ancient Iranian hotels
For more than 25 centuries
Iranians accommodated foreign and domestic merchants and
pilgrims at elaborate hotels called caravansara, which were built along
roads and in cities.
The word caravansara is a combination of caravan and the Persian word
sara, which means dwelling, palace, or enclosed courts.
The development of Iran's road system, increased export to Europe, China
and India, which in turn gave rise to the need for more trade routes and
Caravansara also facilitated the flow of commerce and information across
the Silk Road and other trade routes running through Asia, North Africa,
and South-eastern Europe.
Interior of Sa'd al-saltaneh caravansara, Qazvin
Apart from the numerous roadside caravansara, there were also many city
caravansara where travelers could rest and recover from the day's
City Caravansara also served as marketplaces, an example of which can be
seen around Isfahan's Naqsh-e-Jahan Square. Some continue their commercial
activities to this day.
Although geographical location played an important role in the appearance
of caravansara, they were mainly multi-roomed structures elaborately
decorated with breathtaking tile works.
Caravansara, Sabzevar, Iran
Most caravansara were square or rectangular buildings with a single tall
wide gate, which allowed the entrance of heavily laden camels and other
The open-roofed courtyard of the structure was surrounded by chambers,
stalls and storage bays to accommodate travelers along with their
servants, animals, and merchandise.
Some caravansara had elaborate baths where travelers could wash away the
dust from the road.
Stone caravansara, Zanjan
Merchants could feed their mounts, sell their products and stock up on
supplies for the rest of their journey.
The Achaemenid kings were the first to build caravansara for foreign
merchants traveling the 2500-kilometer distance between the cities of Susa
Parthians continued the tradition by constructing similar buildings along
the Silk Road to serve travelers on their way to China and the
Caravansara, Yazd, Iran
Isfahan's Shah Abbas caravansara
Dorood to Iran,
Iranians and Farhange Iran
It's time for Iranians to be true Iranian!