Bezesteni

Overview

Era: 
Post-Byzantine
Type: 
Archaeological Sites
Culture: 
Ottoman Monument
Century: 
15th century
Latitude: 
40.63659
Longitude: 
22.941276

History-Name Origin: Bezesteni is situated at the corner of Venizelou and Solomou Streets in Thessaloniki, at the heart of the market place, constituting one of the city's most significant ottoman monuments. Bezesteni (Bezesten) signifies “textile market” ( in turkish “bez” means “textile”) and for this reason these buildings used to be commercial centres of luxurious textiles, silk and other precious objects. It was also an area of quality controls of the merchandises as well as the place, where the currency exchange rate was defined. Thessaloniki's Bezesteni dates back to the 15th century, the “classical” era of the ottoman architecture. Is was built by the Sultan Mehmet the 2nd (1455 – 1459) or – according to others- by Vagiazit the 2nd (by the end of the 15th century). After the earthquakes of 1978, restoration works had taken place, during which, remains of marks in turkish, greek, french and south slavic made by the workers who had repared from time to time the covered market, have been found on its roof made by lead. Nowadays, apart from its initial use, it also functions as an exposition room in its loft.
Architecture: Bezesteni is a square construction with four entrances in the middle of each side. It is covered with six lead domes in two lines, that stand with the help of seven double arches which are being developed over two central pessaries. In its interior, there used to be sixty nine small shops and in its exterior forty four, possibly of wooden construction. The shops that exist nowadays around the building have been added to it by the beginning of the 20th century ( after the fire of 1917).