Covered Market in Istanbul
One of the biggest and the oldest markets in the world, the Covered Market is a mute witness of Istanbul history. In contrast to many attractions of the city, belonging to the Byzantine period, Grand Bazaar (the second name of the Covered Market) is a relic of the Ottoman era. The story of its origin is amazing. After Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror captured Constantinople and made the Ottoman Empire Byzantium's successor, the first thing he began to worry about was commerce. Mehmet realized that his empire would quickly collapse without financial help. Therefore, first of all Mehmet the Conqueror ordered to open a market in the city and gave its traders tax benefits for a period of several years. This is how the Grand Bazaar appeared, being not so big for those times... Time passed, and the market has grown along with the city. It began with several shopping areas and eventually became a real market town! And this is not an exaggeration. Grand Bazaar has an area of several districts, which is comparable to the size of a small European town. It can offer everything: gold, clothes, gifts, murals, kitchen utensils, appliances, hookahs, weapons (decorative)... Here one can buy any legal item. There is a special guidebook to the Covered Market, because it's very easy to get lost here. This market has more than fifty streets with unique names! Of course, the main value of the Grand Bazaar is not just commerce and shopping, but history... The market's premises were built for more than five centuries ago. They still remember the slave trade, when they were selling beautiful captives abducted for sultans' harems, wars and revolts, grand viziers and brave Janissaries... Grand Bazaar is also a museum, market and architectural landmark. You won't meet it anywhere except Istanbul!