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Arts and culture | LUCIS exhibition opening | Islam in Central Asia

Exhibition: Silk Road Cities

Wednesday 3 August 2022 - Friday 23 September 2022
The exhibition is open from Monday to Friday (07:30 - 18:30 hrs); closed on Saturday and Sunday
Oude UB
Rapenburg 70
2311 EZ Leiden

Silk Road Cities Documented through Vintage Photographs, Prints and Postcards

The most unexpected innovations and fusions of world’s religions and material culture have taken place along the trade and communication networks known today as the Silk Roads. Term coined by the German geologist Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877, the Silk Road has attracted much scholarly interest in recent years. The artistic vibrancy of the empires that stretched from China to Byzantium was reflected in their cultural production. Their artistic excellence combined with exquisite decorum was the product of continuous exchanges, mixing and melding of traditions.

The exhibition will feature Islamic architectural monuments (mosques, madrasas, mausoleums) in major urban centres along the Silk Roads. Special focus will be on the cities of Herat (Afghanistan), Mashhad and Sultaniyya (Iran), Turkestan (Kazakhstan), Marv and Anau (Turkmenistan), Samarqand, Bukhara and Shahr-i Sabz (Uzbekistan).


Opening 8 September 2022

Silk Road Cities documented through vintage photographs, prints and postcards will officially open on september 8th in the 'Oude UB'.

17:00-18:30 hrs
Oude UB
Rapenburg 70

Join us for a drink and a bite and have a look at the fascinating photography on display. All welcome!

(The exhibition can already be viewed by the general public from the 3rd of August.)


The exhibition is organized within the LUCIS programme Islam in Central Asia, the NWO project Turks, texts and territory: Imperial ideology and cultural production in Central Eurasia and the Central Asia Initiative at Leiden University. The online catalogue of the exhibition is available here.

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