Grand Bazaar Istanbul (Kapali Carsi)

The Grand Bazaar (or Covered Bazaar, Kapaliçarsi in Turkish) in Istanbul (at 41°0'38.09"N, 28°58'4.56"E) is one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 4000 shops, and has 250,000-400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar contains two bedestans, or domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping, the first of which was constructed in 1464 by the order of Mehmed II. In 1894, the Grand Bazaar underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.
Technically, the correct translation of the Turkish name Kapaliçarsi is "Covered Bazaar" and not "Grand Bazaar", simply because the Turks do not call it "Grand Bazaar". In Turkish kapali means "covered" and çarsi means "market" or "bazaar" (as in the Persian 'bazar', where the word originates from and in English we spell it as "bazaar".)

Major sections

Inner Bedesten : It was the first building to rise in Kapaliçarsi, actually it is the Old Bedestan which forms the backbone of the bazaar. The names of the gates are: Bouquinistes, Hat Shops, Jewellery Shops and Costume Shops. Sandal Bedesten : It has the most number of domes in Kapaliçarsi. At present it can be accessed through two gates, one is through the main gate and the other is through the Nuruosmaniye district. Other sections of the Grand Bazaar: The architectural design of the roads making up other sections apart from the two bedestens is not symmetrical and geometrical; it has a scattered nature due to its formation which took many centuries with new parts being added. In this way, it stays away from the closed bazaar style of the West and has a character of an Oriental bazaar. This laid back settlement and scattered nature prevents the bazaar from being dull, and at the same time gives it a romantic flavor. Such a complicated structure and settlement not only maintains the monumental state of the bazaar, but also makes it a palace for shopping.

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