Welcome to Iran! (2016)

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In spring 2016 Ursula Kampmann travelled to Iran! The particular warm welcome made up for some other details. And although coins were rarely seen during the travel it was a spetactular experience. You can find all episodes here.

Part 1 : Culture shock in Tehran
Would you like to be a millionaire for a day? In Tehran this can happen really fast. Just exchange 100 euros for 3.6 million Iranian riyal. And that won’t be the only thing to surprise you when you visit this 15 million people city. Read Part 1 here.

Part 2: At the Mongol’s tomb
Today we make our way across modern Tehran, to the old Safavid capital Qazvin and to Soltanyieh, where the Mongolian ruler Öljaitü built a magnificent shrine as a last resting place for Mohammad’s son-in-law Ali and his son Hossein. Read Part 2 here.

Part 3: The hardships of being a tourist
Far away from civilization, at an altitude of 2,200 m lies the Throne of Solomon, Takht-e Soleyman, where a Zoroastrian fire temple – perhaps the Sassanids’ most important fire temple, was built in 5th century AD. Getting there proved to be an adventure. Read Part 3 here.

Part 4: The slaughtered lamb, or: just another day in Iran
Just like everybody else, Iranians like their time off. To pass this time, there are local recreational areas. We visited one of them: Kandovan, the Iranian Göreme. Part 4 brings you little history and numismatics but a lot of Iranian everyday life. Read Part 4 here.

Part 5: At the tomb of Jude the Apostle
For Armenian Christians Jude the Apostle is of enormous importance. It is to him that the Church owes its independence from Rome. In this episode we visit his tomb. But before that we drive to Ardabil, where the founder of the Safavid dynasty is buried. Read Part 5 here.

Part 6: Of clay fortresses, mausoleum towers and Khosrow II
This episode is like a road movie. We are driving, and driving, and driving. And when we’re not driving we are visiting a clay fortress, way too many mausoleum towers, and the reliefs of Khosrow II in Bisotun. Read Part 6 here.

Part 7: In the land of the Medes
This part of our journey brings us to a place that gives every admirer of Antiquity a thrill of anticipation: Ekbatana. That the Aechemenid Bisotun and the Median Nushidjan turned out to be much more exciting, however, was one thing we couldn’t have anticipated. Read Part 7 here.

Part 8: The commemoration day of Fatima Masumeh
You could say – although that would be quite daring with regard to historical and political correctness – that the Shiites are the Catholics of Islam. They practise a very human form of Islam, one that is positively overcrowded with saints. One of them is Fatima Masumeh, whose commemoration day we… Read Part 8 here.

Part 9: The Tower of Babel
Where did you think the best-preserved ziggurat was – in Ur or Uruk? Neither is correct. If you want to know what the Tower of Babel looked like you need to travel to Chogha Zanbil. We do exactly that before we visit Shush, the ancient Susa. Read Part 9 here.

Part 10: In the Sassanid capital
Bishapur, City of Shapur, was once the name of the Sassanid capital. It was founded by Shapur I in 266. Roman prisoners of war are said to have helped with the construction. Together with their Emperor Valerian they had been taken captive in the Battle of Edessa. Read Part 10 here.

Part 11: Persepolis! At last!
If ever there was a reason why I wanted to travel Iran, it was Persepolis, the capital of the Persians with its incredible Apadana. Finally the day has come. We are going to see the city of cities! Read Part 11 here.

Part 12: At the Tomb of Cyrus the Great
This episode of the numismatic diary brings us to Pasargadae, the first capital of the Persian Empire and the last resting place of Cyrus the Great. Even the Greeks considered Cyrus a model ruler… Read Part 12 here.

Part 13: Home at Zarathustra’s
The penultimate episode of the numismatic diary brings us to Yazd, the centre of the fire cult. We visit the towers of silence, the famous fire temple, and of course we can’t get around Nietzsche altogether… Read Part 13 here.

Part 14: Isfahan, or Half the World
The last episode of the numismatic diary brings us to Isfahan, whose beauty and diversity has led poets to say that “Isfahan is half the world.” And we visit this city not on just any day of the year, but on Newroz, the Iranian New Year, of all days… Read Part 14 here.