Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Turkey

The Caravanserai of Zor

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The Caravanserai of Zor

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Turkey, Zor, Igdir
Type: Cultural Landscape
Epoch: Middle Ages
World Heritage:
Middle AgesCultural Landscape

The building known as the "caravanserai of Zor" is located about 35km southwest of the town of Igdir, and at an altitude of about 1750 metres on the range of hills west of Ararat. "Zor" was the name given to it by the archaeologist Loris-Kalantar who, in 1913, was the first person to study it. However, the village of Zor is actually more than 15km to the east of the caravanserai, in another valley.
The caravanserai is a rectangular building, approximately 53 metres long by 25 metres wide. It is orientated approximately east-west. There is a single entrance in the middle of the east facade. There are no windows in any of the external walls, and the north and south walls each have a row of five, solid, semicircular towers. These may have had a defensive function, but also serve to buttress the wall. The outer walls have a thickness of between 1.5 and 1.65 metres, and have an outer and an inner facing of well cut, creamy-orange coloured, tufa stone, and a concrete core. All parts of the caravanserai seem to have been constructed at the same time, and there are no traces of later repairs or additions.
The caravanserai's internal structure consists of two zones. The eastern zone contains the entrance portal and three rooms: a square hall with smaller rooms to the north and south of it. The western zone, which takes up most of the building, contains three long aisles separated by two arcades of arches on pillars.

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