Caravanserai in Sheki
Caravanserais in Sheki, are one of the places you’ve to see. They say there were 5 caravanserai in Sheki. But today, only two of them are in good condition and have come to our times. These are on the road leading to the castle in Sheki. Currently, though in the Lower caravanserai restoration works are carried out it is closed to tourists. This caravanserai belongs to XIX century. It has a nice style in terms of its architecture. The caravanserai which is a little bit bigger than the caravanserai located near it according to the total area is of 12 meters high in the part facing the street, 10 meters high in the east and west side. The caravanserai which covers an area of 8,000 square meters has four entrance doors and 242 rooms. When you look at the architectural style of the caravanserai the unique architectural style of the Sheki architects is clearly manifested. The main front of the caravanserai is facing into the river of Gurjana. When you go up to that river you will come across with a few bridges referred to the XVIII-XIX centuries. The facade of the Lower caravanserai is characterized by horizontal parts which divide the wall of the caravanserai into 3 tiers with the window arches are distinguished for their form. When you enter into the yard surrounded by arched toured you will see a pool in the centre. During the construction of caravanserai everything is taken into account for the convenience of traders from distant countries. Gate opens to passengers and merchants with hospitality by night by closing turned into invincible castle. Today, tourists who visit caravanserais while watching them can see clearly this feature from inside and outside.
When you go from the Lower caravanserai towards the castle you will see the second caravanserai called as Upper caravanserai and dated back to the eighteenth century. While you visit Sheki you should definitely see this caravanserai. The Upper Caravanserai is currently operating as a hotel. Its area is 6000 square meters. The caravanserais of Sheki, were very nicely built from the architectural point of view. The traditional architecture of Sheki is clearly observed in their construction. The use of burnt brick with river stones resulted in the creation of one of the masterpieces of Sheki architecture. This caravanserai has very beautiful architectural structure. Thus, merchants living in here can keep their property in the basement. They made trade on the first floor and lived on the second floor. There are more than 300 rooms here. The caravanserai is in the rectangular form with pools located in the centre of courtyard. The ceiling of gates from inside are arched domes built of bricks. The richly decorated arch of the main entrance which is considered one of the biggest arched domes built of bricks in the Middle East is built in the corner of the building on the level of the third floor because of a gradient of relief. The doors of caravanserai are closed at night and became inaccessible like a small fortress. There is a bridge on the opposite side of the caravanserai which belongs to XVII century.