The First Meeting of the International Network for the Silk Road Online Platform: A new phase in UNESCO’s Silk Roads Initiative

This first meeting of the International Network for the Silk Road Online Platform was held from 22 to 25 May 2015 in Xi’an, China with the participation of focal points and experts from fifteen Member States (China, Egypt, France, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Oman, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom).

Nowruz: Celebrating the New Year on the Silk Roads

Nowruz is a rite dating back to at least the 6th century BCE, marking the new year and ushering in spring.

Quanzhou: a crucial port along the eastern maritime Silk Roads

Located on the south-east coast of China, the city of Quanzhou was one of the most important Chinese ports along the historic Maritime Silk Roads. Known as Zayton (or Zaitun) by traders arriving from the Arab world, the port has welcomed sailors and travellers from many different cultures and religions as they traversed these routes.

The Republic of Azerbaijan supports the UNESCO Silk Road Online Platform

Throughout its history, Azerbaijan has played an important role in the development of the Silk Roads specially in Caucuses through connecting Central Asia with Anatolia, the Black Sea and the west. Situated on the west coast of the Caspian Sea and at the feet of the Caucasus Mountains, the country has been a pivotal point in the connection of civilizations since ancient times, welcoming merchants from across land and sea, and thus becoming a vital centre for the exchange not only of goods and merchandise, but of ideas, customs, religions and cultures.

The Chang’an-Tian-shan Silk Road Corridor has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

The Chang’an-Tian-shan Silk Road Corridor, one of the major arteries of the historic Silk Roads that opened up trade from China to the west, has become the first stretch of the Silk Road to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  The trans-boundary trading corridor, covering some 5,000 kilometers across China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, was in active use from the 2nd century BC until the 16th century AD, connecting cities, peoples and cultures across Central Asia as merchant caravans traversed the mountainous steppe land

The Sultanate of Oman supports the UNESCO Silk Road Online Platform

Situated between Asia and Africa, and providing a safe harbor at the junction of maritime trading routes, Oman has occupied a unique place along the maritime Silk Roads and brought together merchants from east and west for many centuries. Omani towns and ports, such as Sohar and Muscat, provided safe centres where peaceful trade and exchange could take place between sailors, merchants and travelers from across the world, trading in foreign merchandise as well as produce of the neighboring regions.

Caravanserais: cross-roads of commerce and culture along the Silk Roads

The inland routes of the Silk Roads were dotted with caravanserais, large guest houses or hostels designed to welcome travelling merchants and their caravans as they made their way along these trade routes. Found across Silk Roads countries from Turkey to China, they provided not only a regular opportunity for merchants to eat well, rest and prepare themselves in safety for their onward journey, and also to exchange goods, trade with to local markets, and to meet other merchant travelers, and in doing so, to exchange cultures, languages and ideas.

What are the Spice Routes?

The Spice Routes, also known as Maritime Silk Roads, is the name given to the network of sea routes that link the East with the West. They stretch from the west coast of Japan, through the islands of Indonesia, around India to the lands of the Middle East - and from there, across the Mediterranean to Europe. It is a distance of over 15,000 kilometres and, even today, is not an easy journey. From our very earliest history, people have travelled the Spice Routes.

The International Forum on the Great Silk Roads

In the framework of the International Decade for Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), the Republic of Kazakhstan organized in collaboration with UNESCO an International Forum on the “Great Silk Roads” (Almaty,14 -16 October 2013).

Aleppo, the disappearing memory of the Silk Roads

Located between the eastern Mediterranean coast and the Euphrates Valley at the crossroads of several trade routes since the 2nd millennium B.C., Aleppo stands out as ­one of the key centers along the legendary Silk Roads. Aleppo is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban cities. Its architecture reflects the influences of its successive rulers: Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Umayyads, Ayyubids, Mameluks and Ottomans.