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History and Characteristics of Grand Bazaar

The oldest and largest covered bazaar in the world is located in the center of Istanbul, in the middle of the Beyazit, Nuruosmaniye and Mercan districts. The Grand Bazaar has 60 streets, nearly 4,000 shops.



The bazaar, which was built as two covered bazaars with the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, has greatly expanded during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.
The year 1460, the beginning of the construction, was accepted as the foundation year of the Grand Bazaar. The main bazaar was built by Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent as wood.



Like a giant labyrinth, the 66 streets of 30,700 square meters and the Grand Bazaar with 4,000 shops have become a unique center for Istanbul to be seen.



Some of the features of the old times have been changed, even if they have been repaired in the past like the Grand Bazaar, which had an earthquake and a few big fires.



In old times, there were certain occupations on every street. Commercial ethics and customs, where handcraft manufacturing was under strict supervision, were regarded as a highly respected market.


Inner Bazaar


The first building that rises in the Grand Bazaar is the Old Bedesten, which is actually the core of the bazaar. The doors are like the last names:(sahaflar) second-hand bookseller, Takkeciler(hat-sellers), (kuyumcular)Jeweler and (drag-queen)Zenneciler.


Sandal Bazaar


The number of dome is the most in the Ottoman bazaars. Nowadays, it can be entered from two doors, one of which is the Grand Bazaar and the other is Nuruosmaniye.

Other Departments


The architectural sites of the roads forming the parts other than the two bazaars are not symmetrical and geometric, they are a scattered body, reflecting the form of formation and the disasters and the partial repairs. As a result, it is heavily overlaid with the character of the East being completely away from the uniformly closed bazaar style of the West.

All kinds of precious fabrics, jewelery, weapons, antique goods were offered by the specialist families in this area with complete confidence.



Today,the bazaar is known for its jewelery, hand painted ceramics, embroidered carpets, spices and antique shops.

Occupational groups such as quilt makers, slippers, fascists are only street names nowadays.

In the streets, which are considered to be the main streets of the bazaar, there are mostly jewelery shops and gold bars on a side street. These very small shops sell at different prices and bargains.

Hand-made rug and jewelery are the most beautiful examples of traditional Turkish art. They are sold with quality and original documents.

It also has silverware, copper, bronze gifts and decorative items.

Despite the 560-year life of the Grand Bazaar, which is an important historical monument, visited by 91 million 250 thousand people in 2014, is still the most visited in the world.

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