Azerbaijan is a place with a high culture, and has been a significant hub on the Great Silk Road since ancient times, where East and West connected. Traders and merchants migrated to Azerbaijani cities such as Sheki, Ganja, Baku and others from all nations, taking spices, silk and other commodities to the outside world with them. They may take away jewellery, musical instruments, weapons carpets, oil, etc. from Azerbaijan. It is not shocking that a number of caravansaries have been established in Azerbaijan, in whose doors most of trade deals have taken place. And still most of those old caravanserais in Azerbaijan have existed.
Bukhara Caravanserai of Baku
Located in old city of Baku. In the late 15th century, Bukhara Caravanserai was built over a trade route through the fortress ‘ Double Gates in Baku. It is similar to the Maiden House. The caravanserai was harnessed as a hotel, primarily catering for Central Asian merchants. The caravanserai building’s form is rectangular and flanked by balconies and walls, and the portal is convex. The caravanserai also contains an octagonal garden. The majority of the caravanserais in Azerbaijan has architectural structure was created by a series of arches circling the inner courtyard. The Bukhara Caravanserai needs to undergo renovation work in the year 1964, and as a result of this process, the building was separated from its previously built annexes that made it available to see the historic site on the viewpoint of the nearby buildings. Nowadays several souvenir shops are existed at the Bukhara Caravanserai and its open for the tourists
Multani Caravanserai of fire worshipers
Multani Caravanserai is also situated in old city of baku. It is located opposite the caravanserai of Bukhara, Multani caravanserai is older than it was built in the XIV century. Multan name comes from pakistani city. The caravanserai worked as a resting point for Indian merchants and fire worshipers. It is known that they constructed a temple of “Ateshgah” fire-worshippers in Surakhani which has lasted to this day and serves as a museum. Caravanserai Multani is based on comparatively old structures and has a rectangular shape, an enclosed courtyard. There are balconies on the periphery of the courtyard, behind which are independent room-cells, built for private accommodation.
Small caravanserais of Baku
Small caravanserai is another caravanserai located in old city of Baku. This one is older than the Bukhara and Multani caravanserais. It was built in the XII century.
Square structure has quadrangular patio with cut corners. The building is enclosed by a balcony over the entire perimeter, under which there are living rooms for private usage. The caravanserai’s Northern and Southern entrances are in the form of a portal. During the Medieval era the main gate was from the seaside.
In the Medieval ages in this building a Muslim educational madrassah that was part of the Juma mosque and the cells were meant for students living in this college.
The Art Garden, which includes the Art Gallery, many craft studios and a restaurant serving regional and International cuisine, currently operates on the grounds of this nationally important landmark. Ironically, each of the caravanserai cells is now painted by different artists from Azerbaijan.
Upper and lowers caravanserais in Sheki
Sheki is one of the most popular place that known for its caravanserais in Azerbaijan. The upper and lower caravanserai are the key sights of the right bank of the Gurjanachai Canal, a kind of Sheki town’s commercial center. The lower caravanserai has 242 rooms, with a total area of 8,000 square meters. The complex has a four-sided entrance gate
Upper Sheki caravanserai has built on XVIII century, where more than 300 rooms has a land area of 6000 square meters and a height of 14 metres. The building’s primary facade faces the bank of the river, a beautifully decorated arch of the main gate to the courtyard is situated in the corner of the building, at the bottom of the third floor, which is caused by a wide relief slope along the river.
Surprisingly, the upper caravanserai is still being used for its original purpose-it operates as Sheki Karvansaray, a hotel complex. This complex is remarkable because the spirit of antiquity can be felt here. The rooms have elegant arched roofs, wide doors, imposing walls of stone. The hotel has a garden lounge, where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Travelers can stay a night at Sheki Karvansaray during Sheki Tour organized by Baku City Tours.
Shah Abbas Caravanserai in Ganja
Another famous caravanserais in Azerbaijan was founded in Ganja by the order of the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas at the beginning of the 17th century. This complex is one of the ancient architectural ensemble built by designer Shaykh Bahauddin, which also features the Juma Mosque (Shah Abbas Mosque) and the Chekyak-Hamam (Ancient Bath house). The building was built using burnt bricks and a mixture of egg white, lime and clay according to the custom of that period. The two-storey building of the caravanserai, constructed in an oriental style, comprises of 15 halls and 54 cells. There are areas for storing livestock in the yard. Servants, chefs and singers served in the caravanserai to support their clients. The building of the medieval caravanserai had played the role of the Residence of Education until recently-Ganja Humanitarian College was built here at the end of the 20th century. In the caravanserai was also housed the poetess Mashati Ganjavi museum. Shah Abbas Karvansaray currently serves as a museum after the restoration.