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Büyükçekmece Caravanserai




It falls within the category of "yardless indoor type" caravanserai which is also known as Kurşunlu Han (Leaded Khan) as the original roof of the caravanserai which is one of the most important structures of Büyükçekmece Menzil Külliyesi (Islamic-Ottoman Social Halting Complex) was lead covered. Before giving information about the Caravanserai of Suleiman the Magnificent, I would like to give information regarding the concepts of caravanserais and inns and their development. The oldest examples of caravanserais in the Turkish architecture have been observed to date back to the period of Karakhanids. Sided with Seljuks with their entry to the Anatolian territory and has been called as ribat, khan and khanqah. Those built in within the cities were called khans and the ones in the rural were called outpost khans. Another name for the outpost khans were caravanserais. As Gönül Çantay stated "A caravanserai is a roadside inn serving the caravans." 72 Caravanserais are quite significant institutions with a commercial and military importance within the Seljukian and Ottoman architecture.

İsmail Aytaç perfectly summarizes the fuynctions of the caravanserais in his article titled "Seljukian Caravanserais"

Outpost khans have been built by taking into consideration the needs of both the passengers and the authorities in terms of the spaces in their plans. These khans are safe shelters for merchants, a perfect mansion for soldiers, an outpost for the protection of important roads and passages and they have been facilitated as fortresses to fight against the enemy when needed. Caravanserais are foundation buildings that have been built by sultans, their wives and other prominent statesmen of the period.

The caravanserais in fact had an organization beyond the purpose of developing commerce and maintaining the security of the roads in the Seljukian period. During the period of these structures where the loss of the merchants whose goods have been stolen was compensated, the first implementation of insurance took place. This bears great importance in terms of showing how advanced the Seljukian civilization was and how much the state supported the development of commerce and valued its people.

kervan7.jpg    The most important factor effecting the architectural development, the financial development especially reached its prime during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The construction of Büyükçekmece Menzil Külliyesi and the caravanserai of the complex, The Caravanserai of Suleiman the Magnificent is dated to be in this period. Evliya Çelebi indicates that he stayed at The Caravanserai of Suleiman the Magnificent on his way to Bosnia from İstanbul in 1658 and that he got into trouble because of a misunderstanding. In fact he recalls the event in details. In Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi's work titled "Fatih Devri Mimaris" (Architecture in Fatih's Period), it is stated that "Although Kritovulous cites that Fatih had built a caravanserai in Büyükçekmece in 1455, it doesn't exist today and the khan at the bridgehead is the structure of Sinan." According to the information given by Orhan Koloğlu, "there were 979 caravanserais in İstanbul in 1683." This shows us that the caravanserais served many purposes and a lot of them were built because of their functionalities.


A renovation work has been carried out on the caravanserai during the years of 1965 and 1966 by Directorate General of Foundations. The space at the entrance of the caravanserai didn't exist in the original plan of the structure. This space in front has been added with the renovation and its top has been covered with a brick roof. The caravanserai has been leased by the Directorate General of Foundations to the adjacent oil factory to be used as a sunflower storage during the renovations. Later on, it took a new look with the maintenance works and the landscape planning in 1988. 87 There are 2 rows of windows on the rear front of the caravanserai. The caravanserai was illuminated with the rectangular and round windows on the rear front.

kervan8.jpg  yenihali.pngThe caravanserai is being

renovated                                                                                                                The New look of the caravanserai

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