7 Things You Need to Know About the Egyptian Market (Spice Bazaar) in Istanbul

7 Things You Need to Know About the Egyptian Market (Spice Bazaar) in Istanbul

The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the important historical values​​ in this ancient city that has hosted many different civilizations and cultures. Every visitor, local or foreign, comes to Istanbul must visit the historic Egyptian market which is the oldest bazaar in the world.

For centuries, the Egyptian Bazaar, the most colorful and most attractive shopping center of Istanbul, has never lost its mystical atmosphere.

When the Egyptian market was first established, it was allocated to the spices and cotton trade. Thus, the 100 market stores were shared between these two merchant groups.

The historic L-shaped closed market has 6 gates including Ketenciler Gate, Flower Bazaar Gate, Eminönü Gate, Balıkpazarı Gate, New Mosque Gate, and Bahçe Gate.

Accordingly, spice workers used the gates of Balık Pazarı, Hasırcılar, and Kefenciler while cotton workers used the gates of New Mosque, Haseki, and Flower Bazaar.

The historical Spice Bazaar is the second largest covered bazaar in Istanbul today. The historic Bazaar was heavily damaged by two fires in 1691 and 1940.

After these fires, the historic Egyptian Bazaar was restored by the Istanbul municipality in 1940 and reached its current state.

Another feature of the Egyptian Bazaar in Eminönü, which has 6 gates, is the presence of a 2-storey court above Haseki Gate.

This court used to solve the problems between the tradesmen themselves or the public.

Old Egyptian Market

In which Sultan’s age was the Egyptian market established?

The Egyptian market has been an important stop for many domestic and foreign visitors to Istanbul for centuries.

Today, the historic market contains 90 shops selling various products such as nuts, delicatessen, medicinal herbs, spices, textiles, and confectionery.

The construction of the  Egyptian Bazaar, which started with the order of wife of Murad II Safiye Sultan, was completed in 1663 with the support of Hatice Turhan Sultan.

In 1660, the mother of Sultan Mohammed IV Sultan Khadija Turhan ordered chief engineer Kazem Agha to complete the construction of the Egyptian market.

The historical Spice Bazaar was built in 1660 by the Sultan IV. It was built by Mehmed’s mother Hatice Turhan Valide Sultan for her chief architect Kazim Aga.

Who did construct Istanbul Egyptian Bazaar?

Although the construction of the historic Egyptian Bazaar began with the order of Safiye Sultan, it was completed by Hatice Turhan Sultan.

Hatice Turhan Sultan, the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV ordered chief architect Kazim Agha to complete the construction of the half-finished market in 1660.

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Who did construct Istanbul Egyptian Bazaar?

Although the construction of the historic Egyptian Bazaar began with the order of Safiye Sultan, it was completed by Hatice Turhan Sultan.

Hatice Turhan Sultan, the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV ordered chief architect Kazim Agha to complete the construction of the half-finished market in 1660.

Where is the Prayer Square located in?

Since the historical Spice Bazaar was built in L shape, the section where long and short alleys meet in the Bazaar has been called the “Prayer Square” for centuries.

This section is designed in the form of a balcony with a fence in the form of iron bars. Prayer Square is one of the most mystical points of the Spice Bazaar.

For centuries, the shopkeepers used to gather around the terrace before opening their shops in the morning and pray for halal sustenance and then opened the shops.

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Products of the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul

The historic Egyptian Bazaar is located in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, behind the New Mosque “Yeni Mosque” and next to the flower market.

The Spice Bazaar is one of the oldest covered bazaars in the city and is famous for its spices and fabrics.

Today, there are herbal medicine, spices, flower seeds, rare plant roots and shells in the historical bazaar.

Nuts, delicatessen products, confectionery, carpets, weaving, and various souvenirs are also sold on the market.

Where is the Egyptian Bazaar and how can we go to it?

The Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul is located on the coast of Eminönü in the Rüstem Paşa neighborhood of Fatih district, near the New Mosque.

You can reach the Egyptian market by Eminönü buses departing from every district or neighborhood of Istanbul.

On the other hand, you can also come from Eminönü to the Spice Bazaar with ferries departing from Üsküdar, Kadıköy and Princes’ Islands.

Another option is to take the tram from Bağcılar, Cevizlibağ or Kabataş direction to Eminönü stop and then walk to the Egyptian Bazaar.

Working hours of the Egyptian Bazaar

Located in one of the most vibrant areas of Istanbul, the Spice Bazaar welcomes visitors at all times.

Egypt Bazaar, one of the most touristic places of the city, welcomes its guests 6 days a week between 8.00 and 19.00.

On Sunday, the bazaar is open between 09.30 and 19.00. The Egyptian market is closed on all religious holidays and on 29 October (Republic Day).

Edit by: Realty Group

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