Bitola - Main Sights - The Covered Bazaar

The Covered Bazaar

Situated near the city centre, the covered bazaar (Macedonian: Bezisten, Безистен) is one of the most impressive and oldest buildings in Bitola from the Turkish period. With its numerous cupolas that look like a fortress, with its tree-branch-like inner streets and four big metal doors it is one of the biggest covered markets in the region.

It was built in the 15th century by the Rumelian Beglerbey, the Grand Vizier and the famous donor Kara Daut Pasha Uzuncarsili. Although this object looks very secure, many times during its existence it was robbed and set on fire, but it managed to endure. The Bezisten, from the 15th until the 19th century, was rebuilt and many stores, often changing over time, were located there. Most of them were selling textile and other luxurious fabrics. In the same time the Bezisten was a treasury, where in specially made small rooms the money from the whole Rumelian Vilaet was kept, before it was transferred in the royal treasury. In the Bezisten in the 19th century there were a total of 84 stores. Today most of them are contemporary and they sell different types of products, but no matter what the internal transformations, the outer appearance stayed unchanged.

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