Tabriz Bazaar, The Largest Roofed Bazaar in the World

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 10:07

The Grand Bazaar of Tabriz is known as the largest roofed Bazaar in the world and the oldest one in the Middle East.

As one of the most important international trade hubs between the 12th and 18th centuries, the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz is located at the center of Tabriz, where still serves as the economic heart of northwestern Iran.

Many world explorers and writers throughout the history, including Marco Polo, Yaqut al-Hamawi and Jean Chardin, have lauded the glory of Tabriz Bazaar as a remarkable part of their adventures, Press TV writes.

In 2010, the UNESCO declared Tabriz Bazaar as a World Heritage Site. As it was located on the Silk Road, thousands of caravans from different Asian, African and European countries passed though Tabriz bazaar on a daily basis, making it one of the world’s most flourishing commercial hubs over centuries.

The one-square-kilometer trade center consists of 5,500 stores selling the products of over 40 types of professions, 60 timchehs (sub-bazaars) and saras (small caravansaries), 30 mosques, 20 alleys and sub-bazaars, five baths, 12 schools and five museums.

Similar to many other Middle Eastern bazaars, Tabriz Bazaar was a key commercial center for religious minorities, with Armenians and Georgians owning a major part of businesses and conducting important transactions with European and Central Asian merchants.

The complex consists of several sub-bazaars or timchehs. The most important and luxurious part of Tabriz Bazaar is Amir Bazaar, also known as Timcheh Amir, where shop exclusively sell gold and jewelry. The section has the largest dome in the entire bazaar.

Another important section is Mozaffarieh Bazaar, also known as Timcheh Mozaffarieh, for sale of exquisite Persian carpets. The most beautiful architectural design in the complex belongs to this section.

Apart from its economic status, Tabriz Bazaar has also been a hub of key social and political developments in the Iranian history, including Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the beginning of the 20th century and Islamic Revolution in 1979.

It is also a center for holding important religious ceremonies, including Day of Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of third Shia leader Imam Hussein, when merchants cease trading 10 days in advance to hold different mourning ceremonies and assemblies at the venue.

The iconic complex still continues to wield influence over different cultural, social, economic and political arenas in Iran and it is considered as an outstanding example for coexistence of diverse cultures and a model for constructive interaction among different social strata.

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