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Old Jul 25th 2011, 01:53 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Rebuilding Sarai Batu

In what is now Astrakhan oblast of Russia, once was a big, beautiful-looking city

it was full of wealth, luxury, and splendour, but it also commanded fearsome military might. It was indeed a lrage city, by the standards of the Middle Ages, boasting a diverse population of 75,000 people.

It was Sarai Batu, the capital of the Golden Horde, a powerful multi-ethnic empire controlled by the Tatars, of which much of modern Russia was a part.

Today, in a bid to attract tourists, the governemnt of Astrakhan oblast has invested money and put together a team of arcaheologists, engineers, architects, and such for the purpose of unearthing the remains of Sarai Batu and rebuilding it to its former glory.

It was a very complex city. Within its walls, lived a dozen ethnic groups: Bulgars (Tatars, Bashkirs), Mongols, Alans (Ossetians), Circassians, Russians, Byzantians (Greeks). Each group lived in its own quarter.

Today, most of what was left, were walls


Work began a year ago


They studied traditional Tatar/Bulgar architecture and, using that, tried to estimate what each individual building once looked like. Then, with reasonable approximations, they set about restoring them.

Little by little, the city once again rose out of the ground

Where they felt was needed, the builders reinforced old walls with modern materials, such as concrete, to strenghen them.

A lot of wood was also used

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Old Jul 25th 2011, 01:54 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

Here is how it is looking now.



This is not the whole city, they've only managed to rebuild a part, albeit a large part, of it, so far, (the Bulgar, Russian, and Byzantian/Greek quarters).

I'll post more if I find more
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

So will it essentially be a "living museum?"

We have those here. They are kind of popular, I think. http://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement.htm
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 02:18 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

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So will it essentially be a "living museum?"

We have those here. They are kind of popular, I think. http://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement.htm
Well, right now it will serve as setting for a new movie about the Golden Horde.

And later, yes, there will be paid tours, where the tourists will pretend they are serfs/slaves and will be led around the whole city like that, in chains lol (I am serious, that is what the main guy in charge says will happen).

Even now, while it is still not finished, it has become a Mecca of sorts for Tatars and Bashkirs. Many, particularly young people, history students, come from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Ural, etc, come to see and feel the greatness of their ancestors
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

I find it interesting the dichotomy between the actual buildings and the romanticized painting. Reminds me of medieval artists dressing biblical figures in attire-of-the-day.

Mary Magdalene:

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Old Jul 25th 2011, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMyselfAndI View Post
Well, right now it will serve as setting for a new movie about the Golden Horde.

And later, yes, there will be paid tours, where the tourists will pretend they are serfs/slaves and will be led around the whole city like that, in chains lol (I am serious, that is what the main guy in charge says will happen).
Apparently, they don't have a marketing department yet.

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Originally Posted by MeMyselfAndI View Post
Even now, while it is still not finished, it has become a Mecca of sorts for Tatars and Bashkirs. Many, particularly young people, history students, come from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Ural, etc, come to see and feel the greatness of their ancestors
No shortage of ethnic nationalism these days it seems.

The 'disneyification' trend of historical sites continues. Alas.

I suppose it is better than nothing for the sake of history, though I'm not entirely sure of that.
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

Disney nationalism is better than trenches nationalism.
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Old Jul 25th 2011, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Rebuilding Sarai Batu

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Disney nationalism is better than trenches nationalism.
Well yes, that certainly sounds true.

I'm toying with the idea that they are perhaps related to each other. That is to say, mass-marketing of simplified version of history seems to be a dangerous thing. We've been doing it for a long time - literally and figuratively.
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