The word comes from the Arabic word “bez” which means cloth, and “bezzaz” which means cloth merchant. Bezesteni was a covered market of the 15th century that sold fabrics, jewelry but was also used as a storage place for valuable items of the rich during the period of the Ottoman Empire. Today it is preserved in the square of the Fortress of Larissa, which is a meeting point for young people. Its design and architecture were based on the architecture of Islamic mosques. It was built by the Ottomans and is one of the few monuments of Ottoman architecture preserved in Greece. Bezesteni of Larissa is a large rectangular building measuring 30 by 20 meters built of large stones and bricks. In fact, there are assumptions that marble architectural parts from the ancient temple of Poliados Athena that existed in the area are built into it. Two of its three gates are closed but kept in good condition beyond its roof which had six domes and is believed to have collapsed in the great earthquake of 1781. Its stone walls are preserved in very good condition, which walls are 1 cm thick , 6 meters and up to a height of about 6.5 meters from the base of the building. On its north side was the treasury, where records and various valuable documents were kept. It was the center of the Larissa market, its most vital part. It was the core of its economic activity and its numerous professional guilds, as around it was organized the commercial part of the city with the bazaar (large permanent market) and the bazaar (the place of the open-air weekly market). It is also important to mention that Bezesteni until the end of the 70’s was almost completely covered with soil. Already in recent years studies have been done and in a few years there will be a complete restoration of the monument that will be open to all citizens who want to see it from the inside.
A few tens of meters east of Bezesteni is the Early Christian bath and the mid-Byzantine church inside Lambrouli Square.
Image by Municipality of Larissa.