A bazaar, originating from the Persian word bāzār, is an enclosed marketplace or a street where various goods are sold. Having a significant place over the historic Silk Road, Iran has some of the oldest bazaars in the world. Here is a compilation of the traditional bazaars with beautiful ceilings around Iran.
Kashan Traditional Bazaar
The construction of the Kashan Bazaar probably took place in the Seljuk era (circa 1000s and late 12th century), and there were some renovations during the Safavid period. The most famous part of the bazaar is the Timche-ye Amin od-Dowleh Plaza with a splendid dome. The bazaar complex comprises several mosques, tombs, caravanserais, arcades, and water reservoirs. The central row is around three kilometers long, and there are 120 shops inside the complex.
The Tehran Bazaar consists of several corridors exceeding 10 kilometers, each specializing in different types of goods. Although the exact construction date of the bazaar is uncertain, researchers state that a part of the bazaar predates the Safavid Empire ruled between 1501 and 1736. Nevertheless, a large portion of the bazaar was rebuilt or constructed within the last two centuries.
Grand Bazaar of Tabriz
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Grand Bazaar of Tabriz is the largest covered bazaar in the world and also one of the oldest in the Middle East. Being an important meeting point over the Silk Road, the Bazaar of Tabriz was already a thriving marketplace during the 12th century. Moreover, the Venetian travel writer Marco Polo claimed to have passed through the bazaar around 1275 and described it as one of the richest trading centers in the world. Covering over one square kilometer area, the brick complex consists of 20 rows, 5,500 cells, 35 houses, schools, baths, mosques, and caravanserais.
Bazaar of Shahrud
The Bazar of Shahrud dates from the Qajar Period which ruled between 1789 and 1925. The bazaar has an architecture adapted to the desert climate. It involves over 250 shops distributed to two main streets namely the “Bazaar Street” and “Anarchy Bazaar.”
Bazaar of Isfahan
The Bazaar of Isfahan is among the oldest bazaars in Iran, originally dating from the 11th century, during the Seljuk period. However, the original structure could not survive until today, and the present bazaar dates from 1620. The bazaar consists of a vaulted two-kilometer street, making it the longest roofed market in the world.