Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar)

Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar), Edirne

The Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar) was built to provide income to Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey during the time of Sultan Murat III. The Selimiye Arasta is 225 meters in length and it has 73 arches and 4 gates. The Arasta has undergone long, periodic restorations intermittently. There are 124 shops in the building. Recently, Selimiye Arasta has begun to regain its importance in the commercial life of Edirne. Nowadays, a majority of the shops in the arasta sell touristic goods and it is an important shopping spot for the tourists who come to visit the Selimiye Mosque.

Arasta is defined as “the section where tradesmen who do the same type of work in the bazaars”. Selimiye Arasta was built by Davut Aga, an apprentice of Sinan The Architect, in order to provide a means of income for the Selimiye Mosque during the reign of Sultan Murat III.  Another reason for the construction of the Arasta was to provide architectural support for the Selimiye Mosque from west and south.

Evliya Çelebi says this bazaar generally contains cheap, sloppy and vulgar shoes. For this reason, it is said that over time the Arasta took the name of the Kavaflar Bazaar (or Haffaflar Bazaar).

Selimiye Arasta (covered bazaar) Edirne

Selimiye Arasta (covered bazaar) Edirne

The dome in the middle of the building is known as the “Prayer Dome”. It is so named because the shopkeepers would gather here every morning and swear and pray that they would do their job right and honestly. It is known that the top of the bazaar was completely covered with lead during the first period, but it is also known that this coating was consumed over time for the repair expenses.

About Sultan Murat III

Sultan III.Murat is known as one of the sultans who never came to Edirne. He used to have the most children among all the sultans, and there were 102 (112 according to some sources) princes of his. His Haseki Sultan (chief consort / single favorite) was the famous Safiye Sultan. Sultan Murat III is known to be among the wisest of the Ottomans. During his time, the state has reached the peak of its power and borders.

However, inflation also increased during his period, when his capitulated soldiers set up junta organizations and went on a revolt, bribery increased, royal women were involved in politics, luxury, splendor, wasted increased, dictator viziers emerged and Jalali rebellions broke out. Defterdar Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Edirne, Sheikh Çelebi Mosque, Nazır Fountain were built during its period. In 1595, he died at the age of 48.

Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar), Edirne
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Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar), Edirne
Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar), Edirne
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