Dushanbe looks back on a long tradition of trade. The name of the city on the legendary Silk Road means Monday Market.
For thousands of years, the overland route to China has fascinated merchants, pilgrims, adventurers or hippies. Alexander the Great’s campaigns took him as far as areas that are now called Tajikistan and Pakistan, and Marco Polo made it to China on behalf of Venice, where he stayed for several years and Genghis Khan’s grandson temporarily appointed him prefect. Today, the People’s Republic of China is expanding the Silk Road as a massive infrastructure project under the title One Belt, One Road.
In the Tajik capital Dushanbe, a monumental memorial depicts the commander Ismoil Somoni, after whom the country’s currency is also named. However, the cult of personality has long since arrived in the present as well. Large-format pictures of President Emomali Rahmon hang throughout Tajikistan. In the Tajik capital Dushanbe, national pride manifests itself in magnificent buildings and sculptures of famous national heroes. Despite all the search for identity, the Soviet style with its urge for gigantism is unmistakable in the monumental architecture. On the highest flagpole (165 meters) in the world, the oversized national flag decorated with a golden crown and stars flies seemingly in slow motion.
The cooling touch of fountains makes the park in the center of the city a popular destination. Here, the heat of summer is easy to bear. The expansive view of public buildings is a change from the hustle and bustle of the city’s commercial streets.
The Chinese had to defend themselves primarily against hostile nomadic peoples from the north. Against the Hun hordes, even the great Chinese wall did not offer one hundred percent protection. The best horses from today’s Kyrgyzstan were urgently needed and exchanged for silk.
Bartering among direct neighbors was common. None of the merchants had any idea of the entire Silk Road, as each knew only a section. The Silk Road is probably more to be understood as a corridor with various routes used side by side than as a precisely determinable route.
Reportage: Unforgettable at Peak Lenin
Reportage: Pamir leg of the Silk Road
Background Reportage: Special Adventures on the Silk Road
On the way on the traces of Marco Polo
The Silk Road leads to the most promising places in the world. On the so-called Pamir Highway, the old trade route in High Asia leads through the Pamir Mountains, where, along with the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush, the highest mountains on earth can be found. Even Marco Polo used some of the routes on his journey to China, which still lead across the roof of the world today.
The city of Dushanbe is located on the Silk Road and, as in the Middle Ages, is still an important trading center today. This is proven by the many representative buildings and the lively life in the modern market hall. The amount of fresh products and especially the variety of oriental spices are overwhelming. With this calendar you can enjoy the Orient in abundance for a whole year.
The cost of accommodation with half board was covered by the organizer
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