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Arasta Bazaar Istanbul

Arasta Bazaar Istanbul
The Arasta Bazaar complex was built at the same time as the Blue Mosque and the rents paid there went to the upkeep of the mosque.

The bazaar opens every day and the word “Arasta” means a bazaar where handicrafts are sold; it has over 70 shops and is located directly behind the Blue Mosque in the old city centre.

Also known as the Sipahi Bazaar or Carsisi as the word Sipahi is the name of an Ottoman Cavalry Corps and supplied them with their needs during the Ottoman period. The bazaar was rebuilt on Byzantine ruins on a narrow street that has many lovely shops on both sides selling carpets, kilims, travel souvenirs, Iznik tiles, scarves etc. From excavations carried out in the 1930s mosaics were found confirming the area had once been a Byzantine Palace complex. After a fire in 1912 the bazaar lay in ruins for many years, became occupied by slum residents and in the 1980s was restored into shops and then opened as a bazaar you see today. 

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