Coronavirus: Qazvin reopens historical bazaar as lockdown eases

May 1, 2020 - 18:2

TEHRAN – The historical bazaar of Sa’d-al Saltaneh, which is located in the city of Qazvin, west-central Iran, has recently been reopened as lockdown measures are relaxed in the country.

The 19th-century bazaar was reopened to the public on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

The country closed cultural heritage museums and historical sites in a preventive measure amid fears of coronavirus outbreak back in February.

The bazaar is located adjacent to a beautifully restored Qajar-era caravanserai of the same name. The marketplace sales exquisitely crafted wares such as traditional personal ornamentations, paintings, ceramics, carpets, and potteries across its long, vaulted passageways and arcades. It also houses various galleries, workshops as well as coffee shops, and restaurants, where visitors hangout.

Once the capital of the Persian Empire under Safavids from 1548-98, Qazvin is currently a major tourist destination with wonderfully restored historical sites, some quirky museums, and a handful of decent eating options. Famed for carpets and seedless grapes.

Walking along the narrow, labyrinthine alleys of a bazaar yields a unique opportunity to listen to the stories behind this Iranian heritage. 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.

People watching and even mingling with them in a bazaar 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.