Do you know that there are more than 40 countries that have been radically transformed by the land and maritime Silk Roads?
The Silk Road is an amalgamation of different routes of communication intertwined with trade routes. These routes span over land and sea routes. When one thinks of the Silk Road, one is naturally inclined to link that with the bustling trade market of different commodities that range from daily life necessities to highly prized and exquisite goods. However, there is more than these to the Silk Road.
Trade was not the singular pull factor that attracted merchants and traders from different places.The Silk Road was a pivotal platform that allowed for the transmission of a plethora of things. The riches of the Silk Road trade, in terms of intellectual, artistic, and commercial, helped in the rise of land and maritime hub cities that were rich in architecture, knowledge, the arts, and culture.
This post will focus on 4 cities - Quan Zhou, Samarkand, Venice, and Alexandria - that lie along either the land or maritime route through a travelogue on the Instagram platform. Go back in time to discover the rich history of these four cities and be amazed at how the Silk Road had infiltrated their cities then and the impacts are still evidently present in the 21st century.
Quan Zhou and Alexandria, two maritime cities interconnected cultures along the Silk Road route through seaways and became key ports for traders across Asia, Europe and Africa. On the other hand, because of the strategic position of land cities of Venice and Samarkand, perched in Europe and Central Asia, similarly helped in the development and booming of Silk Road trade across the east and the west.
As a result of Silk Road trade, we see these four cities that were rich in architecture, centers of vibrant trading, and melting pot of different religions. These 4 Silk Road land and maritime cities prospered through the trade and commerce that took place along the Silk Road and in turn further helped in the flourishment of Silk Road trade.
Castillo, A. The Blue Capital: Samarkand, Crossroads of Cultures (1970, January 01). From UNESCO culture. Accessed March 29, 2017.
Chung, C. W. Quanzhou: China’s forgotten historic port (n.d.). From CNN Travel. Accessed April 03, 2017.
Hanks, Reuel. Central Asia A Global Studies Handbook. (2005). Google books
Liu, Jen. On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta. (2013). Google Books.
Lonely Planet Food. The World's Best Street Food: Where to Find it & How to Make it. (2012). Google Books.
Marks, Jil. Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. (2010). Google Books.
Marefat, Roya. “The Heavenly City of Samarkand”. (1992). The Wilson Quarterly (1976-), 16(3), 33-38.
Perur, Srinath. Timur's Registan: noblest public square in the world? – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 7 (2015, March 31). From The Guardian. Accessed March 31, 2017.
Shah-i-Zinda in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (n.d.). From Lonely Planet. Accessed March 31, 2017.
The Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (n.d.). From Lonely Planet. Accessed March 29, 2017.
Gur- E- Amir Mausoleum and Around (n.d.). From Lonely Planet. Accessed March 29, 2017.
Quanzhou. From Wiki Travel (n.d.). Accessed April 03, 2017
Quanzhou Travel Guide. From China Travel (n.d.). Accessed April 03, 2017
Rahmatullaeva, Sulhiniso. Samarqand’s rigestān and its architectural meanings (2010). Journal of Persianate Studies, 3(2), 156-191.
Waugh, Daniel C. Samarkand: Shah-i-Zinde (n.d.). From University of Washington. Accessed March 31, 2017.
Waugh, Daniel C. Samarkand: Bibi Khanum Mosque (n.d.). From University of Washington. Accessed March 31, 2017.
SILK ROAD Dialogue, Diversity & Development. Samarkand. (n.d.). From UNESCO. Accessed March 29, 2017.
SILK ROAD Dialogue, Diversity & Development. Cities Alongside Silk Road Routes. (n.d.). From UNESCO. Accessed April 23, 2017.
SILK ROAD Dialogue, Diversity & Development. Venice. (n.d.). From UNESCO. Accessed March 29, 2017
SILK ROAD Dialogue, Diversity & Development. Quanzhou. (n.d.). From UNESCO. Accessed April 03, 2017.
Alexandria. (n.d.). From UNESCO. Accessed April 15, 2017.
Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa in Alexandria, Egypt. (n.d.). From The Lonely Planet. Accessed April 22, 2017.
Roman Amphitheatre in Alexandria, Egypt. (n.d.). From The Lonely Planet.Accessed April 22, 2017,
Pompey's Pillar & the Temple of Serapeum in Alexandria, Egypt. (n.d.). From The Lonely Planet. Accessed April 22, 2017.
Francisco Guardi. The Bucentaur near San Nicolò di Lido. (19 May 2005) CC BY-SA 3.0
Ramón from Llanera, España ; brightened by Off-shell. Manti, Uzbek food (12 October,2008). CC BY-SA 2.0
Uzbek Flatbread. CC0 (Public Domain).
Daniel Mayer, Alexandria - Roman Amphitheater - close up view showing arches (1 Jul 2008). GFDL.
Marsyas, Alejandro Magno (Sarcófago, Museo Arqueológico de Estambul) (13 Feb 2005). CC BY-SA 3.0
The How Photographer. Venedig, Italien. (7 October, 2015) CC0 1.0
Tkbwikmed, 3rd century BC statue of Alexander the Great (6 Nov 2009). Public Domain
William Henry Goodyear, Egypt - Obelisk, Alexandria. Brooklyn Museum Archives (1 Jan 1923). Public Domain.
errye & Roy Klotz, MD, ENTRANCE TO A BURIAL CHAMBER FLANKED BY EGYPTIAN GODS (4 Apr 2007). CC BY-SA 3.0