Famous foreign travelers to Central Asia

Info Shymkent - Famous foreign travelers to Central Asia

Central Asia has always been a popular destination for foreign adventurers, explorers, and travelers. Info Shymkent provide you with the most popular people who wrote about Central Asia in the past.

We tried to order the most famous foreign travelers to Central Asia from past to present and mention their most popular book they published about their visits in Central Asia.

Giovanni da Pian del Carpine (1185 – 1252)

The Italian diplomat and Franciscan Giovanni da Pian del Carpine received a mission from Pope Innocent IV. to find the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire and to hand over an offer to the Great Khan to stop the attacks to Europe and to fight together against the Islamic Expansion in the Middle East in April 1245. He traveled through Kyiv, crossing Volga river and passing by Aral Sea and following the Syr Darya river. Near the place where is today city Shymkent he followed the Tian Shan Mountain range to the East. He found the encampment of the Great Khan Güyük Khan near Karakorum in Mongolia in July 1246 right at the moment of the enthronement of Güyük Khan. He received a audience to meet the new Great Khan but he was afraid and didn’t hand over the message. He received instead a message from Güyük Khan to hand it over to the Pope that he and all European leaders has to swear allegiance to him. Disappointed Giovanni da Pian del Carpine went back to Europe in the Winter 1246/47. He also didn’t handed over the letter of the Great Khan but wrote down his memories of his journey in his book Ystoria Mongalorum.

Rabban Bar Sauma (1220 – 1294)

Rabban Bar Sauma was a Turk-Chinese or Uyghur. Sometimes he is named as the Chinese Marco Polo. He was born in 1220 in the historical city Zhongdu located near Bejing in China. He became with the age of 20 years a monk of the christian Nestorian Church of the East. Raban Bar Sauma started a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1276. He travelled from Bejing via Kashgar to Talas (today’s Taraz in Kazakhstan). Here he received the travel permits to cross the country from Talas to the Syr Darya river save. He went through Khorasan, Maragha and arrived the ancient Ani – in this days the capital of the Kingdom of Georgia. He learned that it was to dangerous to continue his journey to Jersualem. So he changed his plans and went further to the west to Constantinople (now: Istanbul), Rome and Gascony (now: Bordeaux). After meeting Edward I in Gascony he went back to Rome and from there to Bagdad. Bar Sauma stayed for his last years of his life in Baghdad and wrote down his experiences during his journey from China to Europe and the Middle East in a manuscript. The book was rediscovered during the 19th century and translated at the end of the 19th century in French and later in English language with the title The Monks of Kublai Khan, Emperor of China or The History of the Life and Travels of Rabban Sawma, Envoy and Plenipotentiary of the Mongol Khans to the Kings of Europe, and Markos Who as Mar Yahbh-Allaha III Became Patriarch of the Church of the East in Asia.

Niccolò (1230 – 1294) and Maffeo Polo (1230 – 1309)

The Travels of Marco Polo

Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1369)

Ibn Battuta Travels In Asia And Africa

Alexander von Humbolt (1769 – 1859)

The Russia expedition. From the Newa to the Altai

Thomas Witlam Atkinson (1799 – 1861) and Lucy Atkinson (1817 – 1893)

Oriental and Western Siberia: A narrative of Seven Years’ Explorations and Adventures in Siberia, Mongolia and part of Central Asia (Thomas Witlam Atkinson) and Recollections of Tartar Steppes and their Inhabitants (Lucy Atkinson)

Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky (1827 – 1914)

Travels in the Tian-Shan. 1856–1857

Ármin Vámbéry (1832 – 1913)

Travel in Middle Asia, Sketches of Central Asia

Vsevolod Krestovsky (1840 – 1895)

On a visit to the Emir of Bukhara

Eugene Schuyler (1840 – 1890)

Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja (Volume I + II)

Gottfried Merzbacher (1843 – 1926)

The central Tian-Shan mountains. 1902-1903

Franz Xaver von Schwarz (1847 – 1903)

The German scientist Franz Xaver von Schwarz was invited in 1974 by General von Kaufmann to join him as a land surveyor during his conquests in Turkestan. After the war he became Head of the observatory and meteorological station in Tashkent. During his time in Tashkent he made many expeditions into Turkestan region and the Tian Shan mountains. But he went serious ill in 1889 and went back to Germany. Back at home in Bavaria Franz Xaver von Schwarz started to write down all his knowledge he gathered during his time in Turkestan in a book. It was published in his late years, in 1900 with the title Turkestan – the cradle of the Indo-European peoples. After living in Turkestan for fifteen years. and is about the peoples, the climate and the nature of Turkestan region.

Max Albrecht (1851 – 1925)

Russian Central Asia – Travel pictures from Trans-Caspia, Bukhara and Turkestan

Dmytro Jawornyzkyj (1855 – 1940)

A guide to Central Asia from Baku to Tashkent in archaeological and historical relations

Willi Rickmer Rickmers (1873 – 1965)

The Duab of Turkestan; A Physiographic Sketch and Account of Some Travels

Erich Zugmayer (1879 – 1938)

A trip through Central Asia in 1906

Ella Maillart (1903 – 1997)

Turkistan Solo – A Journey through Central Asia