Istanbul’s iconic Spice Bazaar receives facelift

Istanbul’s iconic Spice Bazaar receives facelift

Istanbul’s iconic Spice Bazaar receives facelift

A comprehensive restoration of Istanbul’s historic Spice Bazaar, located near the iconic Hagia Sophia Museum and Blue Mosque, has been completed. 

The Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, has been undergoing restoration since 2013. In a bid to not affect daily commercial activities at the bazaar, the restoration activities were held at night.

The bazaar, which was established in the 17th century, stocks loads of spices, herbs, honeycombs and nuts. It has adorned the bosom of Istanbul’s historic peninsula over the last five centuries, with its exotic smell that greets first-time visitors.

The opening ceremony was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 4.

“This historic peninsula encompassing the Spice Bazaar welcomes a lot more tourists than any other country. It is a great pleasure,” he said, adding that the restoration of the bazaar cost around 16 million Turkish liras ($3.75 million).

At the time of its establishment, thousands of spices from nations in the Far East, such as India, and Egypt were sold at the Spice Bazaar.

The bazaar has an “L shape” with two streets and more than 80 shops.

Istanbul also hosted an opening ceremony on May 4 for the Nusretiye Mosque in the Tophane district following its restoration.