World Bulletin / News Desk
The historical "Spice Bazaar" (Misir Carsisi) in Istanbul, which is a popular tourist attraction that offers a wide range of products such as herbs, spices and plants, will go under a restoration process, Anadolu news agency said.
The restoration of the 350-year-old marketplace will start once the survey and restitution projects are approved by the relevant cultural protection council, officials said on Friday.
Within the scope of the restoration process, the existing window frames of the bazaar will be changed with wooden frames, display windows of the shops will be re-arranged, facade of the building will be cleaned, original iron doors will be repaired and floors will be covered with stones.
The "Spice Bazaar" had two big fires in history, one in 1691 and the other in 1940. The bazaar almost burnt down totally in the great fire of January 1691. After the second disaster in 1940, the historical marketplace was under restoration for 3 years. Experts say the bazaar lost its unique layout during that period.
Located just behind the Yeni Mosque in Eminonu, the "Spice Bazaar" was built in 1660 by architect Kazım Aga at the behest of Sultan Turhan.
It gains its Turkish name, "Misir Carsisi" (Egyptian Bazaar), from the fact that it once received income from taxes levied on Egypt. The English name hails from the days when the Bazaar specialized in the sale of herbs and spices, medicinal plants, and drugs.
While the color and aroma pervading the covered hallway may since have faded to some extent, a small number of shops do still stock the traditional products. In addition, one can find sacks and shelves groaning with dried fruits and nuts, teas and infusions, oils and essences, sweetmeats, honeycombs and aphrodisiacs.
The "Spice Bazaar" is open daily, except Sundays and public holidays.