Century-old caravanserais demarcated to draw legal borders
TEHRAN – Three Qajar-era (1789-1925) caravanserais in Tabas, in the eastern province of South Khorasan, have recently been demarcated in order to respect their legal boundaries and properties, a local tourism official said.
“New boundaries have been set for the Khan, Chehel Payeh and Deh-e Mohammad caravanserais with the aim of curbing illegal construction within their boundaries,” Parisa Jamshidi announced on Sunday.
The caravanserai, which is among the candidates for collective inscription on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list, was recently restored, the official noted.
More than 70 billion rials ($ 1.7 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has so far been invested in restoration projects for historic inns, she added.
Caravansary (also Caravanserai or Caravansaray) is a building that served as the Inn of the Orient, providing accommodation for business travelers, pilgrims, postal workers and especially officials.
According to the Encyclopedia Iranica, from the number of surviving caravanserais and their size, it is clear that in the Safavid and Qajar times there was a state architecture department that specifically dealt with construction. of caravanserais and stations on land routes. In addition, in the cities, several caravanserais were erected as shelters, depots and commercial offices near the bazaars.
A typical caravanserai consists of a square or rectangular plan centered around a courtyard with a single entrance and defensive arrangements if necessary. Whether it was fortified or not, it provided at least security against beasts of prey and attacks by robbers.
The first caravanserais in Iran were built in the Achaemenid era (550-330 BC). Centuries later, when Shah Abbas I took power from 1588 to 1629, he ordered the construction of networked caravanserais across the country.
Such roadside inns were originally built at various times along the ancient caravan routes in the Muslim world to provide shelter for people, their possessions and animals. The ancient Silk Roads are perhaps the most famous example of caravanserais.
ABU / AFM