The history of the Grand Bazaar

Since Bizeban Sulejman Efendia, known as Hadum Aga, built the mosque of Hadum, between years 1594/95, this area has changed.  

Until then, there were only few houses in the area and it was known as a village and center of bazaar. Hadum Mosque is the first building and even to this day the most important one in the Grand Bazaar complex.

Upon construction of this religious building, other religious buildings started to be built one after another, inns, residential houses and shops, to be surrounded as a complex, which will later be called “Çarshia e madhe – Grand Bazaar”. It is known as a landmark of the city of Gjakova.

This complex becomes later an important center of trade, craftsmanship, but also the biggest cultural, historical and religious complex in the whole country. 

Even though it has gone and is going through different challenges, it keeps surviving even today. 
In this complex covering an area of few hectares there are situated important buildings related to religion, history, craftsmanship and culture of the country.

Apart from the Mosque of Hadum, amongst the biggest in the country, in this area there are also situated the Grand Tekke, Sheh Emin Tekke, Bektashi order, the grand Madrasa, but also other buildings, that for many centuries have played an important role in the lives of inhabitants of Gjakova and its vicinity, in their education and welfare.

Nevertheless, Gjakova’s Grand Bazaar, apart from these monuments, had and still has characteristic houses and shops, and according to the experts “it is a living museum, with its special architecture”, expressing a creative force of local craftsmen that astonished the chroniclers of the time, astonished different visitors and inspired experts of different fields.

Haraqia Inn, is one of the most beautiful buildings of this complex.

It is one of the oldest buildings. The Inn is a symbol of our city that worthily represents all the characteristics of the city of Gjakova. According to the legends, many caravans have passed by this Inn, because Gjakova was a transit route to Albania. But this building that has been totally renovated in 2004, rather plays a role of a restaurant that offers traditional autochthonous food.

In Gjakova’s Grand Bazaar, since its establishment, tens of different handicrafts were exercised, starting from gunsmiths, silversmiths, tinsmiths, leather smiths, tailors, soutane-smiths, embroiderers, carpenters, silk processors, hat makers, pot makers, saddle makers, shoemakers, pipe makers. 

Due to these reasons the Bazaar is so important according to historians.

Experts have assessed that Grand Bazaar presents one of the largest monumental complexes, not only inside Kosovo. Its expansion from north to south reaches 1,000 m, whereas the overall area is 34,000 m2. The Bazaar was the centre of socio-economic and cultural development of Gjakova region. All the possible handicrafts were developed there.

It has very high cultural-historical, but also scientific values.   
From the urbanism point of view, the Bazaar presents a living example of oriental urban planning with rich value architectonic elements that inspire every architect in this time. It presents a real museum dressed with a mosaic of diverse handicrafts in the specific architecture with rich interior. It also presents a large school laboratory with innumerous models of national creativity that reflects the unmatched creativity of the constructer in wood processing and superior wood engraving for their needs.

From the architectural point of view, the Bazaar presents a school of the most beautiful models of the national architecture and construction skills, starting from the smallest details, all the way to entirety, from the buildings to the environment, from the environment to the urbanism, not losing at any moment the real mass, the one that the genius anonymous master with long experience found in the lives and habits of craftsmen, in the space of necessities, in human dimensions.

It is a rare case when an urban entirety is totally preserved and lives almost untouched from the modern life, it is a rare example of coexistence in harmony of the old with the new in the same city.

In 1999 it was burnt, with all the cultural and historical monuments in it, but it was it was resurrected after the war owing to the help of international organizations such as USAID, CORDAID, etc. It is under protection of the law since 1955.

Categories: Qyteti

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