One of the most remarkable attractions of Samarkand is the ancient building of the Chorsu Bazaar. It so happened that in Tashkent there is a market bearing the same name. The Samarkand Chorsu was created, or rather built, back in the 15th century. It is noteworthy that not every tourist knows where it is, although it is located next to the Registan Square, behind the Sherdor Madrassah.
The name “Chorsu” in Farsi means “four ways”, and it more than justifies its existence because the market was located at the intersection of the caravan tracks of the Great Silk Road. The perfect location allowed the market to exist and develop for several centuries because hundreds of caravans carrying goods from different parts of Asia passed along that route. The trade was brisk, and sometimes there was not enough place for traders on the territory of the market and some of them had to position themselves nearby.
In the early 18th century, the market was reconstructed. Ethnic hats became the basic type of goods sold there. Partly because of that, it got its second name — “The Dome”. The building was completely redesigned. That design has survived until now: there you still can see its four entrances on different sides symbolizing the ancient intersection. Until the end of the 19th century, the commerce was at full swing there almost around the clock.
One could find all kinds of goods, fruit, spices, clothes and jewelry for every taste and look. Visitors say that even curiosity seekers who were just passing by and did not plan to buy anything could not help buying something. Eastern merchants were always notable for their ability to present their goods.
Later, when the territory of Uzbekistan became part of the Soviet Union, the market was granted the status of a cultural and architectural monument. That had little impact on its functioning — in that place one could still buy all and everything but… food. Healing herbs, books, casual and ethnic wear, tools, trinkets and souvenirs were offered there — anything but food.
Later the market stopped to be used for its intended purpose. Now the building houses the gallery exhibiting the works of local artists and sculptors.
The building remains the same. Only some minor improvements have been added. Its shape resembles a truncated prism with a dome at the top. To restore the original look of the building, it was necessary to dig up its footing from a depth of more than 3 meters. As a result, there is space around the building now and you can see the work of the architects who built it more than 2 hundred years ago.
You can be sure that your visit to Uzbekistan will be perfect if you go with Canaan Travel — we will reveal to you the most beautiful places in the magical East.