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Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Seven - 14 May 2024
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Seven - 14 May 2024 - Page 3

Isfahan Bazaar in need of protection and revitalization

The Isfahan bazaar is considered one of the largest historical bazaars in Iran and the world, with a history dating back over a thousand years, especially in the northern part of the city around the ancient Jaame Mosque. Reports from travelers, especially in the travelogue of Naser Khosrow, have detailed the prosperity of this market in the fourth and fifth centuries AH.
Amir Karamzadeh, the director general of Isfahan Province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization, wrote in a note: During the Safavid period when Isfahan was chosen as the third capital, one of the main axes connecting the old city with the new one was the Isfahan bazaar. This grand historical bazaar gradually expanded, with its extent reaching over eight kilometers with the construction of thousands of commercial complexes including caravanserais, mosques, baths, religious schools, water reservoirs, watering places, market alleys, four-sided markets, inns, caravanserais, and even transportation hubs connecting to various neighborhoods.
Currently, more than 8,500 commercial units are active in this complex, making it one of the most important commercial centers with over a thousand years of history, serving as a hub for the old and new Isfahan, and a place of passage for thousands of people and tourists.
Currently, one of the primary concerns for both provincial authorities and market traders is the safeguarding and security of this grand and historic bazaar. Initial evaluations of the market highlight the urgent need for a comprehensive cleaning plan.
Furthermore, given the market’s centuries-old existence, the safety of the market is a pressing issue due to the installation of non-standard facilities, particularly concerning electrical setups, necessitating careful attention and reassessment. This is exacerbated by the market’s predominantly covered and winding structure, which hinders the passage of fire and emergency vehicles. Consequently, in the event of emergencies such as fires, the provision of services becomes practically unfeasible. It is imperative to address the outdated electrical system of the market, which, despite market traders’ efforts in installing various high-voltage cooling and heating devices, compromises the aesthetic appeal of this historic market.
The subsequent action involves establishing secure and standardized channels within the market floor for the passage of water and gas facilities, ensuring optimal services for traders while enhancing the safety for their operations. However, the issue of car and motorcycle traffic remains a persistent challenge in this historic market, tarnishing its reputation and leading to numerous difficulties, especially during tourist movements.
Market traders have proactively taken steps to protect and promote the historical market of Isfahan by working closely with the government. Their awareness of the market's value has led them to participate effectively in preserving its heritage and supporting its activities.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important objectives of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization of Isfahan Province is to first create convergence with all relevant government entities responsible for managing this large historic market, such as the municipality, located in the heart of the historical fabric and central axis of the city of Isfahan. Subsequently, efforts are made to engage people, especially market traders, in promoting the protection of this historical market.
If we accept that this grand market is a place of transit and business for thousands of active members of the province, it can be acknowledged that the government alone cannot bear the responsibility of protecting this vast complex. The participation of market traders in this matter is essential.

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