Don’t worry they survived. Finally they got to a city, a beautiful one. Tun and Qaien (today known as Ferdows). Marco describes an extraordinary tree in this city. A tree which has green leaves on one side and white leaves on the other. The locals called it “The lonely tree”. It is said that it was the place that a battle happened between Alexander and Darius III.

Assassins

One of the greatest experiences of Marco in Iran was walking on the Alamut, in the western edge of the Alburz range. On the Alamut he met Pir of Kuhestan ( old man of the mountain). The old man and his followers were innovators of Islam. They were called Assassins. The old man wanted to show heaven to his followers. It was interesting for Marco to get to know different aspects of diversity of religion in Iran.

Marco’s next destination was Saveh. While he was going to the north, he saw numerous hot springs that cured skin diseases. Saveh consisted of 46 villages and was an Islamic city. Being in a cool city like Saveh must have been a blessing for him, since he was mostly in the deserts, tolerating hot weather. While Marco was in Saveh, he accidentally found a Zoroastrian temple, known as the “Temple of Fire Worshipers”. Marco mentions in his book that Iranians always tried to keep the sacred fire on.

Story of Three Kings

They believed that a long time ago three kings came from Saveh, Aveh and Kashan to see a newly born prophet. These kings brought three souvenirs for the baby, gold, incense and Myra tree, to know whether the baby is a prophet, a king, or a wise man. They believed if he picks gold, he is a king, if he picks the incense he is a prophet and if he chooses Myra, he is a wise man. First the youngest king went inside and saw that the baby was exactly like him, with the same shape and height. The same thing happened to the other kings. They decided to go in together. When they walked in they just saw a 13 days old baby. They respected the baby and granted him all three souvenirs. Then he gave them a box and the kings moved back to get to their homes.

After a few days of riding they wondered what is in the box and they found a stone. The kings were surprised and couldn’t understand what it meant. They threw the stone to a well. Suddenly a fire came from the sky to the well. They were shocked of what they have seen and they felt sad for throwing away the stone. They picked pieces of the fire to take it to their homes. All three kings built temples to keep the sacred fire in them. They vowed to keep the fire on.

in Tabriz

According to his plan, the last city he would visit was Tabriz. Marco called Tabriz (Touriz) as the district of large forts. The city was in a wonderful position. Many goods have been imported from India, Baghdad, Mosul and Hormuz to Tabriz. This city was also the center of business and art. Marco believes that Tabriz has witnessed many historical events. Marco witnessed merchants of far away countries come to Tabriz to sell and buy goods. This city was full of precious stones, spices, silk of Gilan and gold. Marco noticed Armenians, Nestorians, Jacobins, and Georgians in Tabriz. It is said that because of the geographic location of Tabriz, different people with different religions lived there. Tabriz have always welcomed all the people, no matter what religion they had.

His journey in Iran was about to end. When he wanted to leave Iran, he went down the Silk Road to get to China. This road was (and still is) an ancient network of trade routes that connects the East to the West.

In this journey Marco visited famous cities of Iran. He got acquainted with different cultures and religions in Iran in the 13th century. Marco’s story has inspired countless adventurers to set-off and see the world. Later, many people tried to follow his footstep and see the beauties and wonders that Marco Polo describes in his book.


 

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