Sunday, July 10, 2011

THE GRAND BAZZAR, ISTANBUL

In French you say "what a bazaar" when in English you say " what a mess !" and I really understood this expression when I visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Of course it's one of the major tourist attractions, but real worthwhile to see. You can walk in there rather unbothered and look around without being pulled or pushed into a shop like it was in Morocco's Souks. Of course they ask you to come into their shops but if you walk by, the vendors don't insist too much. Haggling is a must just for sport. I don't mind and find it rather funny. When one absolutely wanted to sell me an oriental rug, I told him that I had just inherited 20 from my parents and therefore don't need any. He laughed and agreed ! The Turkish people love to joke and are cheerful and funny. At least that was my impression. Most of these shops of all sizes were modernized and some of them even had aircondition. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 streets and over 4,400 shops. The construction began in 1455 and opened in 1461. It is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the shops in the bazaar are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar contains two bedestens (domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century,and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake. Today, the grand bazaar houses two mosques, two hamams, four fountains, and multiple restaurants and cafes. It consists of 12 major buildings has 22 gates, 64 streets and 25.000 employees are working in there. A placemat with the map of the bazaar ! Even a GPS would get lost in there at the entrance of one of the 22 gates Heavy doors Beautiful ceilings shops, shops and shops ! I bought some gifts and my friend bought a beautiful with turquoise decorated silver bracelet and a matching ring. Jewelery is real cheap. There are several fountains, first I thought it was always the same and that we were just turning around. small streets Sit and rest here it was early morning nobody so nobody there yet. another fountain, where a man just brushed his teeth Very colorful lamps a big choice of spices and of course the famous Turkish eye which should bring you luck.

2 comments:

DeeBee L. said...

Thank you for all these interesting and colourful photos. Istambul is such a beautiful place.

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour dear Gattina,
Wonderful pictures, this place is huge, I imagine if I was there I should get a kind of map! LOL
The architecture is also impressive.
Léia

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels)/Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against other European countries.

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