Covered Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı)

 The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often seen as one of the premier shopping malls in the world.

The Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul is home to one of the world's largest and oldest covered marketplaces, the Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Büyük arş) or Covered Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalçarş). On a daily basis, it sees an average of between 250,000 and 400,000 customers. The mall's 61 covered streets and over 4,000 stores bring in shoppers from all over the world. It received an estimated 91,250,000 tourists in 2014, making it the world's most popular tourist destination. One of the best malls in the world is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.


The Fatih neighborhood of Istanbul is home to the Grand Bazaar, which is part of the same-named Mahalla that surrounds the ancient city of Constantinople. It reaches roughly from the Bayezid II Mosque to the Nur Osmaniye Mosque, west to east. You may take the Istanbul Tram from Sultanahmet or Sirkeci to get to the bazaar.


Photograph taken by Jean-Pascal Seba in the 1890s showing the inside of the Grand Bazaar.

Following the capture of Constantinople and as part of a larger plan to boost economic growth in Istanbul, construction on the foundation of what would become the Grand Bazaar began in the winter of 1455. Near his palace in Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror built a building for the textile and jewelry industries. In Ottoman Turkish, his name meant "bed of precious stones," but he was also known as "new bed" (Bezistan Seydud) by his friends. Bidestan comes from the Persian term bezistan, which meaning "bazaar of garment dealers" and originates from the word "bez" (cloth). Location: Between the old Constantine Square and Theodosius Square, on the sloping third hill of Istanbul. It was also close to the Byzantine bakers' area of the city and the Sultan's first residence, the Old Palace (Eski Saray), which was built about the same period.

The edifice was completed in the next winter of 1460/1461 AD. The property was given to the endowment of the Hagia Sophia Mosque. The majority of the building, according to German banding research, dates to the second half of the 15th century, while the Byzantine inscription depicting a Komnenian eagle was utilized.

Slavery was practiced in a marketplace close to Bedesten known as (Turkish: Esir Pazar), a name that dates back to the Byzantine era. The Old Book Market (Turkish: Sahflar) was relocated from the bazaar to its present picturesque site near the Bayezid II Mosque only after the 1894 Istanbul earthquake, while the Flea Market (Turkish: Uzun arş) was a porticoed trading center extending from the Constantine district to the Golden Horn, which was one of the main market areas of the city.

The Grand Bazaar's ultimate design was established around the turn of the seventeenth century. The bazaar and the surrounding provinces or khans were a focus of Mediterranean trade because of the Ottoman Empire's extensive reach over three continents and total control of road linkages between Asia and Europe. Many Europeans who visited the market during that time period and the first part of the nineteenth century reported that it was the best market in Europe in terms of quantity, diversity, and quality of items. According to European tourists of the period, the Grand Bazaar was square in layout, with two major roads running perpendicular to one another and meeting in the middle, and a third avenue running around the outside. There were 67 lanes in the bazaar (each named after a different group of vendors), various squares where people prayed every day, 5 mosques, 7 fountains, and 18 gates that opened every morning and closed every night, giving rise to the bazaar's contemporary moniker, "market» Closed" (Turkish: Kapalçarş). The most influential historical account of the market and its traditions was written by the Turkish traveler Evliya elebi about 1638. There were almost 3,000 retail outlets, 300 in the neighboring khans, and several enormous caravanserais with two or three stories with an inner arcaded courtyard for storing goods and housing merchants. Ten percent of the city's stores were located in the area immediately around the market at the time. There was a gap in the market that hadn't been filled back then.

The Grand Bazaar was frequently struck by natural calamities such as fires and earthquakes. It burned down twice: once in 1515 and again in 1548. Over the course of several years, multiple fires ravaged the building. The 1701 fire was so devastating that it necessitated extensive reconstruction by Grand Vizier Damad Ibrahim Pasha al-Noshahri in 1730 and 1731. In 1738, Kizler Agassi funded the construction of a fountain in the area of Merkan Capi.

The new fire-fighting statute of 1696 led to the construction of vaults over most of the market that stretched between the two cities at the time. Nonetheless, in 1750 and 1791, more flames completely annihilated the building. Additional damage was inflicted by the 1766 earthquake, but Chief Engineer Ahmed was able to fix it the next year.

The expansion of the textile industry in Western Europe during the nineteenth century, the development of mass production techniques, agreements reached between the empire and several European states, and the exhaustion — always on the part of European merchants — of raw materials in a closed economy all contributed to the market's decline. for the empire. The rent in Bidston dropped by a factor of 10 between the years of 1830 and 1850. Minority merchants (Greek, Armenian, and Jewish) left the bazaar, which was considered as antiquated, and set up business in areas frequented by Europeans, such as Beykoglu. This was in part due to the emergence of a Western-oriented bourgeoisie and the economic success of Western items. There was an error, too.

In 1890, there were 4,399 open businesses in the market, two bazaars in Bedestan, 2,195 rooms, one public bath, one mosque, ten Islamic schools, and nineteen fountains, all according to a census (including two Shathirwan and one Sabil),

plus a single temple and twenty-four houses of worship (han). There are 3,000 stores spread out across 61 lanes, two Bedestan marketplaces, and thirteen Han markets within the complex's 30.7 hectares that are guarded by eighteen gates (plus many more outside).

In 1894, when a powerful earthquake rocked Istanbul, was the last time a calamity of this magnitude happened. Repairs to the destroyed bazaar were overseen by Minister of Public Works Mahmud Jalal al-Din Pasha until 1898, during which time the complex's footprint was shrunk.

The facility was last renovated in the 1980s. Back then, the market's advertising posters were taken down.

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