The global registration of six ancient caravanserais located in the central province of Yazd is an objective which is pursued by the province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Ali-Asghar Samadiani, deputy head of the organization for cultural heritage affairs, said that the dossier of 56 historical caravanserais of Iran, including six located in Yazd Province, was submitted to UNESCO for a possible registration on the World Heritage List.
He noted that renovation projects are presently being carried out in the caravanserais, pointing out that the related reports are scheduled to be presented at the 45th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to be held in Kazan, Russia, from June 19 to 30, 2022.
The official added that UNESCO’s inspectors visited the six caravanserais of Yazd Province in October and expressed satisfaction with the progress of the renovation projects which are underway in the monuments.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai
He said the Sangi (Stony) Caravanserai, dating back to the Ilkhanid Era (1256-1335 CE) and Anjireh Caravanserai, also known as the New Caravanserai, dating back to the Qajar Era (1789-1925 CE), are located in the city of Ardakan,” he said.
He noted that Zeineddin Caravanserai, situated near the city of Mehriz, Kharanaq Caravanserai in Kharanaq Village, and Shah Abbasi Caravanserai in Meybod date back to the Safavid Era (1501-173 CE), while Rashti Caravanserai, in the city of Aqda, belongs to the Qajar Era.
He said that the global registration of the caravanserais would help attract the attention of people all over the world.
Samadiani continued that Iran is located at an important crossroads of East-West and North-South routes, thus, since ancient times a large number of caravanserais were built in various parts of the country to provide travelers with security and accommodation facilities.
Iranians were the first in the world to set up a widespread network of trading routes, and what is known today as a caravanserai is actually a developed version of the Achaemenid’s post offices and the trading posts of the Parthian and Sassanid eras, built along the Silk Road. They tried to make the roads across the country safe for trade and delivering letters or news.
He said that there are a large number of caravanserais in Yazd Province, 44 of which have been registered nationally.
He noted that most of the caravanserais located in the central part of Iran have a central courtyard, while those situated in the mountainous regions of the country are usually built indoors due to the cold weather and heavy rainfall.
He said information and maps relating to the six caravanserais of Yazd Province were prepared and collected, noting that a major part of their renovation projects was completed.
“The projects are presently underway only in the Sangi and Anjireh caravanserais of the province,” he concluded.