Government, private sector collaboration needed to protect bazaar of Isfahan

January 22, 2023 - 21:0

TEHRAN – In order to protect the labyrinthine Bazaar of Isfahan, one of the fascinating traditional marketplaces in central Iran, the government and private sector need to work together, the director of the historical complex has said.

As one of the largest cultural and historical complexes in Iran and even in the world, this historical bazaar is of great importance, which makes it imperative that both the government and private sector participate in protecting it, Hamid Mohammadnejad explained on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, a part of the roof of this historical bazaar has been damaged by recent heavy rains and snow,” he mentioned.

But with the efforts of the related organizations such as the municipality and cultural heritage department, it is being restored by experienced restorers under the supervision of the cultural heritage experts, he added.

However, keeping this historical complex protected will require the cooperation of all related organizations, he mentioned.

Locally known as Bazaar-e Bozorg, the Bazaar of Isfahan links the UNESCO-registered Imam Square (originally known as Meydan-e Naqsh-e Jahan) with the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan. Its charms may never end for enthusiasts of Persian culture seeing numerous craftspeople boasting skills in the mazing arcades producing handicrafts with copper, wood, ceramics, and wool.

Sometimes called “a city within another”, the bazaar is a maze of lanes, madrasas, caravanserais, and timchehs (domed halls or arcaded centers of a single trade, such as carpet vendors or coppersmiths). It can be entered at dozens of points, but the main entrance is via the Qeysarieh Portal at the northern end of Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

At its busiest in the mornings, the bazaar’s arched passageways are topped by a series of small perforated domes, each spilling shafts of light onto the commerce below. While the oldest parts of the bazaar (those around the mosque) are more than a thousand years old, most of what can be seen today were built during Shah Abbas’ ambitious expansions of the early 1600s.


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