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The Ribat-i Sharaf (or Robat-e Sharaf; Persian: رباط شرف) is a caravanserai, or rest place for travellers, located in Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran, between Merv and Nishapur. Built in the 12th century (circa 1114), the building looks like a fortified rectangle from the exterior. The courtyard and four Iwan floorplan is that of the traditional standard Iranian mosque. The walls and the pishtaq (پیشطاق), the entrance way inside an iwan, are decorated with vegetal and geometric patterning that function to provide a good example of the "Textile Metaphor" seen in Islamic architecture of this era. The caravanserai consists of two inter-related four Iwan planned courtyards, famous for owning some of the most diverse and beautiful brick decorations in Iranian architecture.
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