THEOLD TOWN OF ISTANBUL
The Grand Bazaar
(Kapalicarsi in Turkish) is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. It was built of wood after the conquest of Istanbul around an ancient Byzantine building that became part of today Old Bedesten (Old Bazaar) and became bigger and bigger over the centuries with the addition of new sections and inns. The Bazar initially consisted of only two stores, known as inner and Sandal Bedesten Bedesten.
Later in the open streets were covered with roofs convicted, and separate buildings connected together. Today has an area of about 31thousand square meters with more than 3,000 shops (some even say 4000), 17 inns (Han), 61 streets, more than 20thousand employees, 4 sources, 10 wells, 2 mosques,
several cafes and restaurants, exchange offices, a police station, and 22 doors. It resembles a giant labyrinth and can be a bit tricky for first time visitor, but after a couple of visits there you can get to it because the streets are arranged almost on a grid plan, and shops tend to grouped according to the type of goods they sell.
The old wooden Grand Bazaar built by Mehmet II suffered several fires and earthquakes for centuries, but has always been repaired after each disaster. Last restorations were after a large fire made in the mid-fifties when it was finally made of stone. During the Ottoman era all kinds of jewelry, textiles, weapons and antiques were sold by merchants, unfortunately today quilt makers, slipper manufacturers, turban and fez There is no more responsible.
Today it is a shopper's paradise with its shops and traditional products. There are thousands of things you can find and buy in the Grand Bazaar, or simply enjoy the local population and the Turkish hospitality with a little window shopping. It is one of the most important tourist sites in Istanbul, due to its location, architecture, history and fame. Depending on the season, between 250-400thousand people visit daily bazaar.