- Cannot be adjacent to another Trading Dome.
Among all city-state tile improvements, the Trading Dome is by far the worst one. It is incredibly one-dimensional, as the only yield it grants is Gold. The Trading Dome poses the same issue as the Kurgan or the Ziggurat: the total effects of the improvement will be trivial if there are too few, but the growth and productivity of the city will be stunted if there are too many, since none of these improvements provide any Food, Production and Housing. Just to make the matter worse, Gold, despite its versatility, is the least valuable currency in the game by quite a large margin. 1 Gold is worth half as much as 1 Faith in purchasing, cannot compare to the value of 1 Science or Culture, and is the easiest yield to generate in great abundance.
The bonus to international Trade Routes is even more trivial. Bandar Brunei, Venice and Hunza provide similar bonuses, with much higher efficiency and without requiring you to invest space or build charges, and these 3 city-states are not even among the most outstanding city-states to begin with.
Overall, by the virtue of the Trading Dome, Samarkand should be very close to the bottom in the power ranking of city-states. It is a very weak city-state with a trivial suzerain bonus. At least other weak city-states like Preslav, Mogadishu or Vilnius instantly give you the bonus once you become its Suzerain, instead of forcing you to expend additional resources in terms of space and Builders to activate the bonus. Any non-free Envoy into Samarkand should be discouraged.
One of the most innovative architectural features of Samarkand are its domes. Not content with building one dome above a structure, architects piled dome upon dome, linking them together to make a stable but spacious internal space. On the inside, many of these are decorated with elaborate Islamic muqarnas – ornate decorative vaults. The Chorsu bazaar, the trading dome at the intersection of the roads linking Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent, is an example of this kind of architecture. Inside the bazaar during Samarkand’s height would have been goods and people from China, India, Europe, and the Middle East – virtually the entire known world.
- The design for the Trading Dome in-game is based on the Chorsu Trading Dome in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.