What is Caravanserai ?
One of the most important building constructions in Iran is the caravanserai ,which has been erected in a most all parts of the Iranian plateau since earliest times. The history of trade and travel in Iran goes back to Remote antiquity ,and the Camel caravan, a part of the word`s folklore, has served for centuries as the main method of transport. Iran, because of her unique geographical location between the East and the West, has long recognized the importance of road construction. Gradually better communications were developed and a network of roads spread across the land. This growth went for the most part , hand-in-hand with the growth of a strong central government. The Iranian system of communications and postal stations along these roads become secure and justly famous.
These roads were an essential element in the prosperity of the country, and along these routes many historical monuments are located among them a great number of robat and caravanserais.
The construction of Caravanserais has played an import ant role in Iranian architecture, especially during the Safavid period. During this Period a great number of caravanserais were erected in cities ,along the roads, in desert ,and even on mountain passes.
Their Plans and features varied according to their geographical. Economic , Military or religious aspects. Although these caravanserai are now largely neglected and forgotten, in the past they were havens of peace, comfort and security ,isolated although often splendid building in whose welcoming comfort the traveler could not only rest, but equally important, where he could participate in an exchange of idea between travelers from different distances, with considerate influence on social life, culture, art ,and economics.
As many scholars have noted the construction of caravanserai in Iran is a triumph of Iranian architecture , their and specifications being remarkable in that one cannot find two identical plans among the caravanserais from the Aras River to the Persian Gulf.
For more information refer to: Iranian Caravanserais W.Kleiss- M.Y.Kiani Winter 1994,Tehran/Berlin