Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex: A Melting Pot of Tradition, Trade, Culture
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Tabriz historic bazaar complex, a labyrinth of interconnected covered passages that adds up to about 5 kms, has been a melting pot of cultural exchange since antiquity and once a hot spot on the ancient Silk Road.
The bazaar, which has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, embraces countless shops, over 20 caravanserais and inns, some 20 vast domed halls, bathhouses, and mosques, as well as other brick structures and enclosed spaces for different functions.
Tabriz is the capital of northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.
The history of the Tabriz bazaar dates back to over a millennium ago, however majority of fine brick vaults that capture most visitor’s eyes date from the 15th century.
Most mazes and passages offer certain commodities such as carpets, metalwork, toys, clothing, jewelry, and kitchen appliances, traditional spices, herbal remedies and natural perfumes.
One can also bump into colorful grocery stores, bookbinders, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, coppersmiths, tobacconists, tailors, flag sellers, broadcloth sellers, carpenters, shoemakers, and knife-makers.
There are several divided carpet sections across the bazaar that enable visitors to watch or buy hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs with different knot density and other features.
The bazaar was also well-known and prosperous during the 13th century when Tabriz became the capital of the Safavid Dynasty (1501–1736).
The city lost its status as capital in the 16th century, but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the 18th century, with the expansion of Ottoman power. It is one of the most complete examples of the traditional commercial and cultural system of Iran.
By the way, the city distanced its heyday as the capital was transferred eastward to Qazvin in the 16th century, but the bazaar remained vital as a commercial hub more or less.
Source: Tehran Times