Check out the gorgeous vaulted brick-avenues of the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz, Iran, which have been dubbed as ‘masterpieces of Zand architecture and Persian culture’ by the numerous travelers and critics that have visited during the years.
Leave your watch in your bag and wander through the endless rustic paths and alleyways of the Vakil Bazaar. Allow yourself to confidently gawk at the extraordinary collections of antiques, handicrafts, Persian rugs, jewelry, clothes and just about anything else you’d want to ever buy!
Come along with goingIRAN to venture along the beautifully designed and busy pathways of Shiraz’s beating heart of commerce!
Vakil Marketplace’s History
Albeit its brevity, the Zand Dynasty has been responsible for a lot of advancements in the Persian culture, especially in the realms of art and architecture!
Regarding the Vakil Bazaar, historians believe that it was commissioned after Karim Khan saw the bazaar in Lar, a structure left from Shah Abbas’s reign. Although the Zand-era artists held a lot ingenuity under their belt, this particular bazaar has a lot of Qajari influences in its design.
Features of the Grand Vakil Bazaar
Aside from the gorgeous Middle Eastern maze of a marketplace, the Vakil Bazaar also features some sister buildings. The Vakil Mosque, caravansersai (Seraye Moshir) and hammam (bathhouse) are all a part of the Vakil Bazaar complex.
The bazaar has a high level of safety, in terms of providing security for the products that were held there. The merchants could store their products in their shops and storages, with ease of mind and access them whenever they needed.
Once tourists enter through the gates of the Vakil Bazaar, they will be able browse through the 200 shops along beautifully constructed interior routes. The layout of the ancient marketplace is in a square-cross shape, with four main pathways stemming north, east, west and south.
Of course, if you’ve ever been to a Persian bazaar before, you’ll know that the shops you’ll come across aren’t limited to just these paths. Each ‘main’ pathway, will have many narrow alleys flowing out of it.
Exploring the beautifully crafted vaulted pathways of the Vakil Bazaar is a truly exceptional experience for any tourists or visitor. Such well-maintained rustic beauty is even attractive for the locals that live there, let alone for travelers that are visiting from far away cultures!
The bazaar’s construction materials consist of only bricks, limestone, and plaster. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the materials however. The Master Persian craftsmen of the past were famous for ‘turning dust into gold’. This meant that the beautiful designs they manifested by plaster or brickwork was truly worth as much as gold.
Ps. Definitely don’t forget to grab a cool heavenly cup of faloodeh (traditional Persian dessert) amidst your hectic shopping endeavors at the old marketplace. Shiraz is the most famous place for this icy dessert in all of Iran!
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