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an inn and trading post for caravans along the roads in the cities of Southwest Asia, Middle Asia, and Transcaucasia. Caravansaries, which have been known since antiquity, were widespread during the ninth through 18th centuries as cities grew and the caravan trade intensified.

Two types are most common: the hall caravansary and thecaravansary with an inner court. The hall caravansaries, seen inArmenia, are retangular buildings divided into naves. The mid-dle nave is designed for men and goods; the animals are kept inthe side naves. The other type has small buildings of one or a fewstories, where travelers stay with their merchandise; the build-ings open on an enclosed court, where the animals are kept.Roadside caravansaries were fortified with protective walls orelse were attached to inns or fortresses (rabats and khans). Thedevelopment of railroads and other modern type of transporthave brought about a decline in the importance of caravansarieson transit roads.

caravansary, caravanserai

interior of a caravansary
1.In the middle east, a building or inn for the overnight lodging of travelers by caravan; usually enclosed by a solid wall and entered through a large gate.
2. By extension, any large inn or hotel.
References in periodicals archive ?
So that from the old entrance of the city in DarvazeDolat, in front of Dolatkhane there is an old caravansary after which bazar is started.
Standing in like a proxy for Ballard's resort was Hotel Palenque, 1969-72, Smithson's slide-show meditation on a decaying Mexican caravansary through which one could easily imagine vampires wandering restlessly.
The narrator states that he feels the most reliable version might be an item entitled "En los esteros," which appears in Caravansary.
One not mentioned by Hanna was the Wakalat al-Gallaba, the great caravansary of the Sudan-trading merchants, which was renovated during the period 1592-1605 (see Terence Walz, "Wakalat al-Gallaba: The Market for Sudan Goods in Cairo," Annales islamologiques 13 [1977]: 220-21).
At night the weary travelers slept in yurts or a caravansary.
Mirza Kuchak and other caravansary These are named as, Sheikh Ali Khan, Jarchi Bashi, Teemcheh-e-Jahangir, Saray-e-Sefid, Mirza Kuchak, Mir Ismail and Khansariha in the bazr of Isfahan.
Shah Abbasi Caravansary The pass of Goijeh Boel is one of the most beautiful vicinities in Azarbayjan, 24 km.