Boundary walls of iconic Iranian caravanserai restored

May 10, 2021 - 17:27

TEHRAN – The boundary walls of Yengi-Imam caravanserai, one of Iran’s iconic roadside inns of the 17th century, have been fully restored.

“This phase of the renovation of the Yengi-Imam caravanserai was carried out in the shortest possible time to prevent unauthorized entry to the monument or even a potential act of vandalization,” a local tourism official announced on Sunday.

Located in Alborz province, the caravanserai showcases an exemplar form of Persian architecture, which emerged across the Silk Roads. Experts say that the caravanserai offers a unique venue for exchanging goods and traditions among travelers coming from the most diverse cultures.

All four domes of the historic structure were fully restored after almost five months of work in 2020, enjoying financial support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

The building takes the form of a square with a central courtyard. At the center of the courtyard is a square platform accessed via a short flight of stairs. Four iwans (porticoes) open onto the courtyard at the center of its four sides.

The corners of the courtyard are angled, and passageways lead off of these corners onto octagonal domed halls. Between the iwans and the corner passages are three shallow alcoves opening onto three small chambers (making for a total of six on each side of the courtyard). The octagonal domed halls lead onto wide corridors that run behind the aforementioned chambers.

Caravanserai 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 (c. 550 -330 BC). For many travelers to Iran, staying in or even visiting a centuries-old caravanserai can be a wide experience as they have an opportunity to feel the past, a time travel back into a forgotten age.


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