The Khan El Khalili market was built in 1382 by the Emir Djaharks el-Khalili in the heart of the Fatimid City. Together with the al-Muski market to the west, the markets comprise one of Cairo’s most important shopping areas. But more than that, they represent the market tradition which established Cairo as a major center of trade, and at the Khan, one will still find foreign merchants. It is speculated that this market was involved in the spice monopoly controlled by the Mamluks, which encouraged the Europeans to search for new routes to the East and led Columbus, indirectly, to discover the Americas.
See those two bicylcists on the lower left of this photo... are they really both balancing that plank on their heads while riding bikes, or am I just seeing things?