Introduction of Kashan Bazaar
Kashan is a city full of natural and historical attractions. Kashan Bazaar is also one of these valuable sights, where has been one of the most magnificent and prosperous bazaars in Persia by organizing architectural spaces and being placed next to ancient trade routes. In Kashan Bazaar, you can enjoy observing worldwide famous, colourful, and glazed carpets. In addition to visiting the complex, do not forget to visit the shopping inside the ancient bazaar because you can find artistic and practical traditional and old souvenirs there.
History of Kashan Bazaar
Kashan Bazaar has been significant and influential in the past due to the city’s location on the caravans trading route. Although the history of the bazaar’s construction is attributed to the Buyid dynasty, some traces have been found since the Aq Qoyunlu. During the reign of Shah Abbas Safavid, the bazaar expanded a lot as more sections were added during the Zandieh and then Qajar eras. The earthquake of 1750 led to a part of the bazaar’s destruction, and another part was destroyed because of the Pahlavi Period city renovation. Throughout the Safavid era, Shah Abbas chose the bazaar’s centre for various celebrations and gatherings. Sir Anthoney Shirley, an ambassador who came to Kashan on a trip with Shah Abbas Safavid, was very shocked by the unparalleled celebration and lighting that was arranged for the king in the spectacular bazaar of Kashan, and he wrote about it in his travelogue. Also, the French tourist Tavernier stated about Kashan Bazaar: “Kashan Bazaar is so wonderful, with well-covered rooms, large and comfortable caravanserais. “Especially one of them, where is located near the government house garden, is excellent and attractive.”
Architecture of Kashan Bazaar
Kashan Bazaar is extensive and covers from nearby Kamal al-Molk Square to Darvazeh Dolat Square, including covered passages that reach 3 km in length. These passages contain Cheshmei arches and domes in the middle of which circular skylights reflect light into the bazaar. The materials used in the Kashan bazaar are brick, raw clay with mud mortar. Moreover, the embellishments in each part vary due to the year of construction and the value of the building.
Kashan Bazaar Segmentation
Some parts are dedicated to certain guilds that you can visit by passing through the bazaar includes of Saray-e Khan, where the carpet sellers are, the blacksmiths’ bazaar, the dyers’ bazaar, Qeyssarieh that was once a goldsmith and needlework bazaar, and Timcheh. The coppersmith bazaar, which had not lost its global importance and reputation until the first half of the present century, has brought many people attraction. According to Professor Edward Browne, the Kashan coppersmith bazaar is one of the most striking landmarks in the Orient besides the constant hammers sound hitting the copper and furnaces in which the copper turns red.
Kashan Bazaar, in addition to its glorious rows, contains many historical monuments, such as Mir Emad Square Mosque, Kafshdouz-ha Mosque, Balabaz Mosque, Timcheh Seyed Agha, Timcheh Sabbagh, Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh, Tamghachi Mosque ( Mohrsaz-ha), Hossayniah Surakh Risman, Mir Panj Caravanserai, No Caravanserai, Boroujerdi Caravanserai, Qomi-ha Caravanserai, and Zarkesh-ha Caravanserai.
In the past, merchants who travel from city to city for business rested in caravanserais in each city’s bazaar. Kashan traditional bazaar also holds several caravanserais, including Ghaffarpour caravanserai, Boroujerdi, Zoghaliha, and Naraghiha. Among the many caravanserais available in Kashan Bazaar, Zoghaliha Caravanserai, Mir Panj Caravanserai, and No Caravanserai are more prominent and popular. Mir Panj Caravanserai dates back to the Safavid period, and after restoration, it is known as one of the sights of Kashan. Mir Panj Caravanserai has 50 rooms and was once considered one of the economic cores of the city.
Saray-e Khan or Carpet Bazaar
In front of the Mint House, we reach the bazaar of hand-woven carpets, where the sound of Daffa (Used for putting down and leveling rug warps and wefts) is heard, and the coloured threads are hung on the walls and doors. The most original and high-quality carpet of Kashan is the Mohtasham carpet. The exquisite Laki red colour with crimson border and bergamot design is a sign of most of Kashan’s original carpets woven in the size of a Prayer rug.
Massive Wooden Door
Among the historical works before the Safavid era is a large pair of wooden doors of the Zoghaliha house located in the middle of the blacksmiths’ bazaar.
In the traditional bazaars, Qeysarieh was a particular area where artistic and delicate works were done in the most attractive way possible. Gheysarieh Bazaar of Kashan was architectured by Shah Abbas Safavid. You can see the marvelous and striking illustrations in such a bazaar. The Balabaz water storage, Haj Mohammad Sadegh House, No Caravanserai, Khan Bath, and Feyz Caravanserai are located in Qeyssarieh as well.
Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh
One of the main sections of the Kashan Bazaar, without which it is meaningless to visit there, is Timcheh Amin o-Dowleh. Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh’s founder was Farrokh Khan Ghaffari Kashi, nicknamed Amin al-Dowleh, and the architect was Professor Ali Maryam Kashi. Timcheh was built in 1906 with a high roof and a wide opening to connect the four sides of the bazaar. The roof is vaulted in Persian style and superbly decorated with bricks, tiles, and Muqarnas. Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh is connected to both sides of the bazaar through two large wooden doors. In Timcheh Amin al-Dowleh, where is also called Mianchal, you can refresh your breath after walking and visiting several places and enjoy some delicious drinks.
Meydan (Square) or Mir Emad Mosque
To the south of the bazaar is the Mir Emad Mosque dating back to the Sultan Jahan Shah Aq Qoyunlu rule. Mir Emad Mosque is in front of Bazaar Square, and that is why it is also called Meydan Mosque. There are historical inscriptions in the mosque entrances, and the pulpit is embellished gracefully with exquisite mosaic tiles.
Soltani Mosque and School
One of the largest seminaries in Kashan in the past was Soltani or Imam Khomeini School. Such a magnificent monument belongs to the Qajar period and contains a striking courtyard with a large pond, a nave, a library, and several classrooms.
The Bathhouse of Abdul Razzaq Khan
The bath was constructed by Abdul Razzaq Khan in the centre of the bazaar, in Qeyssarieh Bazaar. The building, which belongs to the Zandieh era, includes various sections such as several courtyards, cold water storage, hot water storage, and a large marble pond. The splendidly tiled entrance and the interior design of the bathhouse with colourful tiles are thrilling.