Nineteenth century was an era of extended pilgrimage movement to the Holy Land. Due to communicational facilities falling out from the Industrial Revolution and political changes (weakening of the Ottoman Empire and increasing penetration of Levant by the European countries) more and more Europeans decided to travel to Palestine basked in an aura of holiness. An equally meaningful factor was also an image of an ancient and mysterious Orient molded by the artists of the Romantic period. Poles also followed this trend and may pilgrims published their memories and reflections. Such pilgrims as Ignacy Hołowiński, Feliks Laassner, Feliks Gondek and Karol Niedziałkowski (worth mentioning all of them were priests) were obviously focused mainly on religious issues. However they were keen observers and left more or less detailed but always interesting testimony of everyday life of Muslim and Arabic dwellers of Levant. They described Middle Eastern customs and rites. This work focuses on those subjective images which equally present the Levantine ways of living, Poles’ level of knowledge on Orient and shaping ethnical stereotypes.
Pilgrimages to the Holy Land have been an old tradition in the Russian culture. For believers, places related to the life and passion of Christ have been an important element of history and geography of salvation since the beginnings of Christianity in Ruthenia. The paper is an attempt to present the fi rst pilgrimage of Andrey Muraviev (1806–1874), a religious writer, theologian, poet, playwright, church and state activist, to Palestine as a personal religious experience and its refl ection in a literary work of art. The pilgrimage to the East became a breakthrough moment in Muraviev’s life and resulted in the writing of "A journey to Holy places in 1830" (Путешествие ко Святым местам в 1830 году), which initiated the religious stage of his writings and became a great success. Although the poet did not call his journey a pilgrimage, such was indeed its nature. Visiting places important to the history of salvation, he participated in services and sacramental life of the Church.
The paper will discuss the Russian involvement in the Holy Land that started from informal actions to evolve into formal activities of religious, trading and scientific institutions related to the Russian authorities.