15.11.2017 : Isfahan

Isfahan is located 340 kilometers south of Tehran/Iran; its history can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period; the first urban developments started 2700 -1600 BCE. It is said that when Cyrus the Great (reigning 559 - 529 BCE) freed the Jews from the Babylonian captivity parts of them returned to Jerusalem while other parts settled in the place called today Isfahan. Later its location at the intersection of the ancient roads to Susa and Persepolis attracted army-strongholds.

photo from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

The Arabs captured Isfa 642; the Buwayhid dynasty created the first wealth ; it became part of the South-route of the Silk Road. Isfahan's real golden age began in 1598 and it became one of the most beautiful cities of the 17th century. The Naghsh-e Jahan Square is one of the largest city squares in the world and had been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

15.10.2017 : Processing Hubs

China will invest billions of dollars into the revitalization of the historical Silk Road network: one modern railway-route will go North-bound and end via Moscow - Warsaw in Hamburg ; the other South-bound route will revive the Caspian and Black Sea network.

Prof.Dr.Hallier demanded in a speech in Almaty/Kazakhstan modern storage capacities and production hubs along those routes, supporting the local and national agribusiness in its export efforts. "The procuring and processing of raw materials could improve the trade margins definitely and decrease losses/waste of food from harvest and transportation : a big deal for micro-economics as well as for the macro-economic sectors" he said.

10.09.2017 : Marco Polo

In Europe the most famous name connected with the Silk Road is the Venetian merchant Marco Polo (1254 - 1324). But Dr.Francis Wood from the British Museum in London does question if Marco Polo had ever been in China; she believes that he traveled only up to Constantinople and everything else is fiction! For sure his reports became only well-known in 1558 - 234 years after his death.

In his notes dictated to Rusticello from Pisa with whom he shared for 10 months a prison cell in Genoa he neither mentioned the Great Wall or the Chinese pottery nor the crippled feet of the Chinese women at that time. Therefore the thesis is that he got his China information from people from Far East for whom the Wall, the pottery, the feet were so common that it was not worth to be mentioned. Scientific fact is too that over the centuries the Marco Polo story increased by each new edition.

10.08.2017 : Istanbul

There is no other city in the world which over thousands of years is an example for change/urban revitalization like Byzanz (Greek Empire), Konstantinopel (Roman Empire), Stanbul (Osman Empire) and today called Istanbul - being the bridge between Orient and Okzident as like as it was already in the times of the historical SILK ROAD .

The biggest Shopping Centers in Istanbul are according to Dr.Cebrayil Valiyev the Forum Istanbul (176.400/2009), Mall of Istanbul (135.000/2011), Istanbul Javahir (110.000/2005), Torium (90.000/2010), MetroCity (51.000/2003), Olivium (35.000/2000), Akmerkez (34.000/1993) and Airport Outlet (32.000/2008). For Galleria (77.000/1988) and Atirus (56.000/2005) data reflect the total area of the facility.

06.07.2017 : Aleppo/ Halab

Aleppo (or in Arabic tongue : Halab) was first mentioned already 1900 BCE - it had relations to Babylon at the time of Hammurabi I ; later it was part of the Hethiter Empire - Alexander the Great occupied Aleppo in 333 BCE - and in the younger history among others from 1517 onwards it belonged to the Osman Empire and finally was part of Syria after World War II. In 1986 the historic Medina became UNESCO Worldheritage

In 1619 the merchant Niclas de Respaigne was painted by Peter Paul Rubens after his six years in Aleppo - returning to Antwerpen/today Belgium. He had started his business at Venice going from there to the Middle East and being interested in the textile industry of Aleppo. The Herat-Carpet and the Oriental Fashion show the rich and exotic ambiente of the quite wealthy business at that time. The melancholy of the face of the merchant could be taken in 2017 as an impression of frustration about the situation nowadays.

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