Khorasan Road, Iran
Ahovan is located 40 Km east of Semnan on the main
Khorasan road. There are two caravansaries: the stone one,
Robat Anushirvani, belongs to Sassanid era; the brick one
belongs to Safavid era.
Anushirvani is situated almost directly
opposite the Safavid caravansary. The building is square,
75x75 Sq. m, and it is built with 4-verandas plan. The
exterior of the building consists of a portal entrance on
the north side; measuring 4.55 m. Towers are located at
each of the 4 corners of the Robat. There are 3
semi-towers on the east, west and south walls, as well as
2 on the north wall. There are 26 chambers situated around
the courtyard, each has a veranda in front.
Four verandas and chambers are not equal in size. The
north veranda is 16.80x4.55, while the east is 17.40x4.85
m. There are 4 rectangular stables with different sizes at
4 corners of the Robat. The northwest stable measures
14.20x10.50 m, while the northeast stable is 13.70x11.10
The entire structure is from stone, brick, cement and
mortar. Early Islamic period Caravansaries, as Robat Karim
on Saveh road and Qaleh-Sangi near Tehran, has a number of
features in common with Robat Anushirvani.
The building is repaired during Il-khanid and Safavid eras
and part of restoration is still visible in the portal
entrance and vestibule.
Safavid Caravansary is square, 74x74 Sq. m. It
is designed and built with 4-verandas plan. The portal
entrance is on the south side and measures 5 meters. The
vaulted main entrance leads into a domed vestibule, which
in turn opens into the shallow south veranda. The interior
courtyard is also rectangular and measures 32x40 m.
On the cross axes of the central courtyard are 4 verandas,
4.75x5.50 m. Twenty-four chambers, each 2.90x3.35 m, are
located behind the courtyard arcades. Stables are situated
behind all of the chambers. The floor is of earth and
walls are constructed by fired bricks.
This Safavid Caravansary had one marble inscription, a
poem, in Thulth script, at the top of the entrance,
before; it is stolen. It reads that at the time of Shah
Soleiman Safavi, 1685, the caravansary was erected to
serve pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Imam Reza,
Safavid Caravansary of Ahovan was used even during 20th
century; later the army used it. Now, 2004, it is closed.