One of Shah Abbas’s accomplishments was the construction of one thousand caravansaries around the country; he later demolishes one of them so that the count would stop at 999, which sounds more precise and non-round. Therefore, there are many Shah Abbas caravansaries around Iran named after him and they all belong to 400 years ago. Caravansaries supported the flow of commerce, information, and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa, and southeastern Europe, especially along the Silk Road.
The Meybod caravansary is well renovated and by visiting it, you can see the way caravansaries worked. Shah Abbasi Caravansary is one of the important Safavid period Caravansaries. It is very important in case of architecture, placing and interior design. It is based on a rectangular plan with a yard - Centered design.
It is made of brick with four-veranda method. The building is made up of entrance portal, covered passageways (sabats, just like the ones in Old Town Yazd), exterior verandas (outer iwans), vestibule, central courtyard, many cooking areas and one hundred rooms. 24 of these areas/rooms are on the outside of the Caravansary.
In center of the courtyard, travelers will find a small pool. This pool was always kept full, thanks to the watered channeled-in by the nearby Qanat. This abundance of fresh water was crucial for making the visitors’ travel to Iran as pleasant as possible. The pool entrance is located in a Sabat (vaulted alley).
The entrance portal, in the south of the complex, is kept guarded by a massive heavy wooden door. This door was a good measure of the Caravansary’s level of security.
The Shah Abbasi Caravansary has a large number of different resting areas, iwans, and dwelling spaces. Varieties of open and covered spaces exists to accommodate the different classes of people who rolled through with the caravan (the group of traders, pilgrims or travelers).
Another key feature of the Shah Abbasi Caravansary is its water storage (Ab-Anbar). The water at this large brick reservoir is kept cool by the help of four tall Badgirs,
The caravansary includes a Chapar Khaneh (Courier House) and an Ice House, too. The yard has 24 chambers that today are used as handicraft workshops or handicraft shops.
There is a traditional restaurant, a souvenir shop and a museum dedicated to zilus (a type of Iranian ground cloth) along with a zilu workshop and shop.
Once you’re finished touring the magnificent old Persian inn, we advise you also check out the Meybod Zilu Museum. The fairly recent museum on the eastern wing of the Shah Abbasi Caravansary has been dedicated to the Zilu; Meybod’s traditional style Persian rug.
To make sure this age-old weaving style and Persian art form survives, there are three Persian rug workshops, one of which is fully active. Here, local weavers show visiting tourists how these beautifully pieces of Persian culture are made. Some of the rugs here are over 500 years old. Definitely worth checking out!
You can also have a delicious meal at Shah Abbasi Restaurant.
The caravansary was registered as a National Heritage Site in 1979.