Hasan Paşa Hanı


ca. 1572–1575

MMM Documentation Dates
Spring 2015
Site Type
Civic, Commercial, and Domestic Buildings
Diyarbakır (Turkey)
Diyarbakır Province (Turkey)


    Central Courtyard (General Views)

    Hasan Paşa Hanı (Architectural Details)

    Hasan Paşa Hanı in 2004 (Before Renovation)

    The Hasan Paşa Hanı is located in the northeastern sector of Dıyarbakır, just east of the Ulu Camii. Built in 1573–1575 during the governorship of the eponymous pasha, it stands along the main road running south from the city’s Dağ Kapı. It is the second largest caravanserai (hanı; khan) in Diyarbakır after the Deliller Hanı, near the Mardin Kapı to the south.

    This large, two-story building is one of the numerous caravanserais erected in the Ottoman Empire during 16th century. It is comparable in its design to the slightly larger Deliller Hanı, also in Diyarbakır and of a similar date.1 Its main entrance faces west toward a major north-south artery. Two additional entrances are found to the east and south. The hanı’s facades are patterned through alternating courses of a creamy white limestone and dark gray basalt, a decorative technique known as called ablaq that was common in the traditional architecture of Diyarbakır. The west facade features more elaborate ornamentation, including pointed arches and colonnettes adorning the large windows and a plaque with a mazelike geometric design over the portal.

    The three massive entrance halls are covered by pointed vaults and are decorated with elaborate details including intricate corner columns and niches with muqurnas work along the walls. These halls lead into a spacious central courtyard (now covered with canvas for shelter). The courtyard is surrounded by a double-storied portico on all sides, the pointed arcades of which are supported by pillars; the guest cells are arranged in rows behind the arches of these porticoes. The floors are connected by staircases to the right and left of the east and west entry halls. On the second floor, above each entry hall, there is a large central iwan. There is also a basement level, originally used as a stabling area. 

    The ablaq masonry is extended throughout the courtyard, uniting the exterior and the interior of the building. A fountain (şadırvan) with six columns and a lead dome rises at the center of the courtyard; its spandrels also make use of the ablaq technique, visually anchoring the structure to the space that encloses it.

    • 1. Cf. Sinclair 1989, 189.

    Dedicatory plaques providing the date and founder of the caravanserai are placed over each of the structure’s entrances (see further in “History”).

    The building’s inscription states that construction was carried out in 1572–1575. It was initiated under the auspices of Vezirzade Hasan Pasha, then-governor of the eyalat of Diyarbakır, after whom it is named. However, since Hasan Pasha was appointed to another office shortly thereafter, it will have been completed under Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha, the eyalat’s governor from 1573. Hasan Pasha Hanı was recently restored and is now a commercial center, home to various restaurants, cafes, and bookstores (see a photograph from 2004, before the restoration).

    “History” general source: Karakaş and Karakaş 2015, 312–313.

    The first known traveler to have made record of his stay at the Hasan Pasa Hanı was Simeon of Poland, visiting Diyarbakır in 1612.1 Evliya Çelebi, who came to the city later in the same century, also made note of the imposing building in his extensive description of Diyarbakır.2 Upon one of his visits to Diyarbakır in the early 20th century, Ernst Herzfeld took an unpublished photograph of the hanı’s courtyard.

    • 1. An English translation of Simeon’s travel account is available in Bournoutian 2007.
    • 2. Seyahâtnâme, book 4.

    Bournoutian, George A., trans. 2007. The Travel Accounts of Simeon of Poland. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda.

    Karakaş, Ayhan, and Esma Karakaş. 2015. “Hanların Turizme Kazandırılması: Mardin, Diyarbakır Ve Şanlıurfa İl Merkezlerindeki Hanlar Üzerine Bir Çalışma.” Dicle Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi 7: 306–321.

    Sinclair, T. A. 1989. Eastern Turkey: An Architectural and Archaeological Survey. Vol 3. London: Pindar.

    Content Manager
    Matthew Peebles (2020)