Safavid caravanserai undergoes partial restoration

July 6, 2022 - 18:52

TEHRAN – Hojaib caravanserai, one of Iran’s well-preserved roadside inns dating from the Safavid era, is being given a makeover.

Over the past couple of years, the gigantic mudbrick caravanserai has undergone several rounds of restoration to gain its former glory.

The restoration work involves repairing damaged arcades on the southeastern side, leveling the slopes, fixing the drainage gradient of the roofs and landscape, downspouts, and tile bonding under the supervision of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

Situated in Buin-Zahra county, Qazvin province, the caravanserai dates from the Safavid era (1501–1736).

The Islamic Republic has submitted an inclusive dossier on its caravanserais to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The dossier comprises the obligatory data about a selection of 56 caravanserais, which are located in 24 provinces.

Caravanserai or caravansary is a compound word combining “caravan” with “sara”; the former stands for a group of travelers and the latter means the building.

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 a network of 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.

Self-serving chambers that are meticulously laid out around a vast courtyard may easily evoke spirits of the past. It’s not hard to fancy the hustle and bustle of merchants bargaining on prices, recounting their arduous journeys to one another while their camels chewing hay!


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