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Exciting Bezisten in Skopje, Macedonia

The name Bezisten comes from the Arabic word” bezz” (canvas) meaning covered market and from the Persian word “i stan” meaning selling point.

Entrance in Bezisten

It was designed exclusively for selling canvas. As the years passed by, the covered market began to sell other goods. Those who worked here were very much appreciated.

Situated in the heart of the Old Town, on every side it is surrounded by shops.

Today’s Bezisten was built in 1900, based on the foundation of the older bezisten which was built in the middle of the 15th century by Gazi Ishak Bey. There is a plaque on one of the entrances that speaks about the object constructor.

The Bezisten has a rectangular shape with four entrances on each side, with six vaulted domes which are carried by massive pillars.

It was built of stone and brick, placing alternately stone row and several rows of brick, a technique that was typical in the 15th and 16th century. Using this technique produced a beautiful decoration of the building.

Inside Bezisten

For its appearance and importance we learned from writers who traveled through this region. Certainly, the most famous among them were: Haji Kalfa, Edward Brown (who drawn the Bezisten) and the most famous among them: Evliya Celebi.

As they said: “In Skopje, those who are not priests or soldiers are craftsman or traders.”

“Besides all beautiful objects there is a Bezisten, which is so beautiful that no words can describe it. The interior is filled with small shops and corridors. Here, besides canvas you can buy wax and leather products. Skopje is famous for its leather products that are exported even to the famous trading center Dubrovnik.”

Cafe bar in Bezisten

Like most of the city, Bezisten suffered major damage from the earthquake in 1555 and in 1689 when the town was burned by the Austrian general Piccolomini.

Rebuilt in 1900 the Bezisten managed somehow to outlive The First and the Second World War, and the disastrous earthquake in 1963.

It was renewed several times, most recently in 1964-1965.

Today, inside the Bezisten are working several café bars, a tea bar and NGO`s.

Beautiful Roses in Bezisten

During the day is a peaceful place where you can drink your coffee with sounds of jazz from one of the coffee bars. But, as the night fall this place is crowed. Party is going all night long.

I asked one of the owners about the working hours and he replied immediately: “While there are guests, we are opened!!!”

So Don`t Miss the Party!!!!

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