76 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
CARAVANSARY AT GUZEL-HISSAR, ON THE MEANDER.
There are two modes of travelling through Asiatic Turkey. Wlien the traveller
takes with him a firman from the sultan, and a Tartar janissary as a guard, and bi
an introduction to the pasha or muzzelim of a town or village—on his arrival, and the
presentation of his credentials, he has a conak assigned him; that is, some hou
conferred upon him and his company, and a chaoush is sent to establish him in it. ■ The
house is generally the residence of some Greek, Armenian, or Jew. The cha
enters without ceremony, turns out the family, and puts the stranger in possession of
all it contains, as long as he chooses to remain. By special favour of some more considerate traveller, he asks the family to stay as lodgers in their own house, ha
assigned to the strangers the best apartments in it. Should the traveller not meet with
the comfort and consideration of a conak, he is compelled to betake himself to a kha
a caravansary. The first of these is an immense edifice, with a lofty roof and bare walk,
resembling a rude imitation of Westminster Hall, in which the horses literally appear like
mice, contrasted with the immensity of their stable. Round the bottom runs a low parapet,
leaving a small space between it and the wall, which serves as a manger. Behind, it
is filled with chopped straw, the usual food for horses. Wrhen a traveller arrives, he
rides in without question or inquiry, turns his horse to his provender, spreads his carpet
beside him for himself, sups on whatever he brings with him, sleeps where he eat
the floor, and departs the next morning without payment. In cities, the khan has somewhat more accommodation, and in the country there is sometimes a small apartment
stuck on the side of the lofty wall like a pigeon-house, and ascended by a ladder, like a
hay-loft. Here the traveller finds a ragged mat on a rough dirty floor, and, perhaps
there is a coffee-room in the street, whence he can procure some refreshments; but
are rare luxuries. These naked edifices were first erected by Murad Khan, vizir to
Soliman the Magnificent, and afterwards by the munificence and charity of sultans, for
the gratuitous accommodation of all travellers.
The caravansary is an improved khan.* Commerce with the interior of Asia is carried
on principally by the Armenians, who travel in caravans. Companies of merchant!
combine and travel together; and when the number is considerable, a chief is appointed,
who commands and regulates the march. They are often attended by hired soldier?.
and every man is himself armed with some weapon. When a pasha, or other great man,
is known to be about to make a movement, the caravan awaits his departure, and proceed under his protection, like a fleet of merchant-men under the convoy of a man-of-
war. The caravan in this way sometimes amounts to several thousand persons. Along
the usual route, large edifices are erected, having more accommodation than common khans. They consist of quadrangles surrounded by chambers, where the mer-
* Caravan Serai, the " Merchants' Palace."