Ekmekçizade Ahmet Paşa Caravanserai is one of the most precious historical and cultural assets of Edirne. It is also known as the Ayşe Kadın or Eşe Kadın Hanı because it was erected in a place where an older inn had stood. That predecessor of Ekmekçizade Caravanserai was built on the orders of Ayşe Kadın, the daughter of Sultan Mehmed I. She also had a mosque constructed nearby that is known as Ayşe Kadın Mosque. The neighbourhood where the mosque and the caravanserai were erected is still called Ayşekadın.
To remember the older han, Ekmekçizade Caravanserai was decorated with a figure of two earrings in the big entrance gate. Therefore, it is occasionally called Küpeli Han (Earring Inn) among the locals. To add more confusion, the structure is sometimes referred to as Deve Hanı (Camel Inn), because its gates were so high that they enabled camel caravans to enter without any problems.
The construction of the building was commissioned by Defterdar (Minister of Finance) Ekmekçizade Ahmet Pasha, on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I, in 1609. He hired the well-known duo of architects: Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa and Hacı Şaban. The first one was the most distinguished architect of the Ottoman Empire at that time, and the second one was a local worker from Edirne. At that time Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa was beginning to erect his lifetime masterpiece - Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul - it is entirely possible that most of the work on Ekmekçizade Caravanserai was carried out by the local boy. This duo was also responsible for the construction of beautiful Ekmekçizade Bridge over the Tunca River.
The building was constructed of cut stone blocks, bricks, and wood. It is a massive structure with a spacious courtyard. The caravanserai is divided into two parts. The first part extends in the northwest-southeast direction and consists of two sections with a rectangular plan. This section has a double-edged wooden roof over it. The second section consists of a large courtyard in front of the first section and outer shops that surround it from the east and the south. The first courtyard can be accessed by the main gate with a curved arch, and there is a triple gate leading into the main building. The caravanserai was equipped with not one but two fountains, four extensive stables, and rooms for guests. Architecturally, it resembles other Ottoman-period hans, such as Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Caravanserai in Büyükçekmece or Piri Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai in Silivri.
Ekmekçizade Caravanserai was located on a busy trade route from Istanbul to the Balkans. Merchant caravans, which stopped in it, did not need to pay for accommodation for three days. For security reasons, the han was closed during the night, to protect the traders and their goods. In the mornings, prayers were held for a successful journey. Shortly after its construction, the inn was visited by Evliya Çelebi, a great Ottoman traveller. He later described it in his travelogue called the Seyahatname ("Book of Travel"). Evliya Çelebi praised the caravan as a great charity work. He stated there were not many such a great inns between Edirne and Istanbul. He added that this fortress-like building could accommodate a thousand camels and horses.
The building is still under restoration as of July 2019.
It is located in Ayşekadın district of the city, next to Ayşe Kadın Mosque. The distance to Selimiye Mosque is 1.5 km (to the north).