The arasta bazaar is located behind the Sultanahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) and was built in the same period and served as a shopping centre. Today, with about seventy shops, many types of carpets, rugs and ceramics are sold here. As a result of archaeological excavations in the area, mosaics that are part of the Great Palace of constantinople were excavated nearby and are now exhibited in the Mosaic Museum of the Great Palace of Istanbul.
The bazaar was severely damaged in a fire that broke out in 1912 and remained in ruins for a long time. In the 1980s, a restoration project was initiated, as a result of which the bazaar regained much charm and importance.