Bazar-e Vakil, A Hot Commercial Spot
Shiraz, a major city on the southern plateau of Iran, has been an administrative center for many years. Like Al-e Mozaffar, Karim Khan came into power in the city and chose it as his capital, building many historic structures such as barricades, castles, caravansaries, and the like. In the two decades of his reign, the city developed wonderfully in peace and security. Among the peerless constructions is Vakil Bazaar, glittering like a gem in the city. It all began in 1137, solar calendar, and finished in 1156.
As a most popular traditional bazaar throughout the country, Vakil has long been a prosperous and flourishing commercial center.
Here is a quick traveler’s guide to the attractive place with all its wonderful trading qualities; you might find it a spot to purchase some great souvenirs to take home!
It is believed that the bazaar was there and a large number of merchants used to come and go before Karim Khan’s decision to expand it.
The name Vakil, or Vakil Alra’aya, was a pen name for Karim Khan, who developed the bazaar.
The nationally registered historic site is located on the east side of Shohada Square.
The bazaar’s impressive architecture is influenced by Geysariyeh and Shah Abbas the Great’s bazaar but is much wider. There are 74 vaulted avenues, over 11 m. in height, with maze lanes going all the way through.
Covering an area of 21,000 square meters, the massive old bazaar contains well-built interiors. The skilled architects of the time designed the structure wonderfully. The materials involve plaster and lime covering bases of stone.
Lighting in Vakil is different from other structures of the type; there are holes in the ceilings which don’t let in direct sunlight and prevent excessive wetness on rainy days.
The ventilation, too, plays a great role in creating an appropriate atmosphere for sellers and customers alike.
What’s amazing about the construction is that it lies at a lower level than the street! It used to be much lower, with 14 steps down to get there; but now it has decreased to 6 steps only as a result of mass of soil and materials at the floor.
The commercial heart of the city holds many great stores which offer high quality commodities and edibles, from unique Persian spices, carpets, and exquisite handicrafts to clothes, fabric, local cookies and sweets, and dried nuts.
In the bazaar, you can also enjoy unparalleled herbal drinks, good for refreshment after a full working day. Almost miraculously, they can relieve all your tensions and stress. So don’t forget to prepare some bottles when you visit.
You won’t notice time while wandering in the bazaar, gazing at all the amazing things you can find only in the great bazaar. Crystal and glass lanes, tailors lane, saddlers’ lane, and sword makers lane all present great works of art at good prices.