The Silk Road

The Silk Road

15 Episodes

A war correspondent for the AP news agency and a journalist for Paris Match will be our guides. Take an extended trip through six countries and cultures. Journey through time, encountering specialists, historians, or just everyday people with a passion who will help you grasp the past and present identities of those countries. From Bursa in Turkey to Xi’an in China. Alfred guides and accompanies you in this fresh and original way to discover History.

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The Silk Road
  • Yazd
    Episode 1


    Episode 1

    In the oasis of Kashan, in central Iran, Alfred marvels at the famous pleasure gardens of Fin that cemented the Persians’ renown. He then discovers Iranian Zoroastrianism in a “house of strength”, whose inhabitants hone both their spirit and their body.

  • Bukhara

    Episode 2

    Alfred arrives in Uzbekistan, at the heart of the ancient Silk Road. He discovers Bukhara the beautiful, dream city for numerous travelers.

  • Samarkand

    Episode 3

    Some used to say Samarkand – in central Uzbekistan – was at the center of the world. Alfred follows the ancient Royal Road to the city – associated with the great Turco-Mongol warrior Timur, who was also famed for his refinement and elegance.

  • Fergana

    Episode 4

    Alfred is awestruck by the modernity of life in Tashkent, the capital of present-day Uzbekistan and a major central Asian city. There is an incredible mix of ethnic groups in this part of the world.

  • Kyrgystan

    Episode 5

    Osh is the first place Alfred visits in Kyrgyzstan. He saunters down the aisles of its bazaar, but soon realizes that the real Kyrgyzstan is to be found on the endless steppes and vast mountains, where you lose all notions of boundaries.

  • Kashgar

    Episode 6

    Alfred's point of entry to China is Kashgar, in the Xinjiang region – the biggest in the country. It is home to the Uyghurs, an ethnic minority descended from Turkic peoples.

  • Taklamakan

    Episode 7

    Crossing the Taklamakan desert is a demanding step. And only once the Silk Road caravans made it could they say they truly arrived in China. The Bactrian camel has become emblematic of the region: without it, trade could not have developed along the Silk Road.

  • Gobi
    Episode 8


    Episode 8

    A Uyghur family invites our guide into their home. He learns about their way of life and growing techniques. Gaochang used to be an important waypoint through the Silk Road and a famous gathering place for scholars.

  • Lanzhou

    Episode 9

    Our guide travels to Liqian, at the narrowest point of the Hexi Corridor. Legend has it that this is where the descendants of Crassus' lost legions ended up.

  • Xian
    Episode 10


    Episode 10

    Alfred arrives in Xi’an - in the province of Shaanxi. The Silk Road caravans used to end their long journey in this millenary city.

  • Anatolia, the Caravans of Asia Minor

    Episode 11

    At the heart of the Anatolian plateau, our host visits the first of the Caravanserai which dot his journey, as they once dotted the ancient trade routes. The Caravanserai at Aksaray is a perfect example of architecture of the Seljuq dynasty, the first empire in the region starting in the 10th cen...

  • Iran: Assassins, Emperors and Magi

    Episode 12

    Alfred learns that Iran has an official Silk Road office. Its representative in the northern city of Qazvin, Hooman Babapoor explains that the government wishes to develop links between other countries along the illustrious road.
    Far from the city, at 2,000 meters above sea level, Alfred visits ...

  • Tabriz, Capital of Merchants

    Episode 13

    Alfred discovers Iran; enter the city that once was the core of the entire Silk Road in Persia: Tabriz. He heads into the bazaar, the finest in the country, and wanders through its 22 miles of alleyways and stalls. Our guide meets Dr Faribouz Esmaeli at the heart of this architectural gem he ove...

  • Venice, Gateway to the Orient

    Episode 14

    Our host begins his journey in Venice, like Marco Polo, the famous voyager who traveled the ancient route. On this journey we see the mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica which reveal the links that connect this city with the distant lands of Asia. Also we get a taste of Venetian cuisine and view an Ar...

  • Bosphorus, Astride Two Worlds

    Episode 15

    At the edge of the European continent, Alfred de Montesquiou enters Turkish territory through the city of Edirne, to discover Ottoman architectural wonders and the traditional local sport of oil-wrestling, in which men are doused in olive oil before bouts.