Ağzikara Han




The front  

The closed hall of the Ağzikara Han was built in 1231 under the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I.. Nine years later, Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev II extended the Han to include an open courtyard with a small mosque in the middle. The sultans of the Rum-Seldschuken built a network of caravanserais in Anatolia, especially in the 13th century. The distance from each other was about 30 to 40 kilometres. This corresponded to the daily workload of a caravan. Ağzikara Han is one of twelve caravanserais built by the Sultans of Rum between the former capital Konya and the second largest city Kayseri.



The entrance portal


The richly decorated entrance portal with its elaborate stonemasonry is strongly reminiscent of the portal of the caravanserai Sultan Han near Aksaray. The inscription plates of the entrance as well as the hall portal are preserved.

The mosque in the inner courtyard  

While Seljuk caravanserais in Turkey normally place the entrance portal in an axis to the portals of the closed hall, the main portal of this Han was arranged laterally. The building and mosque in the courtyard are rare and unusual examples of Anatolian caravanserai architecture.


In the outer wall there are six corner towers and seven side towers, which give the building a fortress-like character. The side towers are hexagonal at the corners of the courtyard, while the side pillars have a rectangular cross-section. The corner pillars of the closed hall, flush with the rear wall, are square.

The dimensions of the Ağzikara Han: Closed hall: 32 x 32 m, inner courtyard: 41 x 43 m = total 2787 qm, Mosque: 7 x 7 m


The Bathhouse  

A rarity, as one finds it only with a few Han, as for example with the Kargi Han and with the Sahopata Han, is a separate bath house outside the Han. Although the original date of construction has not been preserved, the characteristic features of the building suggest that it was built during the Seljuk period. It is located opposite the south wall of the inner courtyard. The building is square and was divided into four rooms, each with a dome: The (cold) changing room, the (heated) bath room, a room for the stove and a room equipped with a large basin for (cold) fresh water.




In September 2018 the Han was closed. Restoration work was apparently stopped.


Floor plan of the caravanserai Ağzikara Han

according to Erdmann

1  Entrance portal   5  open cells
2  Portal of the closed hall   6  closed cells
closed hall   Watchtower
4  Mosque   8  Inner courtyard
Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
Translation aid: www.DeepL.com/Translator    
Source: Wikipedia and others