Kürkçü Han

Istanbul, Turkey

Kürkçü Han

The Kürkçü Han (Turkish: Kürkçü Han, lit. 'Inn of the Furriers') is a large historic han (caravanserai) in Istanbul, Turkey. Founded by Mahmud Pasha, the grand vizier of Mehmet II, it was completed in 1467 and is the oldest surviving caravanserai in the city, although it has been modified, partly ruined, and renovated over the centuries.

The han is located in the central historic market district that extends from the Grand Bazaar to the Eminönü neighbourhood on the shore of the Golden Horn. Since the founding of the first bedesten by Mehmet II between 1456 and 1461, the Grand Bazaar developed into the city's main hub of international trade, spawning entire districts of shops, warehouses, and merchant lodgings. A han, a type of urban caravanserai, was a common type of commercial structure in Ottoman architecture (and more broadly in Islamic-world architecture) which served a number of functions including lodging for foreign merchants, storage for goods or merchandise, housing for artisan workshops, and offices from which to conduct dealings.

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