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The Han that will leave you Breathless

Kursumli Han by night

Kursumli Han is a cultural monument located on the left side of the river Vardar, once you cross the Stone Bridge in the old part of the city.

Specifically, it is located under Mustafa Pasha Mosque, a few meters away from the Museum of Macedonia.

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful Han that is saved today, besides the other two (Suli Han and Kapan Han).

Kursumli Han entrance

The name Kursumli Han (on Turkish it means Lead Han, comes from the use of lead which was used for covering the roof. (Lead on Turkish is Kursumli).
Later, during the First World War the lead was removed from the roof in order to produce bullets, and the building was covered with shingles.

Kursumli Han is building with a square basis, with large courtyard inside and a beautiful fountain in the garden which is surrounded by a porch. It was built with two floors.
Stone pillars are connected with arches that create a mystical atmosphere.
60 rooms were built, 28 on the ground floor and 32 on the first floor.

Kursumli Han inside

Like in other caravansary, rooms on the ground floor were used for storage of goods, and rooms on the first floor for sleeping and resting. In each room a fireplace was built for heating the rooms.

What makes it different from others is the position of the barn that could accommodate up to 100 horses, and had a separate entrance.
The entrance of the inn was on the south side. And the entrance was built with a porch with a dome roof.

It is assumed that Kursumli Han was built on an older building and its builders are mentioned to be merchants from Dubrovnik which were much appreciated.

Throughout the history, several times the building changed its function. Once, in the 18th century it was built as a Han, after it was turned into a prison where enemies of Ottoman Empire were held.

Kursumli Han hallway

Rooms in Han

From 1904-1912, it was used again as Ann. Later, after the First World War it was used as a warehouse for ammunition, and then changed into Lapidarium Museum of Southern Serbia.
Since 1955, it is a part of the Museum of Macedonia where stone monuments are stored.

In the past, around the Han, many shops were built and also two other buildings – Gurchiler Hammam and Kazandzhilar and a mosque.
Today, this mosque is gone and the Hammam was also destroyed in the Great Fire of 1689, and today you can see only wall parts of the building.

Kursumli Han backyard

In the disastrous earthquake of 1963, the Han suffered huge damage like other buildings in the Old Town. Years after it was repaired.

So, if you come to Skopje, you must visit this Amazing cultural heritage monument, because when you enter inside, it will leave you breathless.

PHOTO BY DONCO NAUMOVSKI

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