The Grand Bazzar in Istanbul…Gran Bazar en Estambul

Text credits:
http://www.grandbazaaristanbul.org/The_Grand_Bazaar.html
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like. The bazaar has been an important trad ing centre since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.
The complex houses two mosques, four fountains, two hamams, and several cafés and restaurants. In the centre is the high domed hall of the Cevahir Bedesten, where the most valuable items and antiques were to be found in the past, and still are today, including furniture, copperware, amber prayer beads, inlaid weapons, icons, moth er-of-pearl mirrors, water pipes, watches and clocks, candlesticks, old coins, and silver and gold jewellery set with coral and turquoise. A leisurely afternoon spent exploring the bazaar, sitting in one of the cafés and watching the crowds pass by, and bargaining for purchases is one of the best ways to recapture the romantic atmosphere of old Istanbul.
Gates:
The Grand Bazaar has four main gates situated at the ends of its two major streets which intersect near the southwestern corner of the bazaar.
Opening Times:
Monday to Saturday 9:00 – 19:00. Closed Sundays and bank holidays.
Getting there:
Take a tram to Beyazit, Üniversite or Sirkeci.
The Grand Bazaar is around 15 minutes walk from the Aya Sofya/Blue Mosque area.

Kapalıçarşı Website (in Turkish)
Ministry of Culture & Tourism

Español
Créditos del texto: http://www.estambul.es/gran-bazar
Gran Bazar de Estambul
El Gran Bazar de Estambul (Kapalıçarşı) es uno de los mercados más grandes y antiguos del mundo. Es uno de los mejores lugares de la ciudad para hacer compras de artesanía, joyas y ropa.
Cifras
El área cubierta donde se encuentra el mercado tiene 45.000 metros cuadrados y en él trabajan unas 20.000 personas. El número de visitantes diarios oscila entre los 300.000 y los 500.000 dependiendo de la época.
El Gran Bazar de Estambul cuenta con más de 3.600 tiendas que se distribuyen en 64 calles. Para acceder al recinto hay 22 puertas.
Orígenes
Los orígenes del Gran Bazar se remontan a la época de Mehmed II, cuando en 1455 construyó cerca de su palacio el antiguo bazar (Eski Bedesten). Alrededor de este edificio se fueron instalando talleres de artesanos formando calles gremiales.
Con el tiempo los edificios crecieron en número y las calles fueron cubiertas. Poco después todo el complejo fue amurallado.
Nuestra opinión
Visitar Estambul y no adentrarse en el Gran Bazar sería viajar a Marrakech y no recorrer su zoco. Sus miles de puestos de colores son un paseo que te llevará todo el tiempo que quieras dedicar, cientos de vendedores te estarán esperando con ansia negociadora. No les defraudes y regatea los precios.

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