zelve     zelve

    Zelve located in the valley of Damsa, 5km southeast of the town of Avanos in the vicinity of Nevsehir and 6 km north of Urgup.  The han is on the Aksaray-Kayseri route in the east-west connection. 

    Saruhan, built during the reign of Izzettin Keykavus I -maybe upon his orders- in 1249, covers an area of 2000 m square. Yellow, reddish pink and light brown regular stone blocks were used as building material in Saruhan. 

    A decorative look was achieved by using stone of two different colours in the arches of both the monumental portal and the inner portal. In the outer portal, the upper parts of which partly collapsed, mainly geometrical decorations were used like in the other sultanhans. Its domed mescid, unlike  other caravanserais, was built above the monumental portal. The doorway of the mescid, facing the courtyard, is decorated with squinches with mukarnases. To the left of the large courtyard is a portico with a fountain and to the right are the places for accommodation and bathing. The small lines on some of the stones used in the porticoes are stonemasons’ marks. The hall where animals and their keepers stayed is similar to the ones in Aksaray Sultanhan and Agzikarahan. The oculus, seated on pendentives is quite plain.

     The Han, the upper parts of which have collapsed in places, was returned to its original state with the completion of its restoration in 1991. After Saruhan, one of the latest examples of Sultahhans, the Seljuk Sultans did not have hans built.