Since long time ago Bazaars were one of the most important part of cities.. Suppose that the city is like a body, so Bazaar can be its skull. In fact, without a Bazaar the concept of city is nonsense. Bazaars usually were located at the center of cities, near some other important places or within an urban complex. To the north of Naqsh-e Jahan square there the entrance of an important Bazaar. It is known as Gheisarieh bazaar, a type of bazaar belongs to the government and precious things are selling there. It was the most grandiose and the most thriving bazaar at that time. Someone believes that its name was influenced by a bazaar in Istanbul, ottoman empire, known as “Kayseri”.
Gheisarieh bazaar was built during the 16th century by the order of the Safavid king, Shah Abas the 1st. However, some historians believe that there had to be an older bazaar in Isfahan because the existence of a city without a bazar is meaningless. Anyway, constructions continued and some other parts were annexed to Qeisarieh, it continued till the 19th century.
You may think that it is a small bazaar next to Naqsh-e Jahan square but if you look at the plan of the bazaar, it is easy to recognize that how large it is. The entrance is located to the north of Naqsh-e Jahan square. The bazaar continues to the old congregational mosque of Isfahan and connects the old and the new parts of the city. The most important part of the bazaar is its entrance, known as “the entrance of Gheisarieh bazaar”. Its wooden door can witness the 400 years background. According to Sharden, the famous French traveler, the entrance used to have some beautiful tile workings which unfortunately, are damaged through the history. Based on what he says, on top of the entrance you could see the battle scene of Shah Abad the 1st against Uzbeks, his hunting scene, the painting of foreigners in the Safavid court and some other subjects. Anyway, you can see the beauty of ornamentations. At top, there is an amazing tile working that shows two archers. They have human face, the body of a lion and scorpion tails. Actually, this part is connected to astrological figures and zodiac figure of Isfahan. In additions, there were two bells above the entrance. Shah Abas, after defeating Portuguese order to bring them to Isfahan, they were belonged to Portuguese castle in Hormoz Ireland. Moreover, there are two platforms on both sides of the entrance Which were the place of jewelries. During the 19th century some small changes were done by the order of the local governor. The current Bazaar has 2 stories, but there used to be another story, called “Naghare Khaneh” which is ruined. That place was used for announcing important news, Adan, sunrise, sunset or playing music instrument during celebrations.
The center of crafts
Trading is an inseparable part of a bazaar. In each bazaar there are some special objects which might be rare in other places. Carpets and crafts are the most common staffs that are selling in Qeisarieh. In fact, in Qeisarieh you have many options to buy. You can walk in the axis of coppersmiths buy their productions and even get familiar with their art. Copper vessels glazed with enamels, are other beautiful options. Also, marquetry is another common craft in Isfahan, besides Shiraz, and Gheisarieh bazaar is the best place for seeking in laid works.
Briefly, bazaars were always an important part of cities. They were the symbol of thriving and living and usually were located at the center of cities. In Isfahan, Gheisarieh bazaar is a good example, which has kept its importance through the history and still is a trading center.