Old Bazaar, Skopje

Skopje, Macedonia

Old Bazaar, Skopje

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The Old Bazaar (Macedonian: Стара чаршија, romanized: Stara čaršija; Albanian: Çarshia e Vjetër; Turkish: Eski Çarşı or Üsküp Türk Çarşısı) is a bazaar located in Skopje, North Macedonia, situated on the eastern bank of the Vardar River, stretching from the Stone Bridge to the Bit-Pazar and from the Skopje Fortress to the Serava river. The Old Bazaar falls primarily within the borders of Čair Municipality but a part of it is located in Centar Municipality. As one of the oldest and largest marketplaces in the Balkans, it has been Skopje's centre for trade and commerce since at least the 12th century.

The earliest known sources that describe the existence of a merchant quarter on the bazaar's territory date back to the 12th century. During Ottoman rule of Skopje, the Old Bazaar developed rapidly to become city's main centre of commerce. The Ottoman history of the bazaar is evidenced by roughly thirty mosques, numerous caravanserais and hans, among other buildings and monuments. The bazaar was heavily damaged by the earthquake in 1555, the burning of the city in 1689, the earthquake in 1963, as well as during the First and the Second World Wars and faced various rebuildings following these events.

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