Skopje and its Bazaar in XVI century

Construction on capital facilities that commenced in the previous century continued in the town and bazaar, although with less intensity. In this period the renewal of a Christian facility for the first time will be enabled after the destruction of the churches by the Turks in 1543. It is the church of St. Spas. In that period Skopje turned into headquarters of Sandzak – a major administrative unit of the Turkish Empire, headed by the Sandzak Bay who further increased its importance within the great Ottoman Empire. Skopje had 53 Muslim and 14 Christian neighborhoods by the middle of the XVI century according to the Turkish documents. The Bazaar continued with the intense construction of shops and craft workshops. The process of establishment of special bazaars, depending of the crafts, started within its daily growth. So, in the Old Bazaar there are leather-furrier, tinsmith, hardware, textile, goldsmith bazaar and other bazaars.
The Bazaar organized night security service that charged each shop with a fee of 12 akche (Turkish silver coin). At the end of XVI century 1053 shops were registered in the Bazaar. Together with the town as a sultan’s “has” (province) 474 797 akche were paid in 1544 as annual tax, which undoubtedly speaks of the size and economic power of the bazaar in that period.
The development of the bazaar was not ceased not even by the disastrous earthquake in 1555, and despite the enormous damages both the Bazaar and the town will quickly recover. At that time, the number of traders of the Mediterranean cities was very high and the influence of the numerous Jewish colony was significant, having the majority of the trade in their hands. Also the traders form Dubrovnik established their colony.
In that period, Skopje was known as famous and rich slave market. Of course, it was mostly the native Macedonian Christian population that was sold as slaves, but there were also Armenians, Jews and others. They were dislocated in the deserts of Anatolia against their will. From there Turkish colonists were brought in Macedonia.