Khan Tuman
Khan Tuman, Syria
Khan Tuman is located about fifteen kilometers south of Aleppo, on the west bank of the Quweiq River. It was built in 1189 by Ayyubid Emir Tuman Nuri as a rural khan to protect travelers on the trade route linking the Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea. A second khan was added abutting its southern wall in 1478 by Mamluk Sultan Qaitbey (1468-1496). In 1652 Ipshir Pasha, governor of Aleppo until 1654 consolidated the khans to provide a safer shelter for travelers. Only a portion of the Mamluk khan remains today, after the complex was partly demolished to accommodate the Lattakia-Aleppo railroad in 1970.

The twelfth century khan was built with large stone blocks and consisted of a rectangular courtyard measuring about thirty by twenty meters, surrounded by a vaulted hall on all sides. The southern wing was divided into four sections; the vaulted entry vestibule at center, with a room to its west and a two room mosque with a mihrab to its east. The vaulted hall enveloping the courtyard was accessed through two archways on each courtyard wall, while the room to the west of the entrance was accessed through the entryway and through the courtyard. The mosque was primarily entered from the entry vestibule and also opened onto a small chamber to its east entered from the courtyard. To the north, the hall was roofed with cross vaults resting on rectangular pillars embedded in its northern wall. Its east and west wings were roofed with longitudinal barrel vaults. After the construction of a khan abutting its southern wall, the primary street entrance for the first khan shifted to its northern wall.

Built in 1478 the Mamluk khan was also organized around a courtyard, with rooms accessed through an arcade. It was accessed from its south side through a barrel-vaulted gatehouse projecting into the courtyard.

In 1652, according to an inscription now lost, Ipshir Pasha made several modifications. He constructed waterworks and provided Khan Tuman with a qastal or fountain located in the south khan to the east of the gatehouse. The fountain, which has remained, is two steps down from the courtyard, with an archway supported on two engaged columns in the shape of interlaced ropes. Its operation was supported by the income of a stable, a coffeehouse and two shops built on the second floor of the northern khan, and seventeen rental rooms, built on the second floor of the southern khan. Ipshir Pasha also built arched iwans flanked by rooms above the gatehouses of the south and north khans, and paved the prayer hall of the north khan entrance.

Sources:

Creswell, K.A.C. "Two Khans at Khan Tuman." Syria: Revue d'Art Oriental et d'Archaeologie 4 (1923): 134-139. Paris: Librairie Paul Geuthner.

Sauvaget, Jean. "Caravanserails Syriens du Moyen Age." Ars Islamica 7 (1940): 14-15. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Sauvaget, Jean. "Caravanserails Syriens du Moyen Age." Ars Islamica 6 (1939): 52-53. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Watenpaugh, Heghnar. The image of an Ottoman city: imperial architecture and urban experience in Aleppo in the 16th and 17th centuries, 156-158. Leiden: Brill, 2004.
Location
Khan Tuman, Syria
Images & Videos
Events
1189/584-585 AH, 1478/882-883 AH, 1652/1062 AH
Style Periods
1250-1517
1169-1260
1299-1922
Variant Names
Khan Tuman
Tuman Khan
Variant
Building Usages
khan
commercial