The Mongols have a reputation for their brutal tactics in war and the fear they instilled in the peoples they conquered. But the Mongols liked nice things as well, and created a capital city with cultural influences from the many lands that they ruled. Find out what a French silver smith was doing in Karakorum, and how he and other people sent from all over the Mongol lands helped to create a cosmopolitan capital.
To learn more about the Mongols, see Morris Rossabi, The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
William of Rubuck's account is available online at http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/rubruck.html
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)