Photographer's Note

On the Silk Road in Iraq:

I come back to TE with some pictures from Iraq. Thirty years of wars or turmoil are finally over, people settle in a new Iraq. I had to join a tourist tour to get in and see things for myself. I was on a "Religious tourism" group visa (we visited mosques, churches, a synagogue and a Mandean temple).

Baghdad is essentially a city of the 20th century, growing furiously due to a population explosion. The population is estimated at 6 million people today. You don't walk in this city, you take a taxi or a minibus. Only few architectural sights recall the glorious past of a city that existed for many millenia. Murjan Khan is one of them, an inn built in 1386 and renovated in 1935. You guessed right: it was an important stopover on the Silk Road that led from the Mediterranean shores through Palmyra and Baghdad to Iran. I imagine that the camels and horses were kept and fed on the ground floor, the travelers rented a room on the upper floor. This khan was until recently a fashionable hangout for Baghdadis but today it is neglected and ground water is seeping in.
Literature: K. Dabrowska & G. Hann, 2008. Iraq Then & Now. Bradt Travel Guides.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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