Grand Bazaar has been in the center of Istanbul since 1461. It is one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars in the world. This old souk was the offer of Conqueror Mehmet II. It welcomes around 20.000 people a day during the busy times of the year.
Grand Bazaar with its around 4000 shops, 66 streets in 30.700m² is necessary to visit as inimitable shopping center. It is all covered, resembles a city and developed in due course. There were 5 mosques, 1 school, 7 fountains, 10 wells, 1 public fountain, 22 gates and rest houses until recent days. The round of old building which was covered by a serial of domes and with thick walls from 15th century has become a huge shopping center by covering over the developing streets and adding the buildings.
Here was a bazaar where the handcraft manufacturing was under the control of government to keep the quality by respecting the tradition, culture and the life style during the Ottoman Empire. All kind of precious fabrics, jewelry, rugs and antique pieces have been in stores for sale in trust by specialized families throughout generations. At the beginning of last century, Grand Bazaar had past a few earthquake and fires Governments had taken care of building and renovated but its features in past changed in a way.
Largeness of the shops always were in similar sizes. Different artisans used to be in Separate Street as Guilds. The competition between the shopkeepers was definitely forbidden. The prices were not able to put higher than the determined prices by government. The public used to give their money to invest like banks with the sense of trust in old time. Many shops in different streets changed the function. These many tribes have been left as names of streets in Grand Bazaar.
In the main street of Grand Bazaar, there are mostly Jewelry shops. Grand Bazaar has still old brightness as color and attraction. It is always active and crowded in every hour of the day. Shopkeepers invite the visitors to their own shops insistently. The shopping has been living mostly with negotiation in the Bazaar. The whole cultural and also exported hand crafted products have been offered to sale in Grand Bazaar and around it. Hand Made Rugs, Handmade jewelry, Leather Goods, Tiles, famous Turkish silver, copper, bronze kitchen and ornamental stuff with high quality constitute. These arts collection is a rich collection of Turkey reminiscence. These pieces have to be in good quality wşth origin certificates Also Shop keepers guarantee to ship the pieces to all over the world. The western writers have taken a large part to Grand Bazaar in their travel books and memories.
The Grand Bazaar is a kind of heaven which beautifies Istanbul.