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Exploring Reza Bazaar in Mashhad: A Comprehensive Guide

The Colorful Lanes of Bazaar Reza: Mashhad's Treasure

Bazaar Reza in Mashhad is one of the city’s renowned shopping centers. Despite its relatively recent foundation, it has gained significant popularity among tourists, especially pilgrims visiting the city. This extensive marketplace offers a wide variety of souvenirs, including agate rosaries, gemstone rings, saffron, spices, barberries, rock candy, apparel like prayer rugs and scarves, and many more. If you plan to explore all corners of this vast market, set aside at least four to five hours. In this article, SURFIRAN Travel Magazine takes you through the different sections of Bazaar Reza, shedding light on its history and architecture.


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History of Bazaar Reza in Mashhad

Before the establishment of Bazaar Reza, there wasn’t a significant marketplace for pilgrims in Mashhad. Vendors sold their goods in old shops. Considering Mashhad’s status as a key tourist city in Iran, the decision to build a quality market for pilgrims was made in 1976. The history of Bazaar Reza dates back to the Pahlavi era, constructed during Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi‘s reign.

The design of this market was entrusted to engineer Dariush Borbor, who led a 50-member team for research and construction, with the land allocated by the provincial government. Interestingly, the center of the vast Bazaar Reza once housed numerous local homes and shops, purchased by the provincial government to make way for this project.

Bazaar Reza, Mashhad
Bazaar Reza, Mashhad (photo by Wikipedia)

Construction and Architecture of Bazaar Reza

The construction of Bazaar Reza began in 1975 and concluded in 1976. This two-story covered market, situated close to the shrine, provides easy access to the Astan Quds complex. Although not all of engineer Borbor’s plans were realized, such as centralized air conditioning and a fully automatic fire extinguishing system, the market was built to be earthquake-resistant.

The architecture of Bazaar Reza is a blend of modern and traditional Iranian styles. Although it doesn’t feature dome-shaped ceilings or traditional arches, the entryways are decorated with ornamental arches and brickwork, a hallmark of Seljuk architecture found in various historical Iranian buildings. The main entrance is adorned with geometric mosaic tilework, incorporating three doors for easy access.

Inside Reza Bazaar in Mashhad
Inside Reza Bazaar in Mashhad

The Ground Floor of Bazaar Reza

The ground floor comprises two main corridors with 12 branches. Here, you’ll find numerous shops selling Mashhad’s famous souvenirs. The most sought-after items include saffron, dried fruits, and religious clothing. The market’s design, based on traditional Iranian architecture, includes separate sections ending in a central area, facilitating easy navigation for shoppers.

Shops in Bazaar Reza
Shops in Bazaar Reza (photo by Flickr)

The Second Floor of Bazaar Reza

The second floor is generally quieter, home to luxury goods such as gold, gemstones, and handicrafts. Apart from jewelry shops, there are workshops for turquoise cutting and gold repair, as well as renowned photo studios for pilgrims seeking souvenirs.

Visiting Reza Bazaar in Mashhad
Visiting Reza Bazaar in Mashhad

Shop Count in Bazaar Reza

Bazaar Reza boasts 332 shops divided into six sections, offering a diverse range of goods from food items to exquisite handicrafts. Despite the absence of barriers between shoppers and vendors, maintaining a traditional marketplace atmosphere, modern renovations have introduced glass doors and automatic locks in some shops.

Accessing Bazaar Reza

Accessing Bazaar Reza is straightforward. The main entrance from Falakeh Ab Square is the busiest, offering a direct route from the shrine. For a quieter entry, the 17 Shahrivar entrance is recommended. Public transport options, including metro, taxis, and buses, provide easy access to this bustling market.


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Conclusion on Bazaar Reza

Bazaar Reza in Mashhad is a must-visit for anyone exploring the city, offering a rich blend of culture, history, and shopping in one location. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a returning pilgrim, the market’s vibrant atmosphere and diverse offerings are sure to provide a memorable experience.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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