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Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

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The Spice Bazaar, in Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Fatih
Fatih
Fatih is a municipality and district in Istanbul, Turkey that encompasses most of the peninsula coinciding with historic Constantinople. In 2009, the district of Eminönü, formerly a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was merged into Fatih...

, in the neighborhood of Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.- History :...

.

History


There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first "New Bazaar". However, due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in the Ottoman period, the name "Mısır Çarşısı" was favored by the public. The word mısır has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

" and "maize
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

". This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

 trade in Istanbul.

The building itself is part of the külliye
Külliye
Külliye, deriving from the Arabic word "kull" is a term which designates a complex of buildings, centered around a mosque and managed within a single institution, often based on a vakıf , and composed of a medrese, a darüşşifa, kitchens, bakery, hammam, other buildings for various benevolent...

of Yeni Mosque
Yeni Mosque
The Yeni Camii, The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the Golden Horn at the southern end of the Galata Bridge. It is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.-History:The construction of...

, and rents from the shops within was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

. The structure was designed by the chief court architect Koca Kasım Ağa
Architect Kasemi
Architect Kasemi , born in Gramsh, Albania, was a master of Ottoman classical architecture. He graduated in architecture in Istanbul and was ranked among the closest assistants of Architect Mimar Sinan....

, but completed by architect Mustafa in 1660.

Architecture


The Spice Bazaar is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower story. Monumental gateways are at the ends of both halls, with chambers above each entrance way. The main entrance is in the southwest corner, facing the Yeni Mosque.

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