Khan-i-Avamid

The first Bahá'í Pilgrim House of the Holy Land

Khan-i-Avamid

Khan-i-Avamid is the largest and best preserved khan, or caravanserai, in Israel. Being one of four Khans in ‘Akká. Khán-i-'Avámid was built in 1784 on the place of the Royal Customs house of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Due to its plethora of columns the khan was named Khan al-Umdan which means "Inn of the Columns" or "Caravanserai of Pillars". It incorporates forty columns made of granite that were taken from Caesarea, Atlit and the ruins of Crusader monuments in ‘Akká itself.


At the time of the transfer of Bahá'u'lláh, of His family and of His companions from the barracks to make room for the Turkish troops, most of His companions were consigned to a caravansarai, named the Khán-i-'Avámíd (Inn of the Pillars). The Turkish tower at the entrance of the inn was built in 1906 to commemorate the jubilee of Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd and so did not exist during the life of Baha'u'llah. The Bahá'ís lived mostly in the western and southern wings of the caravansarai on the top floor. One of the rooms was occupied by the Master. He entertained guests and pilgrims in that room where He also made them ready before attaining the presence of Bahá'u'lláh.


Aerial view of the Khan-i-Avamid

As the companions took up residence in other houses, the Khán-i-'Avámíd became the first Bahá'í Pilgrim House of the Holy Land. Such eminent early believers as Mishkín-Qalam, Jináb-i-Zayn, and Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí have stayed in and lived in this caravansarai. The means of comfort were so limited, and food was so scarce that each loaf of Arab bread, normally adequate for one meal for one person, had to be divided into four portions, for the four periods of the day. All other food had to be strictly divided and assigned. When beans were served, the seeds were counted and a share allotted to each person.


In later years, the Khan was the site of a Baha'i School.

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