One of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture is the construction of covered markets. Covered markets, which are a permanent market in contrast to seasonal and local markets, are visible throughout Iran and in large and small cities. These markets are still places for trading and are thriving. But the largest covered and indoor market in the world, which was one of the main centers of trade in the Silk Road and is registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz, and we are going to introduce this amazing market in this Marcopolo article. So stay with us!!
History of Tabriz Bazaar
The exact time of construction of this market is not known. But according to historical evidences, its original structure is at least a thousand years old. This is because since the 10th century AD to the Qajar period, the name and description of this market have been mentioned in the notes of many tourists.
Among these historical tourists, we come across familiar names such as Marco Polo, Gaspar Drewville, Jean Chardin, Eugene Flandin, Ibn Battuta, Yaqut al-Hamawi, Hamdollah Mostofi, and Moghaddasi.
But three hundred years ago, an earthquake struck Tabriz, damaging many of the city’s historical buildings, including much of the market. At that time, the ruler of Tabriz was Najaf Gholi Khan Donbali, who was a close friend of Nader Shah Afshar. Najaf Gholi Khan rebuilt the Tabriz Grand Bazaar.
Features of Tabriz Bazaar
Tabriz Bazaar has an area of one square kilometer. The bazaar has various sections such as corridors, Timchehs, mosques, and caravanserais. Tabriz Bazaar was registered in the National Heritage List of Iran in 1975 and in 2010 as the largest covered market in the world in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tabriz Bazaar is a unique example in the field of architecture of Qajar-style covered markets. In this type of market, there are spaces called “Timcheh”. Timchehs, with domed and brickwork roofs, have different sections and uses:
- Timcheh Basement: A place to store goods.
- Ground floor: The main part of Timcheh, the place of trading.
- Upstairs: A place designed for resting
Tabriz Bazaar has 25 Timchehs with different names.
Tabriz Bazaar location
The location of Tabriz Bazaar can be viewed from two perspectives; One in terms of its location in the city and the other one in the Silk Road. Tabriz Grand Bazaar is located right in the central core and the heart of Tabriz city. In terms of region, Tabriz has been at the crossroads of the Silk Road in the past, and it was a thriving market has been a good place for commercial caravans to enter from various Asian, African, and European countries.
Thus, Tabriz Bazaar was one of the vital vessels of trade in Iran and the world in different historical periods.
I suggest not to miss visiting this valuable world heritage site during your trip to Tabriz and enjoy the beauties of this fascinating work by walking in its corridors, visiting the shops and the goods that are offered in them.