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Rustem Pasha Caravanserai

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Rustem Pasha Caravanserai, also known as Tashana, was built in 1561 by Rüstem Pasha, the grand vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent. The building is one of the masterpieces of Ottoman caravanserai architecture. This is the place where all kinds of needs of passengers are met day and night. In the Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai, an almshouse, a prayer room, a resting place, grocer shops, sections where camels, donkeys, oxen, buffaloes and horses were tied were built. However, some of them have not survived.

It is noteworthy that on the inscription on the cradle-vaulted entrance door facing west, Erzurum is called a "ribat" because it is a frontier city. Ribats are a kind of outpost buildings in which there are about 40-50 raider units in order to protect the borders. With the expansion of the borders of the Ottoman Empire to Tbilisi and the Caspian Sea over time, the features of mansions, shelters, barns and shopping centers were brought here.

Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai is a two-storey structure consisting of rooms lined up behind porches made of cut stone around a rectangular courtyard. There are 32 rooms around the courtyard, which is entered through two doors with pointed arches and vaults in the east and west directions. On the upper floor, there are rooms with low vaults arranged around the corridor. The decorations here were made later. The west-facing façade of the caravanserai, which underwent an important restoration in 1965, was moved forward slightly, leaving a deep barrel-vaulted entrance at the bottom and a room belonging to the caravanserai manager at the top.


Today, the caravanserai serves as the manufacturing and selling place of oltu stone tradesmen. Dozens of souvenirs made of oltu stone, especially rosaries, rings, necklaces, are sold here.