During the Byzantine
period the area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center. After the
Turks came to Istanbul, two bedestens which formed the essence of
today's Grand Bazaar were built between 1455-1461 by Sultan Mehmet
the Conqueror in an attempt to enrich the economic life in the city.
Later on as people needed more places for their trade, they also
added parts outside these bedestens. In time the Grand Bazaar was
Throughout the Ottoman
period, the bazaar underwent earthquakes and fires and was restored
Today, shops selling the same kind of merchandise tend to be
congregated in their own streets or in hans as this was originally
the Ottoman system. In addition to two bedestens there are also 13
hans in the Grand Bazaar.
With 18 entrances and more than four thousand shops it is one of the
greatest bazaars in the World. The atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is
very interesting for tourists and has consequently become a very
popular place for foreign visitors.
It is open during working hours on weekdays, closing earlier on
Saturdays, while on Sundays and religious holidays it is closed.
A part of the Yeni Cami complex which is located next to it.
Misir in Turkish means Egypt and it is called the Egyptian Bazaar
because the shopkeepers used to sell spices and herbs which were
brought from or through Egypt. During the Ottoman period it was
known as a place where shops sold only spices. Today there are only
a few spice and herb specialists. The rest sell dried fruit, borek,
basket work, jewelry, haberdashery, drapery and suchlike.