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PAZAR, TOKAT

A town named "Market"                            Population: 5,000

PazarMarket day: Friday

West of Tokat via an attractive road, the small town of Pazar serves as a base for visiting the Ballıca Mağarası, one of Turkey's finest show caves. However, you could also pause here to inspect the newly restored Mahperi Hatun Kervansarayı, a Silk Road Selçuk caravanserai dating back to 1239 and named after Lady Mahperi, the wife of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I.

Unlike most caravanserais, this one is long and narrow, rather like a medrese, but with a large room at the back where there would usually be an iwan in a medrese. This served as the winter quarters for passing traders and their animals who, in summer, slept on platforms above their animals in the double-depth recesses on either side of the courtyard. Today there's a fountain in the middle of the courtyard where once there would have been a raised mescid. 

As is typical of Selçuk structures, the portal to the caravanserai is elaborately carved with a dedication kitabe (inscription plate) over the door. Another inscription survives above the entrance to the winter quarters.

Today the caravanserai serves as a cafe and restaurant.

Sleeping

Pazar has only a basic hotel. Stay the night in Tokat.

Transport info

There are half-hourly minibuses from Tokat's town-centre underground minibus terminal. The journey takes 30 minutes.

Day trip destinations

Ballıca Mağarası (cave)

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