The medieval Bukhara was a great trading city, welcoming merchants from all parts of Central Asia, from Iran and India, from Russia and China. The trading status of Bukhara was reflected in the planning and development of the city. Large streets in the centre served as bazaars, each selling a particular type of product. Complex, multiply ventilated domed floors were built for their improvement in the squares and crossroads of the streets, known as “stream” – arches, vaults. Three such structures have been preserved: Toqi Zargaron (trade dome of the jewellers), Toqi Sarrafon (trade dome of the money changers) and Toqi Telpak Furushon (trade dome of the cap sellers).
The majestic trade dome Toqi Sarrafon is located at the intersection of several streets that connect the city centre of Bukhara with a medieval suburb (Registan and Rabat). The structure was named after the Sarrafs – the merchants who transformed it. Traditionally, the exchange of currencies of different states was carried out by Indians. This means that the dome can be considered one of the oldest “currency exchanges” in the East. The main part of the structure – a huge dome – stands on four large arches and on all sides this structure is surrounded by various buildings. The arches are interesting because they are executed in a unique architectural style. Their design is called “charzamin” and this type of finishing is typical for Bukhara. Of course, the modern dome does not gather currency experts, but an unimaginable number of traditional eastern souvenirs are collected here. Travellers will find original jewellery (necklaces, earrings, rings) as well as all kinds of kitchen utensils and appliances and even expensive jewellery, in addition to light-coloured carpets and patterned skullcaps.