The Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Image of The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Release Date: 
October 1, 2011
Reviewed by: 

“. . . the Harry Winston of Fodor’s guides.”

The very first thing that must be noted is the physicality of this enormous volume. It must weigh in at around 15 pounds, so it belongs not in your tote bag but on your coffee table. In addition to its sheer weight and size, there is the impossibly thick and gorgeous paper stock, the superb quality of the photography, and the binding and presentation—all beyond first rate. This is more than just a pretty book, it is a treasured possession.

And at $157.00 retail, it’s a keeper.

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
takes us on a visual as well as intellectual tour of the self-contained city within a city that is known as The Grand Bazaar. This half million square feet of space is devoted to 3,600 shops as well as stalls, restaurants, a mosque, parks, and even a bank.

It contains a vast and incomparable selection of artisan and often locally produced carpets, jewelry of every possible provenance and material, leather goods, trinkets, weapons, and fabrics—all of which range from the least expensive to the most expensive and extravagantly priced. Without hesitation, the book will force you to experience visual overload, transporting you to a place where behind every nook and tucked into every cranny you will find intrigue and surprise.

The author, Mr. Gülgün, also proffers the history of The Grand Bazaar from its inception to its current state. He offers us profiles of some of the most highly regarded vendors/retailers located in the bazaar as well as several manufacturers. There is even a jewelry designer/retailer whose goods are concurrently sold in the United States: Sevan Bicakci is sold at Barneys as well as Fred Leighton and is coveted by those who collect original and distinctive fine jewelry.

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul guarantees you a magic carpet ride into the minds of the denizens of this city within a city, making for a visually stimulating memorable reading experience. Consider it the Harry Winston of Fodor’s guides.

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