A legacy of Karim Khan Zand, popular Iranian ruler of 18th century, the traditional market of Vakil is not only a place to sell and buy, but a main tourist attraction of Shiraz in southern Iran.

Bazaar of Vakil was registered in the Iranian National Heritage List in 1972. Besides a mosque, a bath and a reservoir – which are major tourist attractions themselves – the market is part of Vakil complex.

The bazaar is vibrant like all traditional markets: you’ll find a mix of old and modern shops with various goods there.

In the market’s square (Chahar-souq) you can taste high quality traditional sweets such as cookies, Masghati of Shiraz, Halva-ye-Masghati of Lar, rice bread of Fassa and Yukha bread. There you’ll also find best Gabbehs- the famous handmade carpet of Iranian nomads. The various, well-known inlaid and woodcarving works of Shiraz are other items sold in the bazaar of Vakil alongside leather, traditional ornaments, copper and silver items, spices, antiques, Shirazi local costumes and traditional hats.

Some believe that Karim Khan came up with the idea of building this market after having visited the traditional market of Lar, which is a legacy of King Abbas the Great. He built a place to do everything related to business: trade, purchase and sale of domestic and foreign goods, barter, issuance or receipt of remittances, currency exchange, etc.

Karim Khan indeed made the economic heart of Shiraz that was a different business sphere: it even included an office where people could deposit their valuables and take them back.

There’s a hall in the southern part of bazaar, which is called Sara-ye-Moshir or Sara-ye-Golshan. The hall is often mistakenly considered a part of Vakil market while it’s a different building made by order of Mirza Abolhassan Khan Moshir-ol-Molk, the minister of Fars in Qajar era. The market of Sara-ye-Moshir is also listed as a national heritage of Iran. An attraction of this market is a man with local costumes of Fars, always subject of the visitor’s photos.

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