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One of the earliest and most important projects undertaken by Sultan Mehmet following his conquest of Constantinople was the construction of the "Grand" or "Covered Bazaar", an enormous, enclosed hub of commerce and trade.
The grand Bazaar's close proximity to the Golden Horn waterway to the north gave merchants easy access to and from ships arriving from all over the world, and its centralized location on the peninsula ensured all citizens had reasonable access to its bustling corridors. Located at the heart of the complex was the Old Bedesten, a fortified enclosure built by Mehmet II, originally used by merchants to store precious goods and expensive wares overnight.
Today the Bazaar contains more than 3000 shops ad employs upwards of 20,000 people.