Introduction: Joanna Lumley's Silk Road: Iran (05:28)
On this episode, Joanna Lumley will explore Persepolis. Cities include Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz. She describes how Iran isolated itself from the West after Ayatollah Khomeini came into power; Facebook and Twitter are banned, but Instagram is not.
Entertainment Industry (04:14)
Bahram Radan is one of the most famous movie stars in Iran; Lumley watches a rehearsal of a taekwondo movie. Gender limitations include no touching a member of the opposite sex in public. Lumley tours Golestan Palace, once the home of the Shah of Iran.
Kashan, Iran (03:42)
Over time, oases grow into trading posts. Kashan has a population of 300,000. Lumley meets a Persian carpet maker and learns that it takes 20 days to make a carpet.
Fin Garden (03:03)
The historic Persian garden is located on the outskirts of Kashan. A spring rises up in the central pool and travels to the outskirts. Iran has been in a drought for years.
Isafahan, Iran (04:47)
Lumley tours Naqsh-e Jahan Square and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. Silk traders from China, Persian carpet makers, and Indian spice merchants would meet at the market. At the mark of the center, a person's voice will echo.
Muslims do not eat during daylight hours. Lumley visits a local store to learn more about Persian carpet symbolism. In the evening, children gather in Naqsh-e Jahan Square to celebrate their graduation from primary school.
Yazd, Iran (03:21)
One of the oldest cities is located on the borders of two deserts; men and women use different door knockers on front doors. Lumley describes how its residents invented an ancient form of air conditioning. Children play charades outside.
Lumley tours the Temple of Fire and the Towers of Silence in Yazd. Fire is sacred because it purifies and symbolizes Ahura Mazda. The religion dictates that corpses be consumed by birds.
Shiraz, Iran (03:57)
Lumley's guide explains a stereotype of Shirazi people. Walking under a copy of the Qur'an brings good luck for a journey. Lumley states that her mother was almost born in the town; she eats lunch at a local restaurant.
Tomb of Hafez (03:28)
Lumley visits the tomb of the most revered poet in Iran. People look for spiritual guidance by performing the "Fale Hafez."
Lumley tours the ceremonial capital founded by Darius the Great. A relief portrays merchants from different cultures bringing gifts to the Persian Emperor. Virtual Reality glasses reveal how the palace looked at the pinnacle of the Empire.
Credits: Joanna Lumley's Silk Road: Iran (00:01)
Credits: Joanna Lumley's Silk Road: Iran
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