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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Bezesteni Market, Thessaloniki

Bezesteni Market - Thessaloniki

Bezesteni Market, Thessaloniki

The Bezesteni Markets were built during the reign of Sultan Murad II (1455 – 1459), making them the leading Ottoman marketplace in Thessaloniki. The antique markets also represent an essential reminder of the Ottoman history of the region. Bezesteni was an enclosed and permanently guarded market of precious goods. The stone and masonry built Bezesteni has a square construction with six lead-covered domes. With an entrance on every side, it housed 69 shops inside and 44 shops with exposure to the outside. Today it operates as it did 500 years ago selling textiles and jewelry, making it one of the oldest continuously used market structures.

This multi-colored market is a reminder of the vibrant and thriving hub of Turkish Ottoman shopping activity 500-year-old ago. The most precious merchandise was kept in cabinets, and only clothes were hung in long rows, with a striking effect. A client could sit in front of the dealer, talk with him and drink a tea or a Turkish coffee.

The building’s architecture is typical of the 15th-century Ottoman-style, and the construction of this market was part of an initiative to stimulate economic prosperity. Its name is adapted from the Persian word bezestan, derived from bez (“cloth”), and means “bazaar of the cloth sellers.”  It is located near Bey Hamam, also called the “Baths of Paradise,” which is a Turkish bathhouse constructed in 1444 by Sultan Murad II.

Did you know?

At the shoe market, there were shoes of many different colors because Ottoman laws prescribed yellow shoes for Muslims, blue for Greek Orthodox, black for Jews, and red for Armenians.

Bezesteni Market

  • Name:            Bezesteni Market
  • City:               Thessaloniki
  • Country:        Greece
  • Established:   1444
  • Type:             Historical Site Museum
  • Location:       Egnatia Street in Thessaloniki, east of Panagia Chalkeon.

A Tour of the Museums in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki Historical Sites

Greek Proverbs and Quotes

A Tour of Greek Museums and Historic Sites

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“A nation devoid of art and artists cannot have a full existence.
– Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

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Photo Credit: JOM

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