THE COVERED BAZAAR ( THE GRAND BAZAAR )
The oldest and the largest covered market place in the world is situated in the centre of the city. Resembling a giant labyyrinth, it consists of approximately sxty lanes and more than thousand shops.This unique and interesting market place is one of those places in the city which one must see really appreciate.
The city-like bazaar is completely covered and it has grown in size over the centuries. At its centre is a thick walled 15the century original structure covered by a series of domes. The new streets that formed on both sides of the structure were also covered, thus enlarging the shopping are.In the old days, each street was reserved for a different profession and the quality of the handicrafts produced here was strictly controlled.Business practices were governed by strict traditional ethics. Every kind of valuable fabric, jewellery, weapons and antique objects used to be sold by merchants from families which,for generations, had dealt in the same trade. They were experts in their fields.
The Grand bazaar survived earthquakes and a few fires towards the end of the last century. During the restorations, it lost its original from and features, and has changed fort he worse.In the old days, people used to trust the merchants here and lend them money; as they deposit money in the banks today.
Today, many of the streets in the bazaar have changed changed character. Guilds such as the ‘’quilt maker’s’’, ’’slipper makers’’ and ‘’fez makers’’ exist only in the street names.
Jewellers linet he main street in the bazaar. The goldsmiths are on a side street at right angles to the main street. Prices vary, and bargaining is customary in these rather small stores.
The Grand Bazaar stil retains its old colour and charm and is an attractive sight too see,but since 1970, modern and spacious shops have been built near the main entrance and they offer a beter occasion for shopping in comfort. The bazaar is quite crowded at any hour of the day, and the shop owners try their best to attract the attention of shoppers and lure them into their shops.
The spacious shops that line the street leading to the main entrance to the bazaar sell everything manufactured in Turkey.Handmade carpets, jewellery and the most beautiful examples of Turkish handicrafts may be purchased in these stores. Every item sold carries its tag of authenticity and is shipped anywhere in the world.