Bazaar of Kashan
Bazaar of Kashan in Kashan
- ThemeHistory and Culture
- Duration2 hr(s)
Walking in the bustling elongated bazaar of Kashan dating back to the Qajar era. It includes various handicraft shops and many spectacular structures inside like Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh.
- Spring8:00-20:00 *
- Autumn9:00-18:00 *
* Best Time
Explore the Bazaar of Kashan
Bazaar of Kashan
Bazaars are important axes of cities in Iran, which have witnessed important political, cultural, economic, and religious events during the history. Traditional bazaars consist of shops, caravansaries, mosques, bathhouses, and water reservoirs. This highlights the role of bazaars as not only centers for business transactions, but also social hubs where you can feel a vibrant vitality from sunrise to the sunset. Bazaars were the main connection channels of the city connecting money, goods and people, but they were also locales for communicating, exchanging the news and making announcements orally. Therefore, bazaars were typically built at the most important areas of the cities.
The permanent roofed bazaars create an enjoyable atmosphere for the costumers, protecting them from the heat of the summer and cold of the winter. This admirable architecture is characterized by exquisite vaulted ceilings, attractive plaster and tile works in the main and subsidiary lines (rasteh). Saray (a single or two-story caravanserai with a central courtyard), timcheh (a roofed small saray), charsoo (crossroad) and hojreh (shops) are the other prominent elements of the bazaar.
The early signs of trading in Iran were found in Kashan, in Tape Sialk. The Grand bazaar of Kashan, has been a trade center for almost 800 years. It has long been praised for its unparalleled splendid architecture, containing around 40 historical monuments. The well-organized primary structure of the bazaar dates back to the 13th century, yet the Safavid era marked its prosperous period. Destroyed during the earthquake of 1778, the current structure has been rebuilt in Qajar era, remarkably during the rule of Fath Ali Shah. It stretches from the middle of Baba-afzal Street to Darvazeh Dowlat square, consisting of a main line (rasteh) with coppersmith, goldsmith, carpet and shoemaking shops which are still being used. Climatically compatible materials, such as mud brick and clay mortar, have been used in the building of this roofed structure. Some of the highlights of the bazaar are as follows:
- Amin-al Dowleh Timcheh
- Abdo al-Razaq Khan Bathhouse
- Sultani Madrasah (Imam Khomeyni Madrasah)
Amin-al Dowleh Timcheh
Probably the brightest section of the bazaar is Amin-al Dowleh timcheh, located at the Mianchal crossroad, commissioned by Farokh Khan Ghaffari Kashi, known as Amin al Dowleh, in 1868. This three-storied structure, with a high domed roof and elegant brick and tile works, represents the best of Iranian-Islamic architecture. Two wooden gates connect the timche to bazaar, one opens to an octagonal small hall, and the other one opens to an extensive rectangular hall from the southern side. Here, the vivid colors of Kashani carpets flattened outside the shops, accompanied by the blue color of ceiling tiles, create a dazzling picture.
Haj Mohmmad Hossein Malek al Tojar timche, Haj Seyed Hossein Sabbaq timche and Gomrok carvansarai are the other highlights of the bazaar. The Gomrok caravanserai, located on the northern part of the bazaar, was built by Aqa Sharif Fadai in the Safavid era. The caravanserai was called Gomrok (customs) in the Qajarid era since the customs office was established here. It is finely decorated with tile works depicting hunting scenes.
Abdo al-Razaq Khan Bathhouse
Walking inside the coppersmiths’ rasteh, you can see Abdo al-Razaq Khan Bathhouse (local residents call it Hammam-e Khan), the most alluring bathhouse in Kashan. Alike Ganjali khan hammam in Kerman, it was built on a stone plinth foundation. It is more interesting for its tile ornaments especially on the entrance than its other decorations.
Sultani Madrasah (Imam Khomeyni Madrasah)
The Sultani theological school, adjacent to the jewelers’ lane in the bazaar complex, is a remarkable building completed in 1814 by the architect Mohammad Shafie’. Take your course by the pine trees, stretching along the courtyard, and enjoy their shade cooled by the fountains and pools. About fifty student chambers are placed around this delightful garden, and two conference halls on the northern and southern sides. The chambers built in the eastern and western sides of the courtyard have been decorated by richly colored tiles (haft rang), with a transparent glazed tile technique dating back to Seljuk era. An octagonal chamber, with the massive dome structure on top, is located on the west, overlooking the courtyard. The still-functioning Sultani Madrasah of Kashan is modeled after Chahar Baagh (Chahar Bagh) and Sadr madrasahs in Isfahan.
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