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The Covered (Grand) Bazaar, is the oldest and largest covered bazaar in the world. After their arrival to the city in the 15th century, two small buildings were built by the Ottomans on the site, in attempt to enrich the economic life in the city. In later centuries the streets around these buildings were also covered, turning it into a grand bazaar.It resembles a giant labyrinth with approximately sixty lanes and more than 3000 shops. In the past, each lane was reserved for a different profession and the handicrafts produced here were rigorously controlled. At the end of the last century the bazaar suffered an earthquake and several fires. Although it retains its former charm and allure after repaired, it lost its former characteristics and deteriorated.Since the 1970's the modern and large enterprises near the main entrance offer better shopping opportunities for the tourist groups visiting Istanbul. Along with the handmade carpets carpets and jewellery, these shops offer a wide collection of high-quality Turkish silverware, copper and bronze souvenirs and decorative objects, ceramics, onyx and leather goods.

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