The Trading Domes – Uzbekistan’s surviving Silk Road Bazaar 

The Trading Domes or Taki Zargaron in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. 2023.

The complex of domes in sandy bricks is the living history to feel the atmosphere of the Silk Road ancient bazaar. Four out of five of the trading domes remain bustling with traders and buyers who bargain for unique stuff that is rarely found in any part of the world. Here is the market for second-hand antiques and new artisan stuff; from traditional Uzbekistan costumes, handicrafts, and ex-Soviet stuff.

Shaybanid Dynasty in the 16th century built these Trading Domes from Lyabi Khauz to Mirid Arab Madrasa in the old town of Bukhara, Uzbekistan at the junction of the Silk Road’s trade route from China to Anatolia (recently Turkey). It was not only silk offered by caravan merchants but also paper, metal, gunpowder, and artwork.

The trading domes are part of listed the architecture of the region, a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993. “It is one of the best examples of well-preserved Islamic medieval cities of Central Asia of the 10th to 17th centuries, with an urban fabric that has remained largely intact,” as written on the UNESCO website. 

This ancient bazaar survived for more than 2,000 years through a couple of reigns from Mongolian Genghis Khan to the Soviet communist post-World War II. 

Taki Sarafon (Dome of the Moneychangers), was the stock exchange where the world salesmen “Sarrafs” exchanged their currencies.  

The Trading Dome of Taki Sarafon in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Taki-Tilpak-Furushan or Kitab-Furushon (Dome of the Headguard Sellers), Kitab in the Uzbek language means to book, Furushan was a bookseller.

The Trading Domes of Taki-Tilpak-Furushan in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Taki Zargaron, from the Bukhara word for Zagar or Jeweler, was the first trading domes for jewellery makers. 

The Trading Domes or Taki Zargaron in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Tiro-Abdullah-Khan was offering carpets, beautiful colourful scarfs or the traditional Bukharin fabrics.

Remains of Caravanserais found by the Institute of Archaeology of Science of Uzbekistan in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Photos gallery of the Trading Domes in Bukhara, Uzbekistan:

Text and Photo by Anton Raharjo/Asian Geographic


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