the grand bazaar in istanbul (kapalı çarşı, meaning "covered bazaar" or büyük çarşı, meaning "huge or grand bazaar" in turkish) is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops, which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
the two oldest sections, the “old bedesten” goes back to 1455 and the “sandal bedesten” was built in 1545. The “hans” and the rest went up and often came down in fires and eathquakes after that.
the last major fires in the bazaar happened in 1943 and 1954, and the related restorations were finished on 28 July 1959. the last restoration of the complex took place in 1980.
more bazaar wikiness:
grand bazaar website in english:
kurcular carsisi square on left
the sandal bedesteni or old bedesten
cay (tea) trays
a reportedly very old and still used water pump here in astarci han
waiting out some rain at kardesler café in astarci han
the turks drink cay (shay) or tea much more than turkish coffee
hmm, fez or turban?
fountain square intersections
one of the oldest turkish coffeehouses
would you like to buy a rug?
the cevahir bedesteni or old bazaar
shopping for prayer beads
the boybeyi is reportedly formerly an old pudding shop --
the beautiful little historic wooden shop is 400 years old
boybeyi fountain on right
^ (heart)breaking news -- boybeyi was busted up by an accident during the filming of the new james bond movie skyfall just days after i took these pics (the new movie is 007s 3rd visit to istanbul)!
the unbelievable cuhaci han
view of the nur-u osmaniye mosque here
zincirli han courtyard
yet another entrance
random neighborhood carpet wholesaler
galata bridge views over the golden horn (halic) to emminou neighborhood in front of the spice market
a bit of istanbul’s massive ferry service system
yeni camii or new mosque in front of the spice market
in front of yeni mosque
and they don’t stop -- here is the misir carsisi or spice bazaar (1660)
they can hookah you up!
many more shops around the crowded old spice bazaar neighborhood
i had some kelle paca - it’s a turkish beer snack -- i’ll let you all google it!
hocapasa camii or mosque
ornate mosque door & ritual fountain
the immediate hocapasa area has many esnaf lokantalari or workers restaurants
sirkeci post office (1909)
it replaced the 15th century original
alley on right
hobyar camii is the post office mosque (also 1909)
rustem pasha mosque (1561)
rustem pasha was the grand vizier of suleyman the magnificent. the well hidden little mosque, famous for its large quantities of exquisite iznik tiles, was built near the spice bazaar on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops whose rents were intended to financially support the mosque complex. the area shopkeepers are the major worshippers.
indiana jones would have trouble finding it in the maze of shops, we got lucky
^ last is a real treat!
a stunning 360 interior view of rustem pasha mosque: