Sultan Han
Kayseri, Turkey
The Sultanhani outside of Kayseri was commissioned in 1232 by Alaeddin Keykubad I. It is the second largest Seljuk caravanserai in Turkey, encompassing 3,900 square meters.

As a fortified way station along the trade route, it is built of massive stone walls with only one entrance. This entrance is set in the thick wall of the caravanserai below a muqarnas niche. From the entrance one passes through the thickness of the walls into the courtyard, in the middle of which is a masjid. The masjid is set on arches above a fountain, with the prayer hall on the second floor, reached by a double stairway. The arches of the masjid are decorated with intertwined serpents, and geometric carving covers all the exterior corners. Animal motifs are common in Seljuk decoration, and are also seen in the Kayseri Sultanhani as drain spouts carved as lions. The khan is undecorated except for the main entrance, the masjid, the entrance into the inner covered hall, and a bead of stalactite molding around the inside of the roof surrounding the courtyard.

The winter hall is 30 meters wide by 40 meters long, divided into 5 aisles that run the length of the hall as 7 vaulted spaces which cross the hall transversely. The entrance is marble and opens into the six meter wide central aisle flanked by two naves. At the center is a dome which lets in light and air, expressed on the exterior as a conical pyramid.


Sources:

Ertug, Ahmet. The Seljuks: a journey through Anatolian architecture, 219. Istanbul: Ahmet Ertug, 1991.

Gabriel, Albert. Monuments Turcs d'Anatolie, 93-98. Paris: Editions de Boccard, 1931-1934.

The Seljuk Han of Anatolia. "Sultan Han Aksaray". Accessed December 14, 2005. http://www.turkishhan.org/sultanaksaray.htm.

Stierlin, Henri, and Anne Stierlin. Turkey, from the Selçuks to the Ottomans, 240. Köln, Germany: Taschen, 1998.
Location
Kayseri-Sivas Road, Kayseri, Turkey
Images & Videos
Documents
Events
1232-1236/629-633 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Sultan Han
Sultan Han near Kayseri
Variant
Sultanhani
Variant
Sultan Hani
Variant
Sultan Hanı
Variant
Building Usages
caravanserai
commercial