More than 50 caravanserais, these large inns open on the historic roads of Iran, have been included on the UNESCO world heritage list, the UN organization announced on Sunday. The inscription was validated in Riyadh during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee.
Often imposing and sometimes fortified, caravanserais were “relays located along the roads offering shelter and food to caravans, pilgrims and travelers,” explains Unesco on its site. Iran now has more than 200, located on historic trade routes that cross the country between Asia and Europe, such as the Silk Road.
The UN organization published on its website a map showing 54 caravanserais in the North-East, North and center of the country. They “are Iran's most influential and opulent examples, exhibiting a wide range of architectural styles, fashions, adaptation to climatic conditions and building materials, spread over thousands of kilometers and constructed over several centuries,” she explains. Among them are the caravanserais of Qasr-e Bahram, near the town of Semnan, Deyr-e Gachin, near Qom, and Anjireh Sangi, near Yazd in the center.
Iran now has 27 historic sites classified by UNESCO, including the city of Persepolis, capital of the Achaemenid Empire (south), the Armenian monasteries (northwest), the historic city of Yazd and the square of Naghsh-e Jahan.