History of the Green Market

May 29, 2019

In the middle of 19th century rich and powerful merchant Sadyk Rafykov ordered to build the market to the exile polish architect Yan Kozel-Poklevsky.  

At that time it had a name “Guest Yard and its merchants” or Gostiny Dvor in Russian. Here you could meet entrepreneurs and sales agents from all over Central Asia, neighboring countries and even from Japan! In terms of its trade and other qualities, the bazaar was one of the best markets of the region. Vernensky Gostiny Dvor consisted of two low pavilions stretching along the shopping street. The premises, surrounded by a wooden gallery, were divided into separate sections. Stone stairs led to the basement where the goods were stored. Trading platforms were refined - in the courtyard there was a fountain with a water supply system.



It was possible to buy all kinds of stuff: from kerosene for lamps to homemade candies. Rows of fresh vegetables and fruits, cereals, and greens were scattered in front of the buyer. There were shops selling various sorts of tea imported from China. A spontaneous market was spread around the perimeter, selling all kinds of utensils, raw materials, firewood and fuel. Some merchants sold goods directly from carts. Livestock was also traded in the Green Market. Flocks and herds of cows, pigs and sheep were presented at the back of the market. Noise, smells, smoke everywhere! People cooked here and ate here: grilled meat, noodles, dumplings. Cab drivers stood nearby, ready to deliver shoppers laden with goods to their homes.




The most successful merchants put their mansions around the perimeter of the market. From it the city began to grow to the southwest.

Market was a city’s dominant but it didn’t mean that market will always have easy noisy life.


In 1887 a major earthquake happened in Verniy and almost nothing was left from the market. It was rebuilt, but lost the former importance, as additional bazaars started to appear targeting on one type of goods: this is how hay, vegetable, equestrian and livestock markets appeared. The Green Market became primarily vegetable and fruit market with the main diamond: Aport apple.

After the revolution, private trade was banned and stopped in every possible way, which of course made the merchants – main heroes of the market – to suffer a lot.

However, people need market, and no matter what kind of political regime is on, market will rise from the any ashes: with the advent of collective farms or ‘kolkhoz’ in the second half of the 1920s, large-scale trade in agricultural products, vegetables, and fruits was resumed. In 1927, Gostiny Dvor was rebuilt and acquired the new name Central Collective Farm Market. The people more stuck the name Green Bazaar. During the war, the bazaar was the only place where they continued to sell goods for money, rather than special cards.

In the 1970s market had its strong revival: the old simple wooden market was demolished and on its place in 1975 a massive indoor building in the style of Soviet constructivism appeared. The main architect of the project was Mark Pavlov. It was one of the best market buildings in all Soviet Union.