Alcaicería (The Arab Market), Granada

Alcaicería (The Arab Market), Granada

In the sixth century the Byzantine Emperor Justinian granted the Arabs the exclusive right to make and sell silk within the Empire. To show appreciation the Arabs gave their bazaars the Arabic name for Caesar, al-Kaysar-ia, "the place of Ceasar." Sounds like "Alcaiceria." And so from that time all Arab bazaars took this name.

The Alcaiceria of Granada was opened in the 15th century. It lasted well into the 19th century when it was destroyed by fire. The fire was caused by a shop for matches. The shop went up first, then all else followed. The replacement Alcaiceria is a weak imitation of the original. It is smaller, made with cheaper materials. It looks worn.

The first Alcaiceria held over 200 shops and stalls within a maze of streets and alleys. The streets were closed with iron gates to keep horsemen out. The gates were locked at night. Business was given over almost exclusively to the precious silks. Today the Aciceria is devoted to souvenir stalls, knick-knacks, and memorabilia.

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Alcaicería (The Arab Market) on Map

Sight Name: Alcaicería (The Arab Market)
Sight Location: Granada, Spain (See walking tours in Granada)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Granada, Spain

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