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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 ?
Caption: FIXER-UPPER--This is one of the caravanserais the government has leased out to be converted into a hotel for tourists.
He expresses about the watercourses which are located in path of his trip that some of them have been embedded at the heart of plains and some others are constructed along with caravanserais and or inside them while water is a bounty for passengers that it quenches them.
Between 1935 and 1975, pioneers such as Jean Sauvaget, Maxime Siroux, and Kurt Erdmann published a series of monographs on the caravanserais of Syria, Iran.
The sites in the capital include the Ichari Shahar or `Inner City,' which resembles a medieval citadel, charming 14th-and 15th-century caravanserais which now house popular restaurants serving traditional Azerbaijani cuisine, and the Royal Palace of the Shirvan Shahs, built by King Khalil of Shirvan and his son, Farrokh Yasser, in the 15th century.
Numerous unique monuments, including the Shirvanshakh Palace complex, mosques and minarets, the ruins of caravanserais and bathhouses make this place one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
The earliest caravanserais in Persia were constructed in the Achaemenid era (550-330 BCE) for both economic and military purposes.
It was so glorious that it reminded me of the Selcuk caravanserais with their oh-so-splendid portals, although this particular house was unlikely to be more than a hundred or so years old.
This resulted in inns called caravanserais (they were later called khans) along the main routes -places of rest where people and animals would be safe for the night and where they could be sure of food and lodging.
As Finigan himself said of a visit in August 1837: "Among the persons whom I met in the caravanserais of John Street were beggars, showmen, music grinders, pedlars and impostures of different grades and different nations, lodging in wretched harmony, filthy vileness and disgusting dirt to the number of from 15 to 20 or more in one house.
His interest in the caravanserai was inspired during his first trip to Iran, where he read there were about 360 caravanserais in the Western desert of Egypt.
This architecture of trade includes covered bazaars or souqs, caravanserais or khans which are the medieval equivalent of modern hotels.
This model -domain ontology- provides systematic lexical specification of the components and the relationships between them that reflects 3 dimensional characteristics of the architectural content for a typology of historical buildings, caravanserais of the Silk Roads.