The Egyptian Bazaar, which was started to be built on the orders of Safiye Sultan but was completed 65 years later during the reign of Hatice Turhan Sultan, still maintains its importance today. And it is one of the most visited bazaars in Istanbul.
History of the Spice Bazaar
It was built in the Yeni Mosque Complex which is the longest mosque construction in Ottoman history. Sultan Ill. The foundation was laid in 1597 by the order of Murad’s wife, Safiye Sultan. III. After the death of Mehmed Safiye Sultan, the mother of the sultan who was the patron of the complex, the construction of the complex stopped. Sultan IV. There was no progress in the construction of the mosque until Mehmed. IV. Since Mehmed’s mother Hatice Turhan Sultan wanted to build a complex, she could not find a place and decided to complete this incomplete complex. The Yeni Camii complex, which was restarted in 1661, consists of the Hünkar Pavilion, Darülkura, Mausoleum, Arasta, Sıbyan School, Çeşme and Sabil. After 2 years of work, the arasta of the complex (Egyptian Bazaar) was opened in 1643-1644 with a ceremony.
The first design of the mosque was made by the chief architect Davut Aga and Ahmet Aga was appointed after his death one year after the construction started. However, the sultan of the period ll. With Mehmed’s death, construction has stopped. The construction of the mosque was resumed after 63 years and Mustafa Aga was appointed as an architect.
When the bazaar was first built, it was allocated to artisans and craftsmen. Fish Market, Hasırcılar and Ketenciler Gate were transferred to herbalists, Yeni Mosque, Haseki and Çiçek Bazaar gates were allocated to cottonmen. In this period, 49 of the 100 shops in the bazaar were used by herbalists, while the remaining shops were allocated to cottonmen and quilters.
The Bazaar has suffered two major fires in its history. Although the fire in 8 March 1688 was not very big, the wooden shops outside the walls of the market (Tahmis Street) were damaged and the interior of the Bazaar did not suffer much. In the fire of January 1691, the bazaar was almost completely burned. The fire started in one of the shops in the bazaar and quickly covered the entire bazaar. Only a few shops with iron doors survived this fire. This fire, which caused a great financial loss for tradesmen, lasted two days and the Bazaar became devastated.
It is thought that it lost its originality in terms of shop layout and usage area in its extensive restoration works carried out by Istanbul Municipality between 1940 – 1943.
Architectural Structure and Properties
The Egyptian Bazaar, built in the classical Ottoman style, has the feature of being if Double Bazaar ”. It was built in the ’’ L ’plan scheme with successive rows of stones and bricks, where the long and short sides meet.
The Bazaar has a total of six gates, four of which are big and two are small. The main gates are the gates at the ends of the two large arms. The entrances at the ends of these two large arms are two-storey buildings with six porticoes. In addition, the gate to Tahmis Street has a portico and two floors.
On the long arm of the Bazaar there are 46 iwans and 23 iwans and 36 iwans and 18 iwans each in the short arm. There are 6 iwans and cells in the section where the two arms meet each other. There are a total of 88 iwan and 18 shops in the section of the bazaar, which overlooks Tahmis Street.
The parts used as shops in the bazaar are ground floors. The basement floors that descend with the stairs on the ground floor are mostly used as warehouses today. There are also some shops that are used as shopping places where goods are displayed. However, the originality of these floors has been lost with the plans of these floors.
Where is Spice Bazaar? and How to get there?
Address: Rustem Pasa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambari Sok. No: 92 – Fatih / Istanbul
Transportation: People who want to come by public transportation; After taking the bus to Eminönü, they can continue to the New Mosque and reach the bazaar behind the mosque. You can go to Eminönü from IETT.
Those who want to come by sea transportation; Üsküdar-Eyüp, Kadıköy-Eminönü, Rumeli Kavağı-Eminönü and Kabataş Eminönü one of the city lines by using the Eminonu pier to continue to the direction of the New Mosque can reach the bazaar.
You can also use Bağcılar-Kabataş Tram for transportation; After crossing the bridge, you can get down to Eminönü and continue towards Yeni Mosque to reach the Bazaar.
Those who want to come by metro; Using Yenikapı-Hacıosman Metro, they can get off at Eminönü stop and continue in the direction of Yeni Cami to reach the bazaar.
Those who want to come with special vehicles; After arriving in Eminönü with their vehicles, they can park their cars in the parking lot next to the Eminönü Pier and continue in the direction of Yeni Cami.
Speaking of the ready-made bazaar market, if you want to visit the bazaar in Istanbul, let us take you before you go or as far as Fatih, if you want to take a look at our list of trips we have created for sightseeing. 🙂