$1.1m allocated to restore Ardebil historical bazaar

June 13, 2021 - 16:51

TEHRAN –A budget of 46 billion rials (about $1.1 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to restore the Seljuk-era (1037–1194) bazaar of Ardebil, which is situated in northwest Iran.

The project aims at restoring the vaulted passage of Zanjirlu to the closest original state, the provincial tourism chief has said.

Following the complete restoration of the passage, some 24 stalls and shops will be available for use, Nader Fallahi announced on Sunday.

The project is planned to be completed in a year and a half, the official added.

Earlier in May, Ardebil’s tourism chief Mohammadreza Shayeqi announced that a team of archaeologists and cultural heritage experts has conducted a minor excavation at Zanjirlu passage to determine the antiquity and condition of its basements and foundation.

Upon completion of the archaeological project, the bazaar is scheduled to undergo a full restoration, the official added.

The historical bazaar of Ardebil was once an important trade center during the Safavid era (1501-1736). At that time, Ardebil had a special prestige and enjoyed a remarkable political, social, and cultural status.

Inscribed on the National Heritage list in 1985, the bazaar was extensively restored during Qajar-era (1789–1925).

In the Iranian culture, bazaars have been traditional public spaces in the Iranian cities with great contributions to commercial activities in urban life meanwhile their extended activates can be traced to social, cultural, political, and religious roles.

People watching and even mingling with them in the bazaars is one of the best ways to take the pulse of the country. Bazaars have traditionally been major economic and social centers in any Iranian city.

Most mazes and passages offer certain commodities such as carpets, metalwork, toys, clothing, jewelry, and kitchen appliances, traditional spices, herbal remedies, and natural perfumes. One can also bump into colorful grocery stores, bookbinders, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, coppersmiths, tobacconists, tailors, flag sellers, broadcloth sellers, carpenters, shoemakers, and knife-makers.

Several divided carpet sections across the bazaar enable visitors to watch or buy hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs with different knot densities and other features. From another point of view, bazaars are also synonyms of foods, with their unmissable colorful stalls of vegetables, herbs, and spices. Yet, most of these ingredients might be mysterious to a foreign eye.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, whose altitude averages 3,000 meters above sea level, Ardebil is well-known for having lush natural beauties, hospitable people, and its silk and carpet trade tradition. The province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardabil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.

ABU/MG

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