14th century caravansary open to the public in Jerusalem

Near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem lies a complex of ancient buildings including Ahar Kotlenu a refurbished 14th century caravansary, an inn for caravans, now open to the public. The site includes a 3,500 square feet (325 square meters) grand hall with cross-vaulted stone roof held aloft by six reinforced pillars.

The large space was once the storeroom and stables for a Mamluk caravansary, or inn for caravans, built in 1337, abutting the Cotton Merchants Market, constructed from the rubble of old ruins. “When we started excavating [the khan, or caravansary, in 2008], the fill was almost up to the ceiling,” Hervé Barbé, a research archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority who headed the dig, told The Times of Israel. “There was about a meter; we had to huddle in.”

The space will be used for either a museum or for religious purposes.