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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Bazaar tales ....

The Bazaar in Tehran is huge, it covers over 146 hectares and is a maze of narrow intersecting passageways with shops and stalls on each side. It is piled high with goods for sale and just about anything can be bought here. It is primarliy a wholesale market and much of the structure is very old indeed. In the oldest parts brick vaults soar above you with openings in each vault to allow air circulation. On the pavement pedestrians compete with porters trolleys, motorcycles and even fire appliances. Courtyards dotted throughout the maze are also home to shops and piles of stored goods and in some areas an upper storey has walkway access.
Beneath your feet is a further maze of tunnels and store rooms stuffed with every kind of goods. From a fire prevention point of view a nightmare, from a life safety point it goes beyond nightmare. The potential is horrendous, yet it has been standing for at least two hundred years and some parts for more than that. In the centre is a huge mosque and open square and the interior has some hidden gems of architecture for the keen eye. And then there are the carpet sellers. None of the machine made type here, these are the hand-made variety, exquisite works of art in silk and wool, hand knotted to the woven backing.

The place just oozes history and atmosphere, though how it can be preserved for the future without a major renovation and restoration and some thought to reducing the fire hazard, I'm not sure.

2 comments:

  1. It looks like the sort of place you could get lost in... both metaphorically and actually!

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  2. Not even a GPS would get you through this place. You could vanish in this Bazaar and not be seen again!

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