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Khan et Tujjar – Suk al Khan*

Khan et Tujjar also Suk al Khan (Hebrew חאן אל תוג’אר)

Early Arab

The West side of Khan et Tujjar (“caravanserai of the merchants”) is the ruins of a 8th-9th Century Arab period Khan (inn). It served the caravans between Damascus and the south. This caravanserai was established near Kibbutz Beit Keshet in the lower Galilee, north of Mount Tabor (on the west side of Route 65).


Other researchers claim that the market by the Mamluks in 1440. I assume that in fact the Early Arabs, Mamluks and Ottomans all took part in building and protecting the market.


During the 16th century the Ottomans added another fortified inn, which was built on the east side of the road. This new Khan et Tujjar was built by Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha around 1581 to provide security for merchants and pilgrims. This Albanian born, Ottoman five-time Vizier was a major builder of caravanserais, bridges, baths and mosques. In this particular caravanserai there was a large square fortress, and artistic mosque, a military garrison a caravanserai and eight shops.

A market offering cloth, cattle, and provisions of every kind was held here every Monday. Thousands of people assemble from all parts of the country, and even from other countries, brought goods to sell, trade or purchase.

Cotton is brought in bales from Nablus; barley, and wheat, and sesamum, and Indian corn from Huleh, the Hauran, and Esdraelon. From Gilead and Bashan, and the surrounding districts, come horses and donkeys, cattle and flocks, with cheese, leben, semen, honey and similar articles. Then there are miscellaneous matters, such as chicken and eggs, figs, raisins, apples, melons, grapes and all sorts of fruits and vegetables in season. The pedlars open their packages of tempting fabrics, the jeweller is there with his trinkets; the tailor with his ready-made garments; the shoemaker with his stock, from rough, hairy sandals to yellow and red Morocco boots; the farrier is there with his tools, nails, and flat iron shoes, … and …the saddler, with his coarse sacks and gaily-trimmed cloths. (W. M. Thomson, mid 1850’s)

קלעת אל חאן - Khan Fortress Khan et Tujjar
קלעת אל חאן – Khan Fortress
Khan et Tujjar – Suk al Khan
Khan et Tujjar – Suk al Khan

Bedouin tribes who lived around the market were: Shibli, Z’beikh and Deleika.

Khan et Tujjar – West – Aerial view


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חנוֹ‏ת תגרים  – חאן אל תוג’אר


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