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Over 500 years old, surviving fire and earthquakes, it welcomes up to 400,000 people a day and takes pride in being the world's most-visited destination – more popular than the Eiffel Tower. So it's hardly surprising that Istanbul's venerable Grand Bazaar, built in the mid-15th century, has suffered some wear and tear over the years. The Grand Bazaar ranked as the top destination anywhere in the world with over 90 million visitors in 2014, according to a Travel + Leisure listing.With the city in need of a trade center for goods coming in from all over the nascent Ottoman Empire, the Grand Bazaar expanded rapidly."These galleries will solidify the edifice underground and stabilize the building's columns," Olfaz said.Meeting under the framework of their union, the owners of the more than 3,000 shops in the bazaar agreed to also contribute for the renovation, convinced that it was necessary. The project also foresees the construction of two hotels in caravanserais – Ottoman-era guesthouses that were aimed at travelling merchants – on the edge of the bazaar.
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