Bezesten is the only Ottoman monument that retains its original use.
Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )
1978 Suffered strong cracks from an earthquake. The foundation on a loose clay substrate played a key role in the damage.
Ottoman era (1453- 1912)
1455 It was probably built between 1455 and 1459 during the reign of Sultan Mehmet II. However, it may have been built at the end of the 15th century during the reign of Sultan Vayazit II.
1883 Bezesteni was purchased by the Jewish community for only 100 golden Liras.
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
Classical era (478-323 BC)
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
This building belongs to the “classical” period of Ottoman architecture (15th-16th centuries). It is rectangular, made of adobe, with entrances on all four sides and plenty of wide spaces, thanks to its six covered domes. Internally, it is divided into six blocks with seven double arches. After the fire of 1917, a number of shops around the building were added. In total, it has 113 small shops (i.e. 69 inside and 44 outside).
What I can't see
The name “Bezesten”, derives from the Turkish word “bez”, meaning cotton or linen fabric. It is the only Ottoman monument that retains its original use. It was built as a closed shopping arcade with luxurious fabrics, jewellery and other luxury items, while being simultaneously guarded, for greater security. The building was a place for trade and negotiating during the Ottoman period, located at the heart of financial markets. Today, and although it no longer constitutes a financial centre, Bezesteni remains a thriving flee market with a special vibe. The recent restoration works of the 1980s and 1990s, uncovered 21 engravings in the canopies’ lead leaves, which date back from 1786 to 1927 and are written in Turkish, southern Slavic, Greek and French.
- Address: Dionysiou Solomou & El. Venizelou St.
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