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Selim Pass

Phoenix Tour Armenia / Sights  / Selim Pass
Selim Caravanserai

Selim Pass

SELIM CARAVANSERAI

Selim Caravanserai, also known as Sulema Caravanserai and Orbelian Caravanserai, is a caravanserai in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. It was built along the Vardenyats Mountain Pass (also known as the Selim Mountain Pass) in 1332, by prince Chesar Orbelian to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the mountainous Vayots Dzor region on the Armenian part of Silk Road.

Located on the southern side of the Vardenyats Mountain Pass at a height of 2,410 meters above sea level, Selim Caravanserai is the best preserved caravanserai in the entire country. Ruins of a small chapel may still be seen adjacent to the vestibule, across the road from a spring.

The caravanserai is constructed of blocks of basalt. It has a single hall divided into three naves, with seven pairs of polyhedral pillars. Animals rested in the narrow aisles to the left and right of the main hall. Between the pillars were stone troughs for the animals, and in the corner of one of the halls was a pool of water. Travelers slept in a separate room built at the end of the narrow aisles on the western side of the caravanserai.

The roof above the three-aisled hall had three parallel vaults with an Oculus in each. The vaults were supported by arches that stretched from pillar to pillar along the aisles, and traversed from the pillars to the walls. The Oculi placed in the middle of each of the vaults served the purpose of letting in sunlight and fresh air, while also letting out smoke. As mentioned earlier, these are the only other areas of the caravanserai that have ornamentation besides the decoration found in the entry vestibule. The caravanserai was restored during the years 1956-1959.

 

Visiting SELIM CARAVANSERAI is on the itinerary of the following tours:

8 days | 7 nights
8 days | 7 nights

Armenia Tour

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6 days | 5 nights
6 days | 5 nights

Armenia Great Escape Tour

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