Spice Market in Istanbul
The Spice Bazaar is located next to the Flower Market on the banks of the Golden Horn called Makron and Envalos by the Byzantine and Eminonu by the Ottomans. The Spice Bazaar is one of the most characteristic places of Istanbul. Spice Bazaar which is one of the oldest covered bazaars of Istanbul is situated within the complex of Yeni Cami.
The Yeni Cami complex which was commissioned by Safiye Sultan to be built and the construction of which started in the year 1591 was completed by Hatice Turhan Valide Sultan in the year 1633. The building situated in the complex is a “L” shape arasta. ( Arasta is a bazaar design particular to Ottomans. It is a building where shops specialised in one type of product are found.) Within the complex of Yeni Cami there are two fountains, the dar-ül hadis- and children’s school. The architect of the Bazaar is believed to be Hassa Chief Architect Mustafa Ağa or Kasım Ağa who was the chamberlain of the Sultan. The Spice Bazaar has 6 doors which are not used today. There are one hundred shops in the bazaar. Although the mentioned Bazaar was first named Valide (Mother Sultan) Bazaar later it was named Egyptian Bazaar since the goods originating from India and brought to Istanbul via Egypt were sold here.
The Spice Bazaar was burned down twice in 1691 and 1940 . The Bazaar was lately restorated by the municipality of Istanbul between the years 1940 and 1943. In the Bazaar which is famous for its herbalists currently dried fruits, delicatessen and various food staff besides conventional products such as natural medicines, spices, flower seeds, scarce plant roots and peels are sold. It is known that the spices sold here are in addition to their consumption as food staff, useful for the treatment of certain diseases. Lately an increase in the number of jewelery shops in the bazaar is being observed. Within the Spice Bazaar there are restaurants with a view over the Golden Horn and Galata Bridge as well. The Bazaar is open from Mondays to Saturdays.