The historical city of Kashan, located in the north of Isfahan Province between Tehran and city of Isfahan is one of the top touristic cities of Iran which attracts many visitors for exploring its diverse attractions including historical houses, scenic deserts, and amazing cultural events like rosewater festivals and Ghalishuyan Festival. The historical Kashan Bazaar is one of the must-see attractions of this city and also one of the most significant traditional bazaars of Iran that will amaze visitors with its artistic architecture and nostalgic atmosphere. Just like other traditional bazaars of Iran, that are considered as one of the main elements of the city’s old texture, the roofed Kashan Bazaar is surrounded with other historical monuments of the city like old mosques, caravanserais, Ab Anbar (water cisterns) covering an area known as the city’s old district.
The History of Kashan Bazaar
This valuable construction was built during the kingdom of Fath Ali Shah one of the kings of Qajar Dynasty (18th century), when the stability in economy and politic, and industry of the country led to constructing such a great bazaar where different guilds and classes of market could trade at different parts of bazaar assigned to them. One of the most important parts of Kashan Bazaar was the copper Line (Bazaar-e Mesgar ha) which is one of the most booming and stunning parts of bazaar. Professor Edward Brown (a British Iranologist) described the copper Line of Kashan Bazaar as one of the most eye-catching and fascinating spots in the east where all you hear is the rhythmic sound of hammer on copper and kilns in which coppers get heated. The other art of bazaar which is historically valuable is the mint, which is a place where they manufactured coins by the authority of the government, and is characterized with a large wooden door related to the Safavid Dynasty.
In fact, the traditional Kashan bazaar was in its heyday since the Safavid Period (16th century) especially during the kingdom of Shah Abbas I, when many merchants and travelers traded in this market, but gradually it lost its importance and then got ruined by an earthquake. So, the current bazaar of Kashan was built on the remains of the Safavid building during Qajar era, and that is why the different parts of Kashan Bazaar are related to different eras from Seljuk and Safavid to Qajar and even Zand dynasties.
The Architecture of Kashan Bazaar
As mentioned above, most of the main edifice of the current Kashan Bazaar is known as the architectural masterpiece of Qajar Dynasty. Like other traditional roofed bazars, it consists of different lines, corridors, junctions, caravanserais, etc.
Timcheh Amin o Dowleh:
Timcheh is a junction assigned to selling a specific good, and the most famous and attractive part of Kashan Bazaar is a Timcheh named Amin o Dowleh Timcheh or that exhibits very eye-catching ornaments, including brickworks and delicate tilework. This Timcheh is work of the famous Iranian architecture Ali Maryam kashani and the tilework was perfectly done by Farrokh Khan Ghaffari known as Amin o Dowleh, and then this Timcheh was called after great artist.
The Timcheh Sabbagh, which is also known as Bazaar of Haj Seyyed Hassan, is another must-see part of Kashan Bazaar. This Timcheh is an octagonal space with fancy decorations, and it was built during the Qajar Era by the order of Haj Seyyed Hasan Sabbagh.
Imam Mosque and School:
Also known as Sultani Mosque, this mosque was built during Fath Ali Shah kingdom. This mosque is one of the best attractions of Kashan and the biggest religious schools of the city which is still in use, with 52 rooms, a Shabistan and a great library.
Mir Emad Mosque:
The stunning construction of Mir Emad Mosque dates back to Seljuk Dynasty and is located by the main square of the mosque. The Mihrab of the mosque is now kept in the Islamic Museum of Berlin.
Hammam-e Khan (Khan Bathhouse) was built during Zand Dynasty and is characterized by the fabulous tilework of its façade. This historical bathhouse is now in use as a traditional teahouse.
Things to buy at the Kashan Bazaar
Known as the heart of the city, this bazaar is still where many locals do their daily shopping. Although many stores of Copper line are closed today, copper products are still among the top souvenirs that is sold in this market. The traditional sweets of Kashan, handicrafts, and the aromatic rosewater of Kashan used in Persian culinary, are some of the most famous products you can buy here. But the most precious and amazing souvenir is the world-known Kashan Carpet, known for its amazing colors and high quality of weaving. The most famous line of Kashan Carpet is Muhtasham carpet which is popular among carpet lovers, because of its delicate design and very soft texture.