Khan al-Tujjar (Nablus)
Khan al-Tujjar (Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 transliteration: "Merchant's Caravanserai") is a 15th century khan
A caravanserai, or khan, also known as caravansary, caravansera, or caravansara in English was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey...

 in the Palestinian
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 city of Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

. Situated the Old City, it has been noted as the finest khan in the region.


During the Ottoman period
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, from the 16th to 19th centuries, it was the most prestigious and expensive strip of commercial real estate in Nablus, and along with Khan al-Wikala, constituted the key commercial center of the city. The shops of Khan al-Tujjar carried a variety of cloth from throughout the Islamic world and merchants from India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

, and Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

 paid regular visits to the marketplace.

In his memoirs, Muhammad Izzat Darwazah recalled that "In Nablus, shops were confined, or mostly confined, to a caravansary called Khan al-Tujjar, in the middle of Nablus." In the 1850s, Reverend John Mills wrote of Khan al-Tujjar saying, "The principal bazaar is arched, and is very large and fine for Nablus. It is the finest, by far, in Palestine, and equals any, as far I observed, in the largest towns of the Turkish Empire."

The significance of the khan was also attributed to its central location in the city, dividing it in half physically, but also psychologically between "easterners" and "westerners"—labels still used today. During the Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa
Nabi Musa is the name of a site in the Judean desert that popular Palestinian folklore associates with Moses. It is also the name of a seven-day long religious festival that was celebrated annually by Palestinian Muslims, beginning on the Friday before Good Friday in the old Orthodox Greek calendar...

 festival, Arab youth would descend upon Khan al-Tujjar shouting slogans praising their part of the city. In the middle of the khan they would play a game in which they would face off and make forays into the other side, with the aim capturing more "prisoners". Khan al-Tujjar was a place for celebrating holidays and festivals. During Mawlid
Mawlid or sometimes ميلاد , mīlād is a term used to refer to the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal,...

, merchants would decorate the floor of the khan with carpets and the walls with textiles, including silk. Flowers and sweets were put on tables brought from their homes on the occasion.

Khan al-Tujjar was recently restored, and its shops attract visitors from throughout the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. The Yasmeen Hotel is adjacent to Khan al-Tujjar.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.