The Grand Bazaar, located between Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Mercan, and Beyazıt, was built in 1461 during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Although its construction started during the reign of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, the Bazaar gained its current glory during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The Grand Bazaar is one of the most significant and complex projects developed by the Ottoman Empire.
Besides the valuable belongings of the formerly wealthy, such as jewelry, precious metals, and furs, the property of the state treasury was also kept in the vaults here. At that time, the economic power of the city was here. Banks and bankers who later settled in Galata caused the center of the economy to shift there. The Grand Bazaar, which continued the guild system until the Constitutional Monarchy, lost its importance because of the changing conditions, and the trade started to be carried out according to the conditions of the time.
The Grand Bazaar is described as a great mechanism that kept the Empire's economy alive. Throughout its history, it experienced many earthquakes, fires, and destructions, but each time, it was quickly repaired.
The Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest banks and shopping centers in the world, is home to the artisans who are trying to keep up with the modernity.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest shopping centers in the world with 64 streets, 2 covered bazaars (bedesten), 16 inns, 22 gates, approximately 3600 shops. About 20000 people work in the building, which covers an area of 4500 square meters.
Cevahir Bedesten, which is one of the covered bazaars forming the core of the Grand Bazaar, is thought to be from the Byzantine period. The new covered bazaar was added in 1461 after the repair. It is the second important structure of the Grand Bazaar.
The number of visitors to the Grand Bazaar sometimes reaches 500000 people a day. Here you can find everything from carpets to bags, textiles to gold and silver jewelry, antiques to tiles, and souvenirs that will keep your memories alive forever. Some of the shops were operated in the same way hundreds of years ago, and the same products were sold there.
Even if you spend your whole day just for a tour, the Grand Bazaar is too big to explore. Like the rest of Istanbul, it hosts the new and the old, the traditional and the modern together. Some of the products are the legacy of the Ottoman period and some of them are products of the modern world.