1 : an inn surrounding a court in eastern countries where caravans rest at night
2 : hotel, inn
Did You Know?
In the Middle East, caravans often lodged at caravansaries. These inns were quadrangular in form and enclosed by massive walls with small windows near the top. The central court, which was surrounded by an arcade and storerooms, was large enough to hold 300 to 400 camels. The name was formed from the word "caravan" and the Persian word "sarāī," meaning "palace" or "inn." "Caravansary" can also be spelled "caravanserai," and the word "serai" is used as a synonym for it.
Most of the area's hotels are on the pricey end of the scale, but there are a few caravansaries for budget travelers.
"Dedan was an important caravansary on the Incense Road, the network of ancient trading routes that linked Persia and India with the Mediterranean world." -- From an article by Jorg von Uthmann in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 28, 2010
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