Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road:

Gleaned from Wikipedia: The Battle of Karbala took place on Muharram 10, in the year 61 AH of the Islamic calendar (October 10, 680 AD) in Karbala, Iraq. The battle was between a small group of supporters of Muhammad's grandson Hussein ibn Ali, and a much larger military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph from Damascus, whom Hussein had refused to recognise. Hussein and all his supporters were killed. The dead and the battle have a central place in Shi'a history and tradition.

The shrine of Hussein ibn Ali in Karbala (see View: map) has a long architectural history, starting shortly after his death. Fath Ali, Shah of Persia (1797-1834) rebuilt the shrine after its sacking by some Wahabit fanatics in 1803. What we see today, the great golden cupola and the Persian style minarets, are largely from this time. But the clock tower at the main entrance seems to me a later contribution by the Ottoman rulers. New structures and ornaments are added even today.

The shrine nowadays attracts millions of pilgrims from many countries. We tourists were friendly received by the religious guards. We had to deposit baggage and shoes before entering like everybody else. I got a special permission to take this shot discreetly, behind the back of my friend. Notice that you see one of the four ante-rooms, the sanctuary is to the far right, the exit to the open-air Narthex to the left. Impressive !

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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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