The Spice Market is one of the largest bazaars in Istanbul. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, the market’s Turkish name is Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Market). The name is in reference to the fact that the bazaar was initially funded by taxes levied on products imported from Egypt. Spices, dried fruits and nuts among the many treasures found in colorful market. Constructed between 1597 and 1664, Mısır Çarşısı was built as part of the New Mosque (Yeni Camii). Rent from the shops supported maintenance of the mosque and its charitable activities. At its peak, Mısır Çarşısı last stop for Silk Road caravans traveling from the Near and Far East. On the western exterior of the market, there stalls selling everything from cheese to fresh fish. It is also the location of Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, Istanbul’s most famous purveyor of coffee. Established over 100 years ago, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi still draws long lines of locals waiting for freshly ground coffee beans.
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