A fortified roadside inn where travelers -- and armies -- can rest and recover from the elements of the highway.
From the 17th century until the mid-19th century, Persian rulers began to restore and rebuild the Empire’s land transport networks and infrastructure. Safavids, Afsharids, Zands, and Qajars ordered improvements to be made to the roads, bridges, and markets supporting trade. They also restored the caravanserais: roadside stations for the numerous caravans that roamed the country. Caravanserais were located along the trade roads and came in various sizes, offering merchants a free and safe place to rest as they traveled the silk road. These establishments were surrounded by walls, often fortified, and had stables and watering stations for the Bactrian camels used to transport merchandise. The most elaborate stations also contained bedrooms, baths, mills, and a market. Built from earth or stone, they were located every 50 or 60 kilometers and formed a network of roadside stations.