Exploring the Spices Market section

About the Market Quarte

Trading and commerce were always important for Istanbul, a city located between the two continents of Europe and Asia. This is very clear in the narrow streets and lanes of the Grand Bazaar and Galatia Bridge in Istanbul. The market section of the city is usually added to any tour to Istanbul.

Even between the larger shops and stores, there are many "hans" where they practice many interesting handcrafts. The Grand Bazaar is the heart of all these commercial activities in Istanbul. The Spices Bazaar is actually as colorful but it is smaller than the Grand Bazaar that has become a major element in any Turkey vacation package

The narrow lanes in and around the Spices Bazaar gives its guests a sense of old Istanbul. From here many transportation means; taxies, trams, and buses take passengers.

Many shoppers move around focusing on many good and sometimes they rest for a tea or a coffee in one of the many cafes of spread all over the markets.

In a rather strange position, rises the New Mosque near the Spices Bazaar with its many domes and the Rustom Mosque beside it making a visit quite enjoyable. The market section of Istanbul has a marvelous collection of Islamic monuments that tourists like to explore during their vacation in Turkey.

The New Mosque

Located at the Southern end of the Galatia Bridge, the New Mosque is one of the most prominent mosques of Istanbul. It was built in the period when a few Women from the Ottoman Harem became powerful enough to dictate the policies to the Sultans. The new Mosque is visited by a number of tourists everyday who spend their holidays in Istanbul.

The construction work of the mosque was started in 1597 by Safeya, the mother of Sultan Mohamed III. However, the building was stopped when the Sultan died because his mother lost her position and influence.

The mosque was actually completed in 1663 by Turhan Hatice, the mother of Sultan Mohamed VI, who took up the project.

Although the mosque was built during the classical style of Ottoman architecture, it shows many features of earlier styles of imperial building. This includes a monumental courtyard, a school, a bath, and a hospital.

The turquoise, blue, and white colored tiles decorating the mosque were brought from Iznik and they date back to the mid 17th century. The more remarkable are the tiled lunettes and Quranic verses ornamenting the porch between the courtyard and the prayer hall. The rich decoration of the mosque attracts many travelers to visit it as an interesting section of their Turkey private tours.

At the far left corner in the upper gallery, there is the Lodge of the Sultan and it is connected to his personal suits of rooms. A visit to the New Mosque can always be interesting while tourists are on their Turkey tours.

The Spices Bazaar

This cavernous market was actually established in the 17th century as a continuation of the New Mosque Complex. The revenues of the market used to help in covering the costs of the services provided to the community through the mosque.

Some locals refer to the Spices Market as the Egyptian Market as it was built by the money paid as duty on Egyptian imports. In English the market is always titled the Spices Bazaar that is now included in any Turkey private tours.

Since Medieval times, spices were an important and expensive component of the Turkish cooking and therefore they have become the main product being sold in the market.

The Market specified in selling oriental products taking advantage of the location of Istanbul in the trading rout between Asia, were most spices are brought, and Europe.

Today, the market sells many products that include the caviar and expensive Iranian goods. There are also electric gadgets, toys, and clothes.

The square between the two arms of the L Shaped Spices Bazaar are usually full of commercial activities, cafes, and some shops selling plants and pets. A visit to the Spices Market is a vital component of any escorted Turkey Tours.

Rustom Pasha Mosque

Raised above the many shops and stores of the Spices Bazaar, the Rustom Pasha Mosque was built by the famous Ottoman architect, Sinan Pasha, in 1561 under the orders of Rustom Pasha, the son in law of the Grand Vizier of Sultan Suleiman.

The extensive richness of the decorations of the mosque gives an indication of the amount of money and wealth that Rustom Pasha was able to take.

Most of the walls are covered with Iznik tiles of the highest quality. The four piers have tiles with the same colors and design, but the rest of the walls have different other styles.

Some of the finest Turkish tiles can be found in the mosque making the location where guests can find a collection of the most fabulous tiles in Turkey. Many travelers enjoying their trips in Turkey would visit such mosques to view the great decorations and interior designs.

The Prince's Mosque

The mosque was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, in the memory of his son, Prince Mohamed, who died at the age of 21.

It was designed and built by the famous Sinan Pasha as his first imperial commissioned structure and the construction work of the mosque was completed in 1548.

Sinan used a wonderful bright decoration style in his design of this mosque that he soon left in favor of the classical architectures afterwards.

The Prince's Mosque is featured with a marvelous porticoed inner courtyard, while the rest of the structures that were added to the mosques complex like the Madrasa were situated in an outer courtyard.

The interior design of the mosque was irregular and rather experimental as it is symmetrical with four semi domes on all sides.

The three tombs enclosed in the mosque belong to Prince Mohamed, Rustom Pasha and Ibrahim Pasha, the Viziers of the Sultan. These tombs are considered to be among the finest in Turkey and they have marvelous tile decorations with colored Iznik tiles and original decorated glass. Many private Turkey tours include a visit to the Islamic monuments in the Bazaar section of Istanbul.

On Fridays, one may notice that many women moving around another tomb in the Complex of the mosque. This tomb belongs to Helvaci Baba, an Islamic saint that was said that he miraculously cures crippled children, solver fertility children, and finds husbands and houses for women.

Kalenderhane Mosque

Situated on the location where a Roman Bath once stood, sitting on the left of the Valens Aqueduct, this mosque was actually a byzantine Church. Some one day and half day tours in Istanbul would include a visit to the Islamic monuments of the city.

It was built and then reconstructed many times in the period between the 6th and the 12th centuries. This church was converted into a mosque shortly after the Moslems conquered Istanbul in 1453.

The mosque was named after the Kalender dervishes brotherhood which used the church as their headquarter for a long time after the Moslem conquest.

The design of the building is the traditional style of the Byzantine Churches at the time. Some of the Christian decorations have remained in the mosque of today. This includes the entrance hall with its marble works and fragments of frescoes.