Spicy! The Mısır Çarşısı, Spice Bazaar in Istanbul

Part of my exploration of old Istanbul took me to the Mısır Çarşısı spice bazaar, close to the Golden Horn on the north side of the old city. I didn’t know what it was as I was just wandering around and saw a lot of foot traffic. I walked through the southern entrance and was immediately assaulted by the pungent aromas emanating from the vendors stalls. The Market was crowded, and I took the first shot from the steps at the southern entrance.

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

There is stall after stall of the most amazing and exotic spices, sweetmeats, teas and, well, stuff! The smell is incredible, not unpleasant, just exotic. Curry, saffron, pepper, coriander and a lot of other things I can’t identify.

Spices, Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

The Spice Bazaar first opened in 1660. I think it has been in continuous operation ever since. Some of the stalls are becoming more conventional merchants selling souvenirs and more prosaic goods, which is a bit of a shame.

It’s amazing what walking through an ancient city like Istanbul can turn up. Wandering through this bazaar, you can feel the history and wonder at the generations of spice merchants who have peddled their wares here.

More to come…..


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  1. Beautiful pictures! I’m writing a blog post about the FDA’s new war on spices and I’d love to use your photo in my post. I will link to your post here either way. Thank you.


  1. Move Away From That Spice: the FDA Spice Study Says it Could Kill You - […] mind that spice merchants have been selling this stuff since before time began. This guy took pictures of a…

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