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The Hans of the Grand Bazaar Istanbul

The Hans of the Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Behind the Grand Bazaar ’s winding back streets are hans that in the past accommodated the travelling merchants, their wares and animals. As most hans had two-storeys the merchant and his goods would stay on the upper storey whilst the animals were stabled below and the courtyard out front was where the trading would be carried out.

Finding the Hans of Grand Bazaar

If you leave the bazaar at the Mahmutpaşa Gate leading towards the Spice Market you will see many of the oldest hans in the city.

Buyuk Valide Han

At the end of Tarakçılar Caddesi or Street is
the very large Büyük Valide Han, built in 1651 by Sultan Murad IV’s formidable mother, Kösem Valide Sultan, and in its heyday would accommodate 3,000 travelling merchants.

This was also where one of the first 16th century printing presses was used and inside the hans centre is a Shiite mosque. The three courtyards here were once full of weaving machines but the use of these was banned in 2007 and since then the courtyards have become rather rundown.

Foreigners (Sair) Han

The third courtyard was once known as the Foreigners (Sair) Han as it was mainly used by Persians and is now called the Deaf (Sağir) Han. The views from the han are outstanding as you can see the Bosphorus , Golden Horn and most of the Old City and deep inside there are the remains of a Byzantine chapel. Adjacent to the han is the Byzantine Tower of Eirene which unfortunately was extensively damaged during an earthquake in 1926.

Kucuk Yeni (Small New) Han

The Küçük Yeni (Small New) Han can be found on Mahmutpaşa Yokuşu and was built in the 18th century with the mosque on the top and has bird houses built onto the walls.

Buyuk Yeni (Big New) Han

Close by on Çarkçılar Sokak is the Büyük Yeni (Big New) Han built from brick and stone in 1764 and remains much the same as it was in the Byzantine era.

Kurkcu (Furriers) Han

Directly opposite is the Kürkçü (Furriers) Han believed to date from the 15th century and built by Sultan Mehmed II for Mahmud Paşa his Grand Vizier.
 

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