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KARATAY

Right beside the main road running east from Kayseri to Pınarbaşı is the stone-built village of Karatay which is dominated by the remains of the huge Karatay Hanı. Dating back to 1235-41, it was built by the grand vizier Celaleddin Karatay on an important trade route. The fourth largest of the Selçuk hans, it was completely restored in 2008. Karatay also paid for the han of the same name in Konya. 

The most striking features of the han are its elaborate portal (look closely and you may spot a carving of an elephant in there) with the dedication inscription still above it and the thick semi-circular decorative buttresses. There are also some interesting gargoyles on the front side. Unfortunately you may arrive to find the han locked outside of school holidays. 

The village itself is pretty, with a stream running through it and lots of greenery. Most of the finest stone houses are, however, in a state of decay. 

Transport info

Buses and dolmuşes east from Kayseri to Pınarbaşı pass right by the han. They leave from the Doğu Terminalı, itself accessible by tram from the Cumhuriyet Meydanı in Kayseri. 

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