Khan El-Khalili, was called as the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, now usually just is called the ‘Khan’, and the names of it and the Muski market are often used. The market was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks El-Khalili in the heart of the Fatimid City.
With the Al-Muski market to the west, they comprise one of Cairo’s most important shopping areas.And they represent the market tradition which established Cairo as a major center of trade, and at the Khan, one will still find foreign merchants. Perhaps, this vary market was involved in the spice monopoly controlled by the Mamluks, which encouraged the Europeans to search for new routes to the East and led Columbus, indirectly, to discover the Americas.
This vary market was involved in the spice monopoly controlled by the Mamluks, which encouraged the Europeans to search for new routes to the East and led Columbus, indirectly, and that is how the Khan was the reason of discovering the Americas. It was also a center for subversive groups, often subject to raids before the Sultan Ghawri rebuilt much of the area in the early 16th century. Regardless, it was trade which caused Cairo’s early wealth, even from the time of the Babylon fort.
This market is located at one corner of a triangle of markets that go south to Bab Zuwayla and west to Azbakiyyah. The Khan is bordered on the south by Al-Azhar Street and on the west by the Muski Market. One of the old original gates guards the entrance to the original courtyard which lies midway down Sikkit Al-Badistan.
On a narrow street, one will find the El-Fishawi Cafe, or Cafe of Mirrors, which was once a meeting place for local artists, and is still frequented by the Nobel Award winning Naguib Mahfouz, one of Egypt’s most well known authors.
Buyers generally shop in the area north of Al-Badistan and to the west, where prices may be lower. Better deals for gold and silver are to be found west of the Khan along the “street of the gold-sellers”.