Today we are going to take photos of one of the must interesting places of Istanbul: the Grand Bazaar. This trek will take us three hours if your are only shooting but it is imposible not to buy something in this place. The vendors are so skilled that you will end up buying something you were not looking for but absolutely adore. : )
The Grand Bazaar has four main gates situated at the ends of its two major streets which interesect near the southwestern corner of the bazaar. Gate number 7 "Beyazit Capisi" is where we begin.
Opeing times is from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 19:00 hrs. Sundays and Bank holidays is closed.
"The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı, meaning "Covered Bazaar"; also: Turkish: Büyük Çarşı, meaning "Grand Bazaar") in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily." Wikipedia
The bazaar has been an important trading centre since 1461 and its labyrinthine vaults feature two bedestens (domed buildings), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.
Paintings in the ceiling
The Grand Bazaar is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like.
The art of Turkish tiles and ceramics occupies a place of prominence in the history of Islamic art. Its roots can be traced at least as far back as the 8th and 9th centuries.
The late 15th and early 16th century marks the beginning of a new period in Ottoman tile and ceramic-making. The most important centre active at this time was Iznik. Designs prepared by artists who were employed in the studios of the Ottoman court were sent to Iznik to be executed in wares ordered for use at the palace. The court's patronage stimulated and supported the development of an artistically and technically advanced ceramic industry in Iznik.
Fashion and Jewellery
Belly dancing is very popular in Turkey. It is a very old art form still enjoyed by Turks of all classes and ages. It may be the descendant of ancient Anatolian fertility dances. Belly dance costumes available in the Grand Bazaar consist of head scarf, Turkish/Arabic vest, decorated bra, separate sleeves, hipband and circle skirt. Garments are traditionally decorated with imitation coins.
Along with embroidery used in traditional costumes, jewellery is also commonly used as an accessory. The concept of the evil eye is widespread, and one can observe many amulets to ward it off in peoples’ clothes and hair. All the civilizations which have existed in Anatolia have produced artistic works made from precious or semi-precious stones and metal.
Hand made necklace
Carpets and Textiles
Carpet weaving is one of the most ancient crafts in Turkey, and for centuries, women have played a pivotal role in their creation. Historically, the Turks were among the earliest carpet weavers. Turkish carpets come in distinct styles from different regions of Turkey. Important differentiators between the types include the materials, construction and patterns.
Silk on silk carpet
Wool on wool (wool pile and wool warps and wefts) rugs are generally the least expensive type of carpet. Wool on wool carpets have been made for much longer and use more traditional designs than the other types of carpets.
Wool on cotton (wool pile on cotton warps and wefts) carpets can be much more intricate because cotton can be spun finely and the knot count is generally much higher. In wool on cotton rugs, floral designs are often found, as well as complex geometric patterns.
Silk on silk (silk pile on silk warps and wefts) is the most intricate type of carpet with very fine weave. These carpets can be stunningly beautifull and very expensive.
Copper and Bronce
Along with the carpets and jewelry, these shops offer a wide collection of high-quality Turkish silverware, copper and bronze souvenirs and decorative objects. Prices vary and bargaining is customary in these rather small shops.
Eagle and snake
Aladino's Lamp (don't look for it anymore, I have it at home)
Ottoman Chandelier and Mosaic LampsSave the last for the best, I just love chandeliers and mosaic lamps. I guess is because the way they change light and atmosphere to a place. Here are some samples of the lovely pieces you can find.
I hope you enjoyed this trek, I certainly did. İt is a beautiful one. I learn to smile at the vendors and say today I am only shooting pictures. There was one vendor that even told me "ok then 25 euros for taking a picture of my store". They can literally sell you the air you breathe.
STREET LIFE AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY