Last update:
8 November 2009
20 Thu AlQe'da 1430

Khans (Caravansaries) in Tripoli - Lebanon

Tripoli > History > Monuments > Khans

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Aarasat Khan

Aaskar Khan

Similar to Saboun Khan, Aaskar Khan, or Soldiers' Caravansaray, consists of two main buildings joined by a vaulted passage. It is situated at the Zahriyeh district and was probably erected in the late 13th or early 14th century for Mameluke troops. At that time it was known as Khan el-Hareer (Caravansaray of Silk) or Khan el-Asra (Caravansaray of the Hostages). During the first half of the 18th century, it was restored for use by Ottoman troops. This explains the presence of the Ottoman Tughra (signature) on top of it's eastern gate. The two courtyards making the khan occupies 5200 m2 and are surrounded by two storeys of rooms behind arcaded corridors. It is at present used as a shoping center.

Related Links

The Dabbaghah District (video).

The Ottoman Tughra on the eastern gate of the Khan.

Khayyateen Khan
Khayyateen Khan after the renovation.

Khayyateen Khan in the late 1960s.

One of the oldest in Tripoli, Khayyateen Khan or Tailors' Caravansaray, dates to the first half of the 14th century. It was probably built on the remains of a Byzantine and Crusader structure in the center of the ancient commercial suburb which controlled passage over the Abu Ali River. This is why, this Khan has a different plan than the others in the city. The restored structure consists of a long passageway with tall arches on each side and ten transverse arches. Archeologists working near the Tailors' khan some years ago unearthed Byzantine remains, including a granite column surmounted by a marble Corinthian capital, nowadays, standing at the western entrance. Recently, the khan was renovated with the assistance of Germany.

German tourists in Khan el-Khayyateen

Misriyyin Khan

Misryyin Khan (Caravansaray of the Egyptians) was probably built in the first half of the 14th century following the orders of the Memluk Sultan El-Nasser Mohammad Ben Kalawoon. The traditional arcaded two-storey khan has an open courtyard with a fountain in the center. The khan is present at the Hadeed district and occupies a surface area of 272 m2. It is at present used as a shoping area.

Roummanah Khan
An alley neighbouring Roummanah Khan

Saboun Khan

Khan el-Saboun (Soap Warehouse), built in the second half of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century, was originally a caravansaray for European merchants. During the first half of the 20th century, it was converted into a warehouse. A large, rectangular structure, it has two stories of arcaded corridors around a courtyard.

The gate of Saboun Khan at the Sayyagheen Bazaar.

Saboon Khan in the late 1970s.

Tamathili Khan

Khan el-Tamathili was built during the Memluke Era sometime between 1316 and 1341 C.E. It was used at the beginning as a hotel to host the negotiator ad visitors of the city. At present, the khan is in a very bad condition despite of its valuable architecture. The kan is of two storeys. The first storey is composed of 30 rooms with arches in the ceilings of every room; the decorations of the four corners of this storey are in a very good condition. The second storey is made up of 44 rooms. Both storeys exhibit a total of 34 arches.

The entance gate of the khan is made of an arch with stones of alternate black and white colors (Ablaq style). The gate/door of the khan is huge and is covered with plates of iron fixed by huge nails. The hall of the khan has a water pool at the center. A statue, placed at the center of the pool, was stolen during the war-time in the 1980s.

According to a municipality law (4/4/1979), this khan is porposed to be restored and used as a hotel and artisanat complex. However, there is a need to restore the area surrounding it too.

The entrance of the khan.

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