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.
 



03.06.2017 : Samarkand

Samarkand is listed as a "Crossroad of Cultures". Human activities can be traced back to the late paleolithic era. Its first name 750 BCE was Afrasiab. In 329 BCE Alexander the Great conquered the place - calling it Maracanda. Destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1220 it became the capital of the Empire of Timur in 1369. Due to those many wars over the centuries Samarkand became the home of a number of religions: Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Manichaeism, Judaism, Nestorian Christianity, Islam. In 2001 Samarkand became member of the UNESCO-List World Heritage.

The cultural Center is the Registan-Place formed by three Madrasas built in 1417-1420, 1619-1636 and 1646-1660. The word Madrasa is derived from the Arabic language and means "place for study". In Islamic Sciences this equalled religious as well as secular studies. Furtheron the Madrasas had been not only the places to study for the students but also the place to live during that period.
 



05.05.2017: Baku

Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. The InnerCity of Baku, along with the Shirvansha's Palace and Maiden Tower were inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The ethmology describes Baku as the "City of Winds" or "God's town". Its traces of human settlement go back to the Stone age.

The biggest shopping centers are according to Dr.Cebrayil Valiyev Ganclik Mall with 32.000 sqm built in 2016 ranking first in size in front of 28 Mall (24.000/2012), Park Bulvar (17.000/2010), Metro Park (13.500/2011), Buki Mall (10.000/2013), Port Baku Mall (10.000/2014), Aura Park/Ganca (9.000/2013) and Ayguen City (8.300/2012). Next one to open will be Baku City Mall.
 



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