Iran revives ancient caravanserai

2010-01-27 09:06 BJT


After a long day's journey through the desert, travellers in ancient Iran would usually spend the night at a caravanserai, to rest, sleep and eat. Built in a distinct architectural style, caravanserais are said to have been the first types of hotels in ancient Iran.

The term caravanserai is a combination of caravan and the Persian word "sara", which means dwelling.

The first caravanserais were built 25-hundred years ago, when the Achaemenid Empire ruled Persia. Caravanserais flourished during the Safavid era. At that time, Iran's economy was at its peak and newly constructed roads attracted a large number of pilgrims to visit religious sites, especially Imam Reza's shrine in Mashhad.

Many of these ancient inns were adjacent to the Silk Road to serve travellers on their way to China and the Mediterranean Sea.
Many of these ancient inns were adjacent to the Silk Road to serve travellers
on their way to China and the Mediterranean Sea.

Many of these ancient inns were adjacent to the Silk Road to serve travellers on their way to China and the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamidreza Yadzi, Zeinoddin Caravanserai owner, said, "This caravanserai can host up to 60 to 80 tourists every day and we can accommodate them for the night. Tourists come down here from all over the world. We have had travellers from about 70 countries here and all of them have left happily."

In addition to a place to stay, the newly restored caravanserai offers entertainment to their guests, with recreational programmes such as local music and dance.

Each chamber is separated from the corridor with a curtain, to let guests have the same experience the caravan traders would have had centuries ago.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: