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Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin

A Gateway to History's Vibrant Tapestry

Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai was constructed by order of “Sa’d al-Saltaneh,” the Qajar era governor of Qazvin. The most valuable part of this structure is its crossroads market, created from the intersection of two straight paths, topped with a beautifully tiled large dome.

In 2023, during the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai, along with 53 other historical caravanserais (a total of 54 caravanserais in 24 provinces of Iran), was listed as a World Heritage site under the title of “Iranian Caravanserais.” This global collection is recognized as Iran’s twenty-seventh World Heritage site.

Strolling down Imam Khomeini Street in Qazvin, you’ll notice an entrancing entrance bathed in orange lighting, drawing you in. There, you’ll find captivating booths adorned with beautiful wooden frames, offering exquisite Qazvin souvenirs such as wood crafts, handicrafts, visual arts, calligraphy, and more. For a deeper understanding of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin, stay with us until the end of this article.


Visiting Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
Visiting Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin

Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin stands as an architectural and historical masterpiece of the province and one of Qazvin’s most significant attractions, constructed during the Qajar era. It’s worth mentioning that this ancient and appealing caravanserai underwent restoration and repair until a few years ago, and upon completion, it became accessible to the public.

You will be able to find the best handicraft products in the numerous booths of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin and purchase precious and Iranian goods.

Additionally, various engaging exhibitions are held there during certain occasions, such as the Nowruz holidays, attracting people to shop and participate enthusiastically. Moreover, you will get acquainted with the largest and most exceptional covered caravanserai in the world, a unique find in the city center.

Historical Overview

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai Courtyard

You might wonder why this caravanserai was named Sa’d al-Saltaneh. In fact, it was constructed towards the end of Naser al-Din Shah‘s reign during the Qajar period, upon the order of Qazvin’s governor at the time, Mohammad Bagher Khan Sa’d al-Saltaneh, who named the building after himself.

By Mohammad Bagher Khan Sa’d al-Saltaneh’s command, it was decided that two architects from Isfahan and Qazvin would build a 7-hectare caravanserai with 400 rooms within the city’s confines, which was finally completed in 1894.

Before World War I, Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin functioned as an independent commercial unit with significant activity.

However, after World War I, it mostly transformed into workshops like shoemaking, carpet weaving, woodworking, etc. Over time, Sa’d al-Saltaneh even became known as “Wood Market” among the locals.

Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai Architecture

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai Architecture

When skilled and masterful Iranian architects are involved, and every brick is laid by their talented and capable hands, such a building undoubtedly remains majestic and unparalleled for years. As mentioned earlier, two architects from Qazvin and two from Isfahan expertly worked on this Qajar caravanserai.

However, it seems that over time, minor damages have affected the textures of this covered caravanserai, which, with the cooperation of the Qazvin Renovation and Restoration Organization and the Ancient Monuments Restoration Organization, this beautiful building has been carefully restored and made available to the public.

The crossroads bazaar is one of the most important parts of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin, featuring a very eye-catching tiled dome.

One of the most interesting things about Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin is that every section has a beautiful and Iranian name. For example, this complex has several courtyards with various names like Negar al-Saltaneh, Sa’diye, etc.

Among the seven courtyards that this ancient caravanserai has, the Sa’d al-Saltaneh courtyard is the largest, with an area of 3073 square meters.

If you closely observe the walls and the attractive domed ceilings of Sa’d al-Saltaneh, you will notice the boundless beauty of traditional Iranian architecture and its masterful restoration.

The bricks have been laid with special skill and delicacy, and the unparalleled interior lighting of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin will captivate you.

What to See

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai, Qazvin

Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin is filled with very beautiful handicraft booths, where you can obtain very high-quality Iranian goods.

In addition to shopping and touring the attractive booths of this old caravanserai, you can visit its large and beautiful courtyards, sit on its large wooden platforms, and watch people passionately observing this old caravanserai.

Moreover, there are very beautiful and attractive cafés and restaurants there, including Café Erthieh. It’s worth noting that Café Erthieh is one of the best cafés in the city of Qazvin, leading in quality, design, and creativity at the city level, and has attracted many fans.

Getting to Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
Way to Sa’d al Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin

Although Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin is located on Imam Khomeini Street, it is very close to Sabzeh Meydan or Freedom Square. Therefore, no matter where you are in Qazvin, you can first go to Valiasr Square (AJ) and then take a taxi to Sabzeh Meydan and get off there.

At the Sabzeh Meydan crossroads, if you stand facing Sepah Street, Imam Khomeini Street will be on your right, and with a short walk, you can reach Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin.

However, if you have traveled to Qazvin in your own car, you can easily find this old and beautiful caravanserai upon reaching Sabzeh Meydan.

Around Sa’d al-Saltaneh: Nearby Qazvin Sites

Sa'd al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin
a View of Sa’d al Saltaneh Caravanserai Courtyard

Since Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin is a short distance from the Nabi Mosque in Qazvin, you can quickly get to this magnificent mosque and visit it.

Indeed, one of the entrances of Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai leads directly towards the Nabi Mosque, with the right side also heading to this caravanserai. And perhaps, if you enter from another entrance of this historical building located on Imam Khomeini Street and continue straight, you will reach a corridor, after which you will see the Nabi Mosque on your right.

After passing through a relatively small entrance, you will arrive at a very large and magnificent courtyard, where the mosque itself will be on your right.

A place where daily communal prayers are held, and many people visit. Inside the courtyard of the Nabi Mosque, there is a relatively large pool provided for the worshippers to perform ablutions.

This mosque is also one of the very old masterpieces of the city of Qazvin, considered part of our national heritage. In addition to the Nabi Mosque, you can visit other places like Chehel Sotun Palace and the Qazvin Bazaar, which are very close to Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai.


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Final Words

In conclusion, Sa’d al-Saltaneh Caravanserai in Qazvin represents a captivating blend of historical significance and architectural beauty, making it a must-visit landmark for anyone exploring Iran’s rich cultural heritage. This caravanserai not only offers a glimpse into the Qajar era’s splendor but also serves as a vibrant center for arts, crafts, and commerce. Its restoration ensures that both locals and tourists can enjoy the intricate designs and serene atmosphere.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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