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Istanbul Travel Guide

Kapali Carsi

The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi in turkish) or the Covered Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered bazaar in the world. Situated in the heart of the city, the bazaar consisted originally of two 15th century building with thick walls that were covered with domes, today, the bazaar consists of over four thousands shops stretching over a maze of sixty lanes, 24 hans, 22 gates, restaurants, mosques, fountains and teahouses.

Founded during the reign of Mehmed II “The Conqueror” in 1464, through its history the bazaar has been ravaged by numerous fires and earthquakes and has undergone extensive renovation losing its former characteristics and deteriorated, being the most recent in 1954 where a great fire consumed part of the building.

The Bazaar offers thousands of things that one can purchase, from all types of jewelry, fabrics, weaponry, antiques to pottery, spice, and carpets. This last one, the carpets, were very well recognised and appreciated; they are made of silk, wool or cotton. A silk pile gives a carpet great brilliance. Cotton-warped carpets almost always have a more rigid and mechanical appearance than woollen-warped. Other things well appreciated in the Bazaar are the jewels especially those made up from gold and silver. There are many shops selling exquisite jewelry with different prices and quality

Visiting the Grand Bazaar offers a unique shopping experience and is the perfect occasion to see the Turkish life and culture. Annually the bazaar has over 250,000 - 400,000 visitors each day.

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