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The Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi), Istanbul

 

 

The Spice Bazaar, (Turkish: 'Misir Carsisi', or Egyptian Bazaar) in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Eminonu, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.

       

There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first "New Bazaar". However, due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt in the Ottoman period, the name "Misir Carsisi" was favoured by the public. The word misir has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt" and "maize". This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice trade in Istanbul.

The building itself is part of the külliye of Yeni Mosque, and rents from the shops within was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque. The structure was designed by the chief court architect Koca Kasim Aga, but completed by architect Mustafa in 1660.

The Spice Bazaar is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower story. Monumental gateways are at the ends of both halls, with chambers above each entranceway. The main entrance is in the southwest corner, facing the Yeni Mosque.

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