Historic bazaar of Tabriz to be equipped with advanced smoke detectors

June 20, 2020 - 0:1

TEHRAN – The UNESCO-registered bazaar of Tabriz will be equipped with advanced smoke detectors to ensure the safety of the centuries-old marketplace situated in Iran’s East Azarbaijan province, IRNA quoted Tabriz Fire Department official Alireza Zebardast as saying on Tuesday. 

Last year, a fire broke out in the vaulted labyrinthine bazaar, which caused about 200 billion rials ($1.33 million) damage to the UNESCO-registered site. Firefighters managed to put out the blaze, which took six hours to extinguish.

While the bazaar has seen several fires over the past years due to the disregard of safety measures, provincial tourism chief Morteza Abdar said last year that this time fire inflicted the least damage to the bazaar due to regular restoration work on the marketplace over the past few years.

Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010 and was mentioned by Marco Polo when he traveled the Silk Road in the Middle Ages.

A jumble of interconnected covered passages that stretches for about 5 km, the bazaar has been a melting pot of cultural exchange since antiquity. It 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. Its history dates back to over a millennium, however, the majority of fine brick vaults that capture most visitor’s eyes date from the 15th century.

Tabriz became the capital of the Mongol Il-Khan Mahmud Gazan (1295–1304) and his successor. Timur (Tamerlane), a Turkic conqueror, took it in 1392. Some decades later the Kara Koyunlu Turkmen made it their capital, it was when the famous Blue Mosque was built in Tabriz.

The ancient city retained its administrative status under the Safavid dynasty until 1548 when Shah Tahmasp I relocated his capital westward to Qazvin.
During the next two centuries, Tabriz changed hands several times between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, the city was temporarily occupied by Turkish and then Soviet troops.

ABU/AFM
 

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