Ali Nemati-Babaylou; Mahsa Saidi Mehrabad
Most of the foreigners who entered Iran from European countries came from Caucasus Road to Tabriz and reported many buildings on their way. Alaki caravansary is one of the most important ...
Most of the foreigners who entered Iran from European countries came from Caucasus Road to Tabriz and reported many buildings on their way. Alaki caravansary is one of the most important roadside accommodations in Northwest Iran, and so many reports about it and the quality of its façade decorations can be traced in the travelogues. Its vastitude and elegant entrance gate nevertheless, this building has unfortunately been neglected and was about to be ruined in the 19th century and afterwards. Based on the ornaments used, the recent sources in the history of architecture have estimated its date to the 12th century and to Ilkhanid Abu Sa’id Bahadur Khan and Timurid period. This article aims to meticulously study this building in various travelogues, the Endowment Book of Rashidi and other sources in the history of architecture and discusses the ornament types used and their history. The detailed study of the documents and sources indicated that this building could belong to the presidency period of Khwaja Rashid al-Din Fazl-allah, and based on his emphasis to establish this building, can be dated 1297-1309. The ornaments, moreover, indicate the transient period from brickwork to tilework which happened in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.