Istanbul Travel Guide

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

  • A street in Grand Bazaar.

  • It is the oldest and biggest shopping center of world with its 48.000 square meters area and approximately 4500 stores.

  • In 17th century the Grand Bazaar had already achieved its present shape.

  • Grand Bazaar is still today heart of Turkish economy.

  • Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

  • It is located inside the walled city of Istanbul.

Grand Bazaar which was established in place where there were stores was founded for supplying income for Hagia Sofia in Byzantine period, was built with order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1461. It is the oldest and biggest shopping center of world with its 48.000 square meters area and approximately 4500 stores. The Grand Bazaar is located inside of  city walls. It was also near the first sultan's palace, the Old Palace, which was also in construction in those same years.

Places where precious materials such as jewelry, fur which came from all around the world, were kept were called as Bedesten(Covered Bazaar).Tradesmen in Bedesten were both close to Palace and were the richest tradesmen of empire. Ic Bedesten and Sandal Bedesten still carry the traces of architecture of Fatih period.

Old Book Bazaar was moved near Beyazıt Mosque

In 17th century the Grand Bazaar had already achieved its present shape. The enormous extent of the Ottoman Empire in three continents, and the total control of road communication between Asia and Europe, rendered the Bazaar and the surrounding caravanserais, the hub of the Mediterranean trade. Around 1638 Turkish traveler Evliya Celebi, gave us the most important historical description of the Bazaar. The number of shops amounted to 3,000, plus 300 located in the surrounding hans, large Caravanserais.

The last major catastrophe happened in 1894: an earthquake that rocked İstanbul. On this occasion the complex was reduced in area. The old book market  was moved from the Bazaar to the present location near the Beyazid Mosque after the earthquake in 1894.

 

Useful Information for Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Address Kalpakçilar Caddesi, Sorguçlu Han. No: 22, Kapaliçarsi Yönetimi, Beyazit, Fatih, Istanbul
Visiting hours Daily between 08.30 and 19.00. Closed on Sundays and October 29th. The bazaar is also closed for the full duration of religious holidays.
Fast Facts Pay attantion for the commisioners. Commissioner is the art of empaling in itself. There are many plots in it from Dallas. And when you get the headliners in a film, they are far superior than the actors who win the Oscar Award. Commision (Hanut) comes to mean shop in Armenian and commissioner is a worker who works in a specific shop. Usually their chases are square of Sultanahmet, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, in front of the Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar. Although they have low educational level, they know four or three language explicably and they are well-dressed. Naturally leaving good impression to your addressee is important. Firstly commissioners want to give direction and they start to deep conversation and they bring tourist to carpet store and this meeting finishes with offering tea. Eventually tourists buy whatever they want , they buy it with high price. Because there are commission for commissioner.
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