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VEZİRHAN

Population: 2000ish

vhan1Market day: Saturday

No more than a 20-minute drive north of Bilecik is the small settlement of Vezirhan, named after the large caravanserai built here in 1665 for the grand vizier Köprülü Mehmet Paşa (1578-1661) who is buried in the mosque complex he commissioned in İstanbul's Ordu Caddesi not far from the library he had built on Divan Yolu

Long and low-slung, the caravanserai was built long after the years when grandportals were the new. Instead it was accessed via three slightly ogival arches. 

Unfortunately, by the early 20th-century the caravanserai had fallen into complete ruin; photographs in Bilecik Museum show it as a roofless shell. Newly restored, it now looks brand new although there's a certain picturesque quality to its many chimneys and its slit windows. Glancing through the locked doors, I conclude that it is to be turned into a hotel or something similar. 

Right next to the caravanserai is the austere mosque with a central dome and single minaret that was built as part of the same complex.vhan2

Transport info

Minibuses from Bilecik make the 16km journey west to Vezirhan every half-hour. There are also minibuses from Vezirhan to Osmaneli so that you can visit both places in the same trip. 

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