A latter day Travelodge? Find our more in our article here.
The Seljuk dynasty ruled Turkey from around 1080 until 1308 having conquered all of the country we know as Turkey today, except for Constantinople (Istanbul). As those of you who have visited Konya, Kayseri or Sivas know, the Seljuks produced distinctive architecture and in those cities Seljuk mosques and medrese (theological colleges) can still be seen. The whole Seljuk period was one of great growth in terms of both the economy and arts, and the former was fuelled by increased trade with other countries. Antalya and Alanya were major ports from which goods were transported by camel caravan to the cities mentioned above. To underpin the trade routes the Seljuks built caravanserais, or ‘hans’ as they are called in Turkish, located 10 – 20 miles apart the hans offered traders safe places to stay for up to three days with baths, mosque, doctor, stabling for animals, storage for trade goods and accommodation and food – all free of charge.
The nearest han to Fethiye is Susuz Han on the Isparta road. Built in the middle of the twelfth century it still stands, despite weathering numerous earthquakes, and can be visited. It’s about a kilometre off the main road, a right turn a short distance before the modern town of Bucak.
If you are interested in the Seljuk Hans and would like to know more about them, take a look at www.turkishhan.org. This excellent website has detailed plans, photographs and information on about half the hundred or so extant Seljuk hans. A labour of love by an American academic who has been visiting Turkey annually since 1988 slowly gathering the information for the site. You can use it to find hans all over the country as well as read the fascinating background articles on the Seljuks and life in the hans.