The commercial potential of the cities play an important role in the historical development. The commercial buildings are the most concrete indicators of this potential and liveliness. Kusadasi has a very important place amongst Aegean towns which reflects her commercial importance with Caravansary of Kusadasi or also known as Okuz Mehmet Pasha Caravansary dated to 17th century.
A fortress, a caravansary and a pier was constructed by Okuz Mehmet Pasha in 1612-1613. The caravansary has a square courtyard surrounded with two-floor locations with portico. This caravansary is adjacent to the city walls and in between the watchtowers that helps to the defense. Therefore, it is different from traditional Ottoman inner-city Caravansary with its outer look.
It is evident that Evliya Celebi says ”it was adjacent to a greater castle…” The entrance to the building is provided with a gate from the Northside that faces the sea and a gate from the Eastside that faces the bazaar. There is an empty inscription in place above the entrance arch gate but there isn’t any inscription. There are 28 locations in the first floor and 29 locations in the upper floor. A staircase next to the portico that helps to go the upper floor from the courtyard is a typical characteristic of Ottoman inner-city Caravansary architecture.
There are three exits to the roof and there is a footrace 90 cm wide near the chimneys that goes along the four sides. The square planned marble pool in the courtyard is not original. Actually, there was a mosque with a fountain in the center.
Evliya Celebi visited the city in 1671 and said in his book “a small mosque in the center with a fountain for the ablutions. A perfect building…”, there is a customs officer’s house and many other locations like cells in the center”, which proves that this is a check point of the goods that come and go adjacent to the city walls, and it is very important.
Okuz Mehmet Pasa Caravansary was restored by the General Directorate of Foundations in 1964 and opened as it is today. But the pictures before 1964 show that most of the portico in the courtyard were ruined and the locations were used as dwellings and there were houses detached outside.
The Caravansary of Kusadasi was rented by French tourism company Club Med and used as a hotel between 1968 and 1978. American president Jimmy Carter was one of the famous visitors of the hotel.
Hire English-speaking tour guide in Kusadasi
Kusadasi Okuz Mehmet Pasa Caravansary is located in the center of Kusadasi. It is a walking distance attraction from the port of Kusadasi and a popular attraction for the visitors coming to Kusadasi on a cruise ship. Contact me to hire an English-speaking tour guide in Kusadasi to visit the Caravansary of Kusadasi. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.