Marco Polo

William of Rubruck and his Adventurous Journey to Karakorum

William of Rubruck and his Adventurous Journey to Karakorum

On January 4, 1254, Flemish Franciscan missionary and explorer William of Rubruck was granted the privilege of an audience at the great Mongol Möngke Khan in his court in Karakorum. Background The Flemish William of Rubruck had joined the Franciscan Friars Minor at an early age, studied in Paris and in 1248 travelled to the Holy Land in the wake of King Louis IX and the seventh crusade, where he stayed for four…
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In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

On September 23, 1215 AD Kublai Khan, the second son of Tolui and Sorghaghtani Beki, and a grandson of Genghis Khan, was born. Considering the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world‘s inhabited land area. Kublai’s Way to Power Although the prince had Chinese educators and advisors, he still lived…
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Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

Abel Tasman and the Discovery of Tasmania

On November 24, 1642, Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour. He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Service in the Dutch East India Company Abel Tasman was born in 1603 in Lutjegast in what is now the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. He received a sufficient education to enable him to express…
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Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo Mosaic On September 15, 1254, the Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo was born. He is best known for his journeys to Central Asia and China, narrated in the book ‘The Travels of Marco Polo‘. Marco Polo directly followed his father’s footsteps, who was a well known traveling merchant himself. The journey of Marco’s father Niccolò and his brother Maffeo took many years, but it was worth it,  they came back…
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