The Qeysarie Bazaar or Soltani Bazaar of Isfahan was the largest and most luxurious shopping mall in the Safavid era. The market is located in the north part of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. This Bazaar which is now the largest center of handicrafts in Isfahan was built in 1619 in Safavid era.
The Qeysarie gate is called with this name because its structure was inspired from one of the pillars of the city of Caesarea in Asia Minor (today Turkey). There are also some paintings on the gate that in the highest part of it there are two hunters half human and half lion or tiger with dragon tail on mosaic which represents Isfahan constellation (Sagittarius).
There are two large platforms on both sides of this gate on which gold sailors and jewelers used to represent their stuffs.
The Qeysarie Gate used to be three-decker and now is a two storey building. The third floor which is demolished, was a timpani home in which they used to announce times of the day by music. Playing timpani was common in Iran traditionally. Of course playing timpani was not only for the announcement of the day, but also for poising the soldiers in the battleground and also in different ceremonies. There is also some paintings of Reza Abbasi on Qeysarie Gate.
This gate opens to the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan and used to be the main way of Isfahan Bazaar. It consists of four sub doors, one main portal and a pool. The pool was changed to a garden in 1961 but now has been restored.
Other bazaars were split from Qeysarie Bazaar that some of them are now active. Some of these bazaars are: Harounie, Nimavard golshan, mokhlas, Samavar sazha, Maghsoud beyk, bazaar-e oryan.
Qeysarie Bazaar was the shopping center of precious fabrics in Safavid era and foreign businesses had also rooms in it.
Mosques in Qeysarie Bazaar
Along this roofed way that some foreigners has called it “Indoor gallery” there are religious elements such as Nimavard school, Sadr school, Khayatha mosque, No mosque , Zolfaghar mosque, Shishe mosque and many others which were active in religious affairs and various merchants and guilds used to worship in them.
Different Sara and Timche
Economic institutions are also other attractions located in Qeysarie Bazaar. Some of them which are called Sara and Timche are still active. Some of the most famous ones are:
- Sara-ye Ardestaniha
- Sara-ye Khani
- Sara-ye Agha
- Sara-ye Paderakht soukhte
- Sara-ye Miresmaeel
- Sara-ye Talar
- Sara-ye Khansariha
- Sara-ye Golshan
- Sara-ye Jarchi
- Sara-ye Fakhr
In general Qeysarie complex which consists of a gate, timpani house, bank and an imperial inn is one of the most famous attractions of Isfahan.