By Zekeriya Karadavut
AKSARAY, Turkey (AA) - A Seljuk caravanserai built in the 13th century in present-day Turkey is thronged by tourists all year round.
The Sultanhani Caravanserai located in the central province of Aksaray, a stop on the ancient Silk Road, received 500,000 tourists this year, Mayor Fahri Solak told Anadolu Agency.
It was included in the temporary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2014.
Solak said the caravanserai is one of the most important architectural structures of the Seljuk period.
Restoration work of the majestic structure which was started in 2017 has reached its final stage.
"We have started our quilt and pottery workshops in the Sultanhani Caravanserai.
"Every year, 1.7 million tourists use the Konya-Aksaray road passing to Cappadocia. Our goal is to ensure that 1 million of these tourists visit our caravanserai next year," he said.
The mayor said that Sultanhani district is the hub of Turkish carpets. So, in October they are planning to host the International Silk Road Culture and Carpet Festival here.
Chathy Sheppard, a tourist from New Zealand, said she had seen pictures of the caravanserai before restoration work. But restoration work had enhanced its beauty, she said.
British amateur photographer John Teo said the caravanserai is an excellent historical structure. He said he will share pictures of the place on social media to introduce the world to this hidden beauty.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit