The largest roofed bazaar in the world, Tabriz Historic Bazaar is one of the must-visits of Tabriz for any traveler who looks for a historic complex which is still a very lively and popular place. Often regarded as one of the most important trade centers of the Silk Road and the Middle East, Tabriz Historic Bazaar is a UNESCO heritage site due to its historical, cultural and architectural value. Interested to learn more about this amazing historical market? Read on.
Why Should any Tabriz Traveler Visit this Bazaar?
Not only is Tabriz Historic Bazaar an architectural masterpiece, but it also displays a live and real picture of local culture to any visitor. Strolling its labyrinthine mazes is an unforgettable experience since each passageway of this roofed market – known as Rasteh in Farsi – is used as a venue to sell specific goods. Not to mention that this historic bazaar contains 20 Passageways! Almost 40 different types of goods are sold in the shops of Tabriz Grand Bazaar every day. In fact, it’s the best place for buying souvenirs in Tabriz due to the wide range of options that you can choose from.
History of Tabriz Grand Bazaar
Like any other historical complex, Tabriz Historic Bazaar bears many stories to be told. It was regarded as the main trade center of Iran during the 13th century when Tabriz was the capital of the country during Safavid era. It’s not surprising that this bazaar was a very prominent commercial center since Tabriz was located in a strategic spot along the famous Silk Road. Although Tabriz lost the status of being the capital city of Iran in 16th century, the grand bazaar of Tabriz never lost its importance and economical value.
Sections of Tabriz Bazaar Complex
Tabriz Historic Bazaar, like any other Persian Bazaar contains several chambers that are called “Hojreh” in Farsi. Interestingly, the grand bazaar of Tabriz features 6500 chambers. Also, you can find 35 caravansaries here which are referred to as Sara and were used as a place for caravans who brought goods to sell in the bazaar during the old times.
If you choose to visit this bazaar with a knowledgeable guide, you will be astonished by the stories that lay behind each chamber of this magnificent place. It contains 25 enclosed areas called Timcheh which are used as venues for selling goods with more heavy weighs. Amir Timcheh, Mozaffariyeh Timcheh, Haji Mohammad Gholi Timcheh and Ghand Forooshan Timcheh are some of the most famous ones.
Exploring each corridor and chamber of this grand bazaar is a splendid experience that you must not miss. Each section is unique and has a different feel. Walk along its alleys and explore!
What Makes It an Outstanding Complex?
Visiting bazaars is an integral part of every traveler’s trip to Iran. But let’s have a look at what makes Tabriz historic bazaar different from other magnificent roofed markets of Iran (and even the whole Middle East).
This historic bazaar, which is still regarded as one of the main trade centers of Tabriz despite the wide popularity of modern shopping malls, has had social, political and economic functions throughout history. In other words, not only it serves as the main spot for selling and buying goods in Tabriz, but it has also worked as a place for social gathering in critical moments of Iran’s history. It features several mosques and religious schools that used to play an important role in educating people in the old times.
Even today, people watching in this large trade center can give you a good idea about the lifestyle of people of Tabriz. No matter young or old, male or female, locals from all social classes and economic backgrounds come to Tabriz historic bazaar to find goods their need or to simply spend their free time in a lively place.
Bring on your camera and capture the everyday life of locals in this bazaar.
It’s interesting to know the huge Tabriz historic bazaar contains several caravanserais. Of course caravanserais made up for an important element of all Iranian bazaars. In the old times, traders used to bring their goods carrying by horses or camels to the bazaars. Then they would leave their goods in the place called caravanserai to take rest before start bargaining with other traders. So the social and economic value of caravanserais can be well understood. The architectural characteristics of these caravanserais served as breathing windows for the great complex. They contained courtyards, pools and water reservoirs that helped provide fresh air for the chambers and passageways of the bazaar. Interestingly, Tabriz historic bazaar contains several caravanserais which are all worth a visit. The great Caravanserai of Amir, Caravanserai of Haj Seyyed Hossein Kohneh and Caravanserai of Haj Mirza Mohammad are some of the most famous ones.
As explained earlier, bazaars used to have several social functions besides being trade centers. In the past, when baths had not become an element of households, people of Iran – and other countries in the Middle East – would use public baths known as Hammam or Garmabeh which were mostly located in grand bazaars. Tabriz historic bazaar, as the largest bazaar of the Middle East, contains several hammams such as Hammam-e-Khan, Hammam-e-Ghazi-Hammam-e-Ferdowsi and Hammam-e-Mirza Mahdi. These public baths have interesting architectural characteristics that reveal the thoughtfulness of architects of the old times. Not to mention that Hammams used to be regarded as popular places for socializing and entertaining! People would gather in these baths, wash themselves, receive massages, chat with each other and enjoy cool sherbets for hours.
What Else to Expect
No one will ever get bored in the historic bazaar of Tabriz! Its architecture is merely what you have traveled to Iran to see! Its shops are full of eye-catching goods such as crystals glassware. As buying crystals, kitchenware and handmade carpets are the most exciting parts of dowry buying for Iranians, expect to see a lot of bride-to-be ladies in this sections of Tabriz historic bazaar.
Interested to Visit Tabriz Historic Bazaar?
If exploring each corner and chamber of the largest historic bazaar in the whole world sounds exciting to you, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on our tour packages and itineraries. Here at Land of Turquoise Domes, we do our best to make your trip to Iran an unforgettable memory.