Isfahan caravanserais may join other Iranian sisters for collective UNESCO tag

December 30, 2020 - 18:40

TEHRAN- There are some significant caravanserais, scattered across Isfahan province, which could appear on the shortlist of historical Iranian caravanserais being prepared for a possible inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

“One of the issues on the agenda of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage [Tourism and Handicrafts] is the global registration of Iranian caravanserais, and in Isfahan province, we have several works that are worth registering in the UNESCO list and join this file,” provincial tourism chief Freydoun Allahyari said on Tuesday.

“Mahyar Caravanserai, Jahadabad Caravanserai, as well as the Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan, which is built on a Safavid-era caravanserai, are among the nominees [their dossiers and related documents] are being completed by our colleagues,” the official explained.

Last year, the tourism ministry announced that Iran is developing a dossier for a selection 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.

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 around the courtyard and stables behind them with doors in the corners of the yard.

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



  • 2020-12-31 15:10
    If you mention The Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan it's the most expensive hotel in the area, only reach people can afford it. I wish I can pay even one night there, it's the most beautiful building I ever seen. If Caravansarays in ancient time was that expensive I don't know if everyone could afford them.

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