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Grand Bazaar - Essay Example

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Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey belongs to the collection of the world's most fascinating landmarks. That is the only place which combines magnificence of centuries old architecture with seething flows of people seeking for a bargain. So incredibly busy the place has always been.
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Download file to see previous pages Much desired because of its favorable location, the city has often been a reason for military tension. It has also changed several names, such as, for instance, Byzantium, Nova Roma and Constantinople. Another interesting fact is that it has been a capital of two powerful empires - the Byzantine and the Ottoman.
The old wooden Grand Bazaar was built by Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Constantinople, the capital of Byzantine Empire in 1453, and also named the city Istanbul. The Bazaar was getting bigger quickly. Presently it covers 30 hectares, and comprises about 4000 shops, forming a real labyrinth with its numerous arched passages. There are also banks, mosques, police stations, fountains, and restaurants. Twenty two gates lead into the Bazaar out of different streets (Historical places of Istanbul). Mark Twain depicted the place as follows: "We went to the grand Bazaar in Stamboul, of course, and I shall not describe it further than to say it is a monstrous hive of little shops--thousands, I should say--all under one roof, and cut up into innumerable little blocks by narrow streets which are arched overhead". For a tourist it must seem very difficult not to get lost, however, there is no need to panic: the street signs and tourist information signs are everywhere. The Bazaar also plays a role of unofficial financial centre: different currencies are exchanged by most shopkeepers.
At Grand Bazaar one f...
The vendors try to attract customers by telling history of the buildings construction, local legends, suggesting the most interesting places to visit and to take pictures of. Some European tourist might feel tired with the constant invitations. Travel guides claim it is better to say thank you and firmly make through crowd ahead, in case you are not interested. If one tries the free drinks and talks to the vendors it does not mean, though, he has to buy the goods. Bargaining is expected and often it is possible to lower the price about 20%. It is a good idea to learn the local price for the items you wish to buy, for once it is discovered you do not have a clue, you are likely to pay the so called tourist price.
Grand Bazaar seems all sparkling and glittering. Jewelry stalls with gold and silver, as well as displays of colourful lamps and lanterns make it like this. Flickr and other servers are full of the bright images of such stalls, uploaded by the thrilled travellers. It is believed that Grand Bazaar offers the biggest variety of jewelry in the world. Olivia Wells in her "Secrets of the Grand Bazaar" names best jewelry shops. She describes Kafkas as the most luxurious one, where it is possible to purchase true treasures without being afraid of swindle, and where the security and anonymity is guaranteed: "From the outside, Kafkas looks much like the hundred or so other jewelry stores lining the street, though I'm keenly aware of the suited men (alertly) loitering outside the closed door as Serkan pulls out a necklace of Kafkas's own design: forty-one carats of rose-cut diamonds scattered around the neck of its black velvet display form". She also finds the price attractive, claiming it to be the third of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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