The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Trade has been critical in a city linking the continents of Asia and Europe. Nowhere is this more evident than in warren of streets lying between the Grand Bazaar and Galata bridge.
Everywhere, goods tumble out of shops onto the pavement. Look through any of the archways in between shops, and you will discover courtyards or Hans containing feverishly industrious workshops. With its seemingly limitless range of goods, the complex Grand Bazaar is at the center of all this commercial activity. The Egyptians Bazaar is equally colorful but smaller and more manageable.
Up on the hill, next to the university, is Suleymaniye Mosque, a glorious expression of 16th-century Ottoman culture. It is just one of the numerous beautiful mosques in this area.
The narrow streets around the Egyptian Bazaar encapsulate the spirit of old Istanbul. From here, buses, taxis, and trams head off across the Galata Bridge and into the interior of the city. The blast of ships’ horns signals the departure of ferries from Eminonu to Asian Istanbul. It is the quarter’s shops and markets, though, that are the focus of attention for the eager shoppers who crowd the Egyptian Bazaar and the streets around it. These shoppers are sometimes breaking for a leisurely tea beneath the trees in its courtyard. Across the way, and entirely aloof from the bustle, rise the domes of the New Mosque. On one of the commercial alleyways that radiate out from the mosque, a modest doorway leap upstairs to the terrace of the serene, tile-covered Rustem Pasa Mosque.