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Tuesday, 25-Apr-2006 02:46 Email | Share | Bookmark
Tabriz 's grand bazaar

Mozaffari Bazaar-Carpets
Yeralma_ potato&egg
Traditional azerbaijani Kebab-Bonab
Taking an etymological look at the word "bazaar", one would be surprised at the varied facts about its origin.
The first bazaar was evidently established while several people gathered to exchange their surplus goods. In other words, a bazaar is a place for the exchange of merchandise, foodstuffs and services between two or more people.
Yet, bazaar has an expanded definition. It is a network of bargains between salespeople and customers. To put it in a nutshell, a bazaar can be clearly defined as the organized concentration of a current of exchanges by an assembly of salesmen and customers at a certain venue, fostering contacts to exchange goods and services.
Presently, the word bazaar has grown to cover any place of exchange. But for a Persian reader, the word connotes a long narrow roofed labyrinth, featured by shops and caravansaries on both sides.

A review of Iran's economic and social history indicates that the bazaar has always been a pillar of civic foundations. No town could survive without a bazaar--whether big or small. Some have allegorically described bazaar as the economic heartbeat of the Iranian cities.
The ancient Iranian bazaars have gradually evolved into an encompassing section of the town. A bazaar was not a secluded section of the town, but home to a wide spectrum of goods and services, sought by the townspeople.
As the bazaar shops fell short of meeting the people's needs for goods and services, several arcades, specialized outlets and service. Provides were established to creat a bazaar consisting of a central emporium surrounded by several smaller bazaars and arcades.
Nearby the bazaars, there were always other public services such as baths, schools, mosques, Saqqa Khanehs (traditional drinking place), Zoor Khanehs (gymnasium for wrestling of wrestling and athletics typical of the Greek palaestra), teahouse, and others.
This types of complex met the people's religious, social, economic and cultural needs.
Among important and major emporiums are the traditional bazaars of Vakil in Shiraz, Qeisariye in Isfahan, and those of Yazd and Kerman.

Tabriz Bazaar
Tourists have described Tabriz as a city with beautiful bazaars. Tabriz's bazaar is comparably one of the greatest and most beautiful bazaars of Iran, characterized by its unique architectural style, numerous arcades, shops and magnificent mosques.
Tabriz's bazaar is as old as the city itself. As Tabriz was located en route the trade caravans arriving from the east and west, its bazaar was the focal point for the exchange of Asian and European goods.
With the expansion of Tabriz, its bazaar has grown so beautifully that it won the plaudit of many visiting foreign tourists. Moroccan tourist Ebn Batute, who visited Tabriz in the early years of the 14th century AD, praised the Tabriz bazaar as a developed market filled with goods, and one of the best in the world.
"... Upon arrival in Tabriz, we approached a great bazaar named Qazan. It was the best bazaar I had ever seen in the world... Each of the guilds and professions had a special corner in the bazaar," he wrote in his travelogue.
The famous bazaars of the Tabriz emporium were Amir bazaar, the shoemakers' bazaar, foreign exchange bazaar, Raste bazaar, Naminiduz bazaar, weavers' bazaar, cotton-carders' bazaar, Qezbas bazaar. and saddlers' bazaar.
The arcades were often the centers of wholesale business deals and distributions. The most important of which Hajj rasoul arcades was Rasoul, opened to the glass blowers' bazaar and to Tarbiyat Street.Along with its trade significance, the Tabriz bazaar is one of the masterpieces of the Iranian architecture, decorated with magnificent stuccos and high arched roofs.

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