0715 GMT October 17, 2021
The historical Zanjan Bazaar, the longest indoor market in Iran, is en route to global registration, said an official from the northwestern province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, adding that the necessary measures for its registration are underway.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Abolfazl Aali, who is in charge of the research section of Zanjan Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, said the bazaar was constructed in the Qajar Era (1789-1925). Its construction began in the era of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1784 and was completed in 1792 during the Fath Ali Shah era.
The dominant material used in the structure of the covered market is brick. The bazaar has 15 inns or caravanserais, eight mosques, and several traditional bathhouses, two of which are currently used, but the rest have been turned into traditional restaurants. These structures form a large historical complex in Zanjan Bazaar.
The Zanjan market has various passages, with hojrehs (chambers) on either side; each passage is designated for the production and sale of special merchandise.
Referring to the two sections of the bazaar, the upper and lower sections, Aali said the upper section is rich in producing and supplying goods and offering related ancillary services. This section is considered to be an important economic and commercial center of the city.
In terms of the production and supply of goods, this part of the market consists of eight passages, special to goldsmiths, mercers, shoemakers, hat makers, box makers, dyers, fruit sellers, and liver cooks.
In the distant past, the passages had diverse usages, he said, adding that, today, some of these passages are only nominal; their usage does not match their names.
The Zanjan Bazaar, with a two-kilometer length as well as many side and main passages, is the longest indoor market in the country, Aali explained.
Aali said the nationally registered bazaar is on the path to world registration, while the necessary measures have been taken in this regard; however, the process is time-consuming.
Regarding the protection of Zanjan Bazaar, he explained that the Zanjan Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department has done its best to preserve the historical bazaar. He added that the department prevents the owners from modernizing the traditional hojrehs.
The department has set a series of rules and regulations to preserve this complex and does not allow the renovation and transformation of the monument, Aali said.
Thus far, the traditional structure of the bazaar has been preserved.