Qeysarie Bazaar

Qeysarie Bazaar historical structure

Qeysarie Bazaar or Soltani Bazaar, a historical bazaar in Isfahan, dating back to the 17th century (built in 1620). is one of the oldest and largest bazaars in the Middle East. In fact the bazaar was one of the greatest and luxurious trading centers in the Safavid era. It is located in downtown old Isfahan, in the northern section of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Most major cities had a main bazaar and each neighborhood had its own special, smaller bazaar. These bazaars often consisted of a long vaulted street with shops on either side. Bazaars are one of the most important and central elements in every Iranian city. After mosques, these markets were considered the heart of each neighborhood as they were where people went to buy and sell goods, interact with one another and learn about the latest news and developments in the realm from the town criers walking around their passages to make public announcements. Above the portal of Qeisarieh Bazaar is a tribune that once accommodated musicians giving public concerts. There are two platforms on either side of the entrance, where hundreds of years ago jewelers and goldsmiths sat to sell their merchandise. Qeisarieh has been built in two stories, the top was used for administrative affairs and the first story was where shops were lined up and merchants worked. Qeisarieh includes the six smaller Harounieh, Oryan, Nimavard Golshan, Mokhles, Samovar makers and Maqsoud Beik bazaars. The bazaar also includes several mosques namely Dualfaghar, Now and Shisheh where merchants from different guilds performed daily prayers, a number of schools such as Kaseh Garan, Harounieh, Nimavard and Mula Abdollah, and sub-bazaars such as Golshan, Jarchi, and Fakhr. This bazaar also has scores of caravanserais, where Silk Road travelers would stop along the way to rest. There are shops in this bazaar which have been in business and sold the same goods for over 400 years. Today, this bazaar is the largest handicraft market in Isfahan and offers a variety of goods including Persian carpets, handmade silver jewelry and spices among other commodities.

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