations,” she said.

“Iranian caravansaries are a very valuable and important example of our country’s indigenous architecture, some of which are considered masterpieces of traditional architecture.”

Caravansary is a compound word combining “caravan” with “sara”. The first stand for a group of travelers and sara means the building.

They often had massive portals supported by elevated load-bearing walls. Guest rooms were constructed round the courtyard and stables behind them with doors in the corners of the yard.

Iran’s earliest caravanserais were built during Achaemenid era (550 -330 BC). Centuries later, when Shah Abbas I assumed power form 1588 – to 1629, he ordered construction of network caravanserais across the country.

For many travelers to Iran, staying in or even visiting a centuries-old caravanserai, can be a wide experience; they have an opportunity to feel the past, a time travel back into a forgotten age!


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