Old Bazaar in 15th century

 
 

Old Bazaar in 15th century
 

On January 19, 1392 Skopje fell under reign of the Turks by which a new period in its long lasting history begun. Ottoman Turks using their old and tried method of terror and displacement of indigenous Christian population in a relatively short period have changed the physiognomy of the town and its bazaar. Thus, in Skopje in 1445, 511 Muslim and 339 Christian families lived and in 1519 - the number of Muslim families increased to 717 and the Christian dropped to 302. Properties of numerous churches, monasteries and local population have moved into Turkish hands. The town and its bazaar lost their Christian culture which soon was transformed to Turkish – Arab culture and Skopje had become Uskup.
 
However the city had not lost its meaning. Skopje had been further developed and had become mainly chief military stronghold of the Ottoman army in its quest to conquer the whole Balkan Peninsula. Also the Turkish garrison had been situated there. There are data that in that period in Topaana (Yeni neighborhood) cannons had been molded. On the area of Skopje’s suburb, former Dolengrad and the medieval bazaar a construction of capital intensive profane and sacred objects had begun necessary to meet the growing needs of the Muslim population which was majority at that time.
 
Already in the first decades of the 15th century, probably on the foundations of the medieval church of St. Vraci perhaps the oldest mosque in the Balkans - Meddah mosque was built whose legatee is the conqueror of Skopje and its first Turkish governor - Pasha Yigit Bey. This period would be crowned with construction of the aqueduct (financed by Mustafa Pasha) of underground clay pipes through which Skopje already in the early 16th century will begin to supply water from mountain springs of Skopska Crna Gora.
 
This directly contributes to the emergence of a number of pumps and fountains in the town and its bazaar which today do not exist but as the most mentioned in the records are: Aladzha fountain, Kappah Han, Souk, Demirdzhi, Rifai, Adem Baba etc. The Bazaar again at that time is typically oriental- Balkans, comprised of Bezisten, many inns, baths, caravan saray and mosques with versatile system of various stores and workshops.