Follow your nose! The Spice Bazaar, also called Egyptian Bazaar, is known for its many scents and colors. The oriental spice market is located on Eminönü Square, just to the right of the New Mosque, of which it has remained an important part to this day.
The construction of the bazaar began in the mid-17th century under Sultan Mehmed III and was completed by the architect Mustafa Ağa on behalf of Hatice Turhan, the mother of Sultan Mehmed IV. Since the construction of the bazaar, the store rents have been used to maintain the mosque and its social facilities.
The name of the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) is based on the goods, especially the spices that came from Egypt and were sold here. Also, the building was originally funded with taxes on imported Egyptian goods. A large part of the around 100 shops consist of traditional spice merchants. In the heyday of the bazaar, it was the last stop for camel caravans traveling the Silk Roads of China, India and Persia. Long before the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the entire surrounding area in the Byzantine Middle Ages was a lodging for traders from Venice and Genoa as well from Pisa and Amalfi. For example, today’s Hasırcılar Street was the street where the Venetians sold their goods. In the nearby district, directly in front of the Jewish Gate, Jewish merchants lived and offered their goods.
The L-shaped bazaar includes a rich marketplace. In the yard there is a pet and a flower market. You can also find a fish market and a number of cheese and sausage shops here. In addition to the most diverse spices, the covered area of the Egyptian Bazaar offers a wide range of dried fruits, nuts and teas, as well as oils and essences. Today, a variety of textiles, souvenirs and beautiful oriental lamps are also on offer. Immerse yourself in this colorful and sweet-smelling experience of 1001 nights.