Travel Photography – Istanbul Series 5:- Bazaar hunting

A visit to Istanbul

This is the fifth blog derived from a three-day visit to Istanbul in February 2012.  When (not if) you visit Istanbul, you must visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market in the Old City, – and do also spend some time in the poorer, non-tourist shopping precincts of the city, preferably on a Saturday when it is really busy.  Photographing these scenes and the people in them has to be discretely done which is difficult with a Canon 1DMkIII and Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens – hand-held with only available light.

The Grand Bazaar


You thought the Shopping Mall is a modern concept – think again!!  The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily. The grand bazaar began construction in 1455 and opened in 1461. It is well known for its jewellery, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewellery and the like.

Today, the grand bazaar houses two mosques, two hamams, four fountains, and multiple restaurants and cafes. The sprawling complex consists of 12 major buildings and has 22 doors.

The Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars in the city and is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.  The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice trade in Istanbul.  The structure was completed in 1660 and is an “L”-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms. The streets surrounding the market are also occupied by hundreds of small shops selling almost anything.

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Posted in 1 Photography 5 years, 11 months ago at 8:25 pm.

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