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ZAZADIN HANI (TÖMEK)

aaz1The Zazadın Hanı, an imposing and interesting caravanserai, lurks roughly 20km east of Konya near the village of Tömek.

Commissioned by the great Selcük leader, Alaadin Keykubad, it was built between 1235 and 1238 and its architect was the vizier Sadeddin Köpek who was also responsible for the sultan’s palace at Kubadabad on the shores of Lake Beyşehir.

Unlike most of the caravanserais its grand portal is built in layers of contrasting grey and white stone. More surprisingly, it is built into one of the sides of the building instead of, as is more usual, into one of the ends.

Normally the main entrance to the complex faces the main entrance to the stable across a large courtyard with a raised mescid in the centre. Here though steps just to the left of the entrance lead up to the mescid immediately above it while the stable door is very close by.aaz2

In a further unusual twist the stable floor is partially raised making it easier for men to unload their animals.

The walls of the Zazadın Hanı are studded with pieces of stone and marble clearly taken from older Byzantine structures both on the inside and outside. In particular it’s possible to see complete Byzantine gravestones reused as building materials. 

Transport info

You could take an Aksaray-bound bus from Konya's otogar and ask to be dropped off at the Tömek junction to walk the last 4km over flat ground to the site but it's probably easier to hire a taxi for the return trip. 

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