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Front Matter 1
Front Matter 2
Half Title 1
Half Title 2
Title Page 1
Title Page 2
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The holy Jerusalem voyage
Back Matter 1
Back Matter 2
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Zhe lotly Jewusalem Voyage
O0 e6 viii, $esi1ne 6 ncituie
The arms of Anglure. Drawing by Jan Avis from a drawing supplied
by Pierre Conte.
fhe l oty 3eRusAlem VoyAQC
O ,qie vi,,, )SeiqneuR 'LnqntuRe
Translated and annotated by
Roland A. Browne
A Florida Technological University Book
The University Presses of Florida
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Main entry under title:
The Holy Jerusalem voyage of Ogier VIII, Seigneur
"A Florida Technological University book."
Translation of Le saint voyage de Jherusalem du Seigneur
1. Anglure, Ogier, Seigneur d', d. 1412? 2. Chris-
tian pilgrims andpilgrimages-Palestine. I. Browne,
PQ1533.SI3E5 915.694'04'3 75-4773
Cor~PYmoI 1975 BY Tas BoARD OF REGENTS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
All rights reserved
PRINTED IN FLORIDA, U.S.A.
F OR Emalee
and to the memory of David H. Browne,
P. G. C. Campbell, and Marcel Tirol.
The Holy Jerusalem Voyage % 13
Sources < 149
Illustrations follow page 82
SANY individuals and several institutions have assisted me
Sin the preparation of this volume. Without their con-
cerned interest, it would still be only an idea in my mind.
I owe a debt of gratitude to the reference librarians at Austin
Peay State University and Florida Technological University, who
located rare and obscure books for me through inter-library loans.
My colleagues in English, modem languages, and history at both
universities lent their expertise on many occasions. Charles N. Mica-
relli and Homer C. Combs, both of Florida Technological Univer-
sity, read the entire manuscript and offered helpful suggestions. My
wife, Emalee, assumed the task of preparing the index.
The Bibliotheque national of France made available a microfilm
copy of the entire Paris manuscript, photographic enlargements of
the pages of the manuscript, and a reproduction of the title page of
the 1621 edition. The technical excellence of these materials made
it possible to settle a number of disputed readings.
Many of my appeals for advice, assistance, or information were
addressed to persons with whom I had had no prior association;
their responses to my letters confirmed my belief in the generosity
of the human spirit. Among those who assisted me in this way were
Henri Sabot, former mayor of Anglure; Pierre Conte, who supplied
me with notes on the noble family of Anglure and painted the arms
of Anglure as they appear in this volume; and Claude Despoisse,
who resides in the former castle of Ogier d'Anglure and furnished
me with photographs of the town and chateau of Anglure.
I received expert information about the ships of the Middle Ages
from J. Vichot, director of the Musee de la Marine in Paris, and from
G. B. Rubin de Cervin, curator of the Museo Storico Navale in
Venice. Kamal S. Salibi of the American University in Beirut and
Henri Jalabert of the Universite Saint Joseph, in the same city, gave
me valuable clues to the traditions surrounding the legend of Saint
George and the dragon. The Washington embassies of Israel, Jordan,
and Italy responded to my request for detail maps of obscure re-
gions, many of which were extremely helpful in my research.
At Florida Technological University, Bernard Foy, assistant direc-
tor of the university libraries, reviewed the index, a most tedious
chore; the Research Foundation provided funds for the purchase of
microfilms, books, and maps; and Leslie L. Ellis, Jr., dean of Re-
search and Graduate Studies, made available the services of his
stenographic staff for typing the manuscript.
For all of these many acts of interest and kindness, I extend my
Roland A. Browne
Department of English
Florida Technological University
I E saint voyage de Iherusalem, by Ogier d'Anglure, is the
journal of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land made in 1395-96
by a party of French noblemen from Anglure, a provincial town
about 65 miles east of Paris. The journey took nearly a year
to complete. The pilgrims traveled to Venice and thence to
Palestine; made an excursion into the Sinai Peninsula to the Mon-
astery of Saint Catherine; went on to Cairo and the Great Pyramids;
ascended the Nile and traveled through the Sahara to the Red Sea
coast and the monasteries of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul; returned
down the Nile, where they were attacked by river pirates; pro-
ceeded to Alexandria, where they took ship; were nearly wrecked
in a violent storm and took shelter in Cyprus, where they passed the
Christmas season as guests of the king; suffered the loss of one
member of the party through a fatal illness; went on to Rhodes; and,
after numerous vicissitudes of travel, returned to Anglure via Venice
and the Swiss Alps-in all, a formidable undertaking that would be
far from easy to accomplish today.
To the extent that medieval materials may be termed familiar to
modem readers, the Saint voyage is reasonably well known to the
French. It appears to be virtually unknown to the English-speaking
world, which is my essential reason for translating it. As an example
of factual reportage-for which it is primarily admired by the
French-it definitely merits respect. Written in an age when travelers
treated the most improbable rumors as fact, the Saint voyage re-
mains accurate in observation and precise in statement. If its author
accepts without question the large body of religious tradition con-
nected with the holy places (which is, after all, a matter not of
ratiocination but of faith), he merely reports with great accuracy
what was believed by most devout members of the Roman Church
of the fourteenth century, and what is still accepted by many Chris-
tians. In fact, as the notes to this work will demonstrate, most of the
tradition is still current.
The titular note to the Saint voyage states that the pilgrimage was
made by "Monseigneur d'Anglure and others of his company." One
of the company is mentioned in par. 276: "a young knight from
Picardy, named Sir Pierre de Morgueline." Another is identified in
par. 306: "Milord Simon de Saarbruch." That the original party of
pilgrims consisted of four persons is suggested in par. 249: "The
following Wednesday, the twenty-fourth day of November, we de-
parted from Cairo-we four and no others." Who were the two un-
named members of the party? There appears to be reasonable evi-
dence, which will be discussed presently, that Ogier VIII, baron of
Anglure and stepson of Simon de Saarbruch, was with the group
and was the "Monseigneur d'Anglure" referred to in the headnote to
the account. Who the fourth member was is a matter of pure con-
jecture. Some nineteenth-century scholars concluded that he was a
retainer of the household of Ogier and the actual, physical writer of
the journal. My personal guess-I do not have sufficiently firm evi-
dence to term it an opinion-is that the fourth member of the party
was Ogier's household chaplain; I seriously doubt, however, that he
was the author of the journal. Internal evidence-to me, at least-
points to Ogier himself as the writer of the journal.
The only known copy of the journal translated here appears as
one of six items included in MS 15217 of the Biblioth6que national
in Paris; a vellum-bound volume in quarto format, it is written on
paper in a clear, cursive script with few decorations. The calligraphy
indicates it to be indisputably the work of a single scribe. Internal
evidence-spelling and syntax-indicates that the manuscript was
copied in the second half of the fifteenth century. It was certainly
not copied prior to 1453, since the fifth item in the volume, written
in the same hand, is an account of the capture of Constantinople,
an event which took place in that year.
Since the pilgrimage was made at least fifty-seven years prior to
the earliest possible date for the Paris manuscript, it seems evident
that MS 15217 must be a copy of an earlier original, presumably
made shortly after the return of the pilgrims to Anglure. In any
case, the Paris manuscript is the source of the three printed editions
of the Saint voyage that have appeared prior to this translation.
The earliest printing of the Saint voyage was done at Troyes in
1621 by one Noel Moreau, "known as the Cock, dwelling in the rue
de Notre Dame at the Sign of the Cock." This edition, which also
contains the account of the capture of Constantinople included in
MS 15217, attributes the authorship of the Saint voyage to Simon
de Saarbruch and also names him as the promoter of the pilgrimage.
The second edition of the Saint voyage (2) appeared in 1858 as
the first volume of a series of Catholic voyages and novels produced
under the general editorship of Abbe Domenech. The Saint voyage,
however, according to Bonnardot and Lorgnon, was actually tran-
scribed and annotated by Abb6 Michon. The 1858 edition names the
author simply as "le baron d'Anglure," a nice evasion of a central
issue, though the preparatory material identifies Simon de Saar-
bruch as the chief of the pilgrims.
In 1875 two French antiquarians, Frangois Bonnardot and Au-
guste Lorgnon, working under the aegis of the Soci6t6 des anciens
textes frangais, undertook a new edition of the Saint voyage (4), by
far the most scholarly and most completely researched edition that
had been produced. The volume appeared in 1878 and has been
reissued in facsimile by Johnson Reprint Company of New York
and London. The reason why the Soci6t6 took a fresh interest in
the Saint voyage was the finding of another version (known here-
after as the Metz manuscript) contained in MS 189 in the municipal
library at Epinal, a city in Lorraine on the Moselle River. This
manuscript, which is written entirely in Messine dialect, was pro-
duced in Metz, another city on the Moselle, not far from Epinal.
The Metz manuscript is clearly pirated from the original manuscript
of which MS 15217 is a copy, and attributes the pilgrimage to sev-
eral gentlemen of the city of Metz.
It would be tiresome, and of no utility for present purposes, to
dwell further upon the Metz manuscript. Suffice to say that the
finding of the Messine version reopened the question of the author-
ship and authenticity of MS 15217 to very competent French schol-
arship. I freely acknowledge my indebtedness to Frangois Bonnardot
and Auguste Lorgnon. These editors deny the hypothesis that Simon
de Saarbruch was the instigator and head of the pilgrimage and
name Ogier VIII in his place. Their reasoning is based on the fol-
lowing argument. The headnote to the manuscript states that the
pilgrimage was undertaken by Monseigneur d'Anglure. In 1395, the
proper hereditary claimant to the title was Ogier VIII-oldest son
of Ogier VII and Isabeau de ChMtillon, born about 1360, deceased
about 1412-who succeeded to the title and actual possession of his
father's estate upon the death of the latter in 1383. However, in
1385, Ogier's mother took a second husband, Simon de Saarbruch,
seigneur de Commercy. Ogier's stepfather would have been called
by the courtesy title of seigneur d'Anglure during his lifetime, since
he undoubtedly enjoyed through marriage the position of head of
the family. This would account for the repeated references to Milord
Simon de Saarbruch in par. 306, and for the reference to the other
pilgrims of the party as "We who had been in the service of the
late Lord of Anglure." From the love and admiration he evidently
inspired in those who knew him, Simon de Saarbruch must have
been a singularly fine man. At the time of his death, he had been
Ogier's stepfather for eleven years and may well have earned his
love and respect; what more natural than that Ogier should lovingly
accord him the honor of the designation milord?
It may be objected that the designation Monseigneur d'Anglure
in the titular headnote would not have been used if the journal had
been composed by Ogier himself, since he would have styled him-
self Seigneur d'Anglure. However, MS 15217 is a copy of an older
original that may well have been so headed. Were it later to be
copied by someone connected with the house of Anglure, it would
be both natural and appropriate for the scribe to designate the
author as Monseigneur.
Certainly the most compelling argument against ascribing the
authorship of the Saint voyage to Simon de Saarbruch is the fact
that he died in Nicosia during the Christmas season of 1395, whereas
the voyage was not completed until 22 June 1396. This does not, of
course, prove that Ogier was the author, but-unless the Saint
voyage is to be regarded as an early piece of ghost writing-it cer-
tainly rules out Simon de Saarbruch.
Since 1878 and the publication of the edition of the Saint voyage
prepared under the editorship of Bonnardot and Lorgnon, author-
ship of the journal appears to have been accorded to Ogier d'Ang-
lure without further argument. Ogier d'Anglure is named as the
author of the Saint voyage quite unequivocally, for example, by
Albert Pauphilet in his collection of medieval readings (3). In fact,
Pauphilet reprints the Bonnardot and Lorgnon transcription and
includes some of the introductory material of the 1878 edition.
I stated earlier that Ogier d'Anglure and his journal appear to be
virtually unknown to the English-speaking world. In five years of
research, I have not been able to find a single reference to him in
any English biographical source. I did, however, locate two ref-
erences to him in connection with the Stavrovuoni Monastery and
the Cross of the Good Thief described in pars. 292-97 of Ogier's
journal. J. Hackett (25) quotes the original of pars. 292-95 and
offers his own translation. Claude Deleval Cobham (18) cites the
1878 edition and offers a translation of excerpts taken from pars.
292-305 and a summary of par. 306 describing the death of Simon
de Saarbruch. So far as I am able to determine, no other parts of
the Saint voyage have been translated into English.
When the Bonnardot and Lorgnon edition of the Saint voyage
was produced, the editors were concerned with making a paragraph-
by-paragraph comparison of the Paris manuscript with the Metz
manuscript. To facilitate this work of variorum analysis, the para-
graphs of both manuscripts were numbered sequentially, although
often with as little regard for logic as was displayed by the num-
bering of chapter and verse in the King James Bible. I have found
it convenient to retain Bonnardot and Lorgnon's numbering scheme,
although the manuscript itself was not numbered, nor were the
paragraphs of the 1858 edition. The system lends itself to annotating
the journal and should be of help to the reader in locating passages.
Moreover, I am not so naive as to expect that my work will go
unchallenged by historians and students of Middle French, some of
whom may wish to find the original in the Johnson Reprint facsimile
edition and check my accuracy. They will probably appreciate the
fact that I have retained the paragraph numbers.
Recognizing the general high level of scholarship displayed by
Bonnardot and Lorgnon, I have been content to work mainly from
their 1878 edition in preparing this translation, although I have had
recourse to studying photographic reproductions of the Paris manu-
script when I had reason to question their transcription. In almost
all instances (except as indicated in the notes), I have agreed with
their version. Only two copies of the 1621 edition are believed to
be extant, one of which is in the Bibliotheque national. Unfor-
tunately, my request for microfilm reproduction was denied on the
grounds that the book was too tightly bound to permit photograph-
ing the pages, and I had to be content with the photograph of the
title page reproduced in this volume. I have, however, consulted a
copy of the 1858 edition held by the Library of Congress; it differs
only slightly from the 1878 edition. I have freely used, with a deep
sense of gratitude, the splendid genealogical study of the house of
Anglure contained in the 1878 edition, as well as the accounting of
the property of Ogier's father and the royal letter of remission on
the occasion when Ogier was charged with abduction and rape.
In 1384-85, three Florentine merchants, Frescobaldi, Gucci, and
Sigoli, made a pilgrimage to Palestine and North Africa, saw most of
the places visited by Ogier, and wrote journals when they returned
to Florence. Wherever they went, they commented on prices and
expenditures. Ogier never mentions money; presumably he had few
financial worries. The reason becomes abundantly clear when his
annual income is known.
When Ogier attained the age of nineteen, already married and
presumably having completed his formal education (which must
have included the study of civil law), his father, Ogier VII, wished
to give him as an advance upon his inheritance the position of avou6
to the Abbey of Therouanne. This position, (which involved acting
as a lay attorney to represent the Church establishment in civil
legal and financial proceedings) was held by Ogier VII. A dispute
immediately arose between young Ogier's father and the bishop of
Therouanne. The bishop claimed that the avouerie constituted a
fief within the jurisdiction of the bishopric, Ogier VII that it fell
under royal jurisdiction. Ultimately, after recourse to the law, the
bishop won his plea and Ogier VII was required to make a full
financial accounting of his properties and sources of income as a
vassal of the king. After this had been satisfactorily accomplished,
Ogier was installed as avoud of Therouanne, although, since he was
still a minor, he had to obtain a royal waiver of the usual age re-
All of this would be quite inconsequential were it not for the fact
that the financial statement made by Ogier's father gives us a par-
tial estimate of his financial position in 1395. I am again indebted to
Bonnardot and Lorgnon for having unearthed a copy of the finan-
cial statement, which they included in the 1878 edition.
No value is given for the family chateau in Anglure, nor for sev-
eral other chateaux, manor houses, and farm dwellings owned by
Ogier's father.* The accounting does show, however, the estimated
annual income received from each of dozens of properties and en-
terprises which he owned. While many of the properties had been
given by him in fief to various of his vassals, who enjoyed all or a
portion of the annual income they provided, the ultimate ownership
resided in Ogier VII and was finally inherited by Ogier VIII. In
addition to whatever revenues he received as avoue of Therouanne-
and, further, in addition to very considerable properties which he
received in dowry from his wife, Alix de Toucy-Ogier VIII in-
herited an annual income in excess of 1,362 livres tournois. To what
would this be equivalent in American dollars some 600 years later?
J. Hackett (25) has estimated the 1901 equivalent value of cer-
tain church revenues. He shows that 20,000 livres tournois were
equivalent in value to 86,400 English pounds sterling. He further
indicates that there were 18 francs to the livre tournois, and goes on
to remark: "The purchasing power of money from the 13th to the
14th century was six-fold what it is today," that is, as of 1901. More
specifically, the fourteenth-century livre tournois was equivalent to
6 times 18 French francs, or 108 francs in 1901.
However, the purchasing power of money has decreased sharply
since 1901. By how much has it decreased? The 1903 edition of
*The chateau and dependent town of Queudes, one of these properties, was
sold in 1403 for the very considerable price of 4,145 livres tournois, more than
three times the annual income reported by Ogier VII. If my calculations are
correct, this would be equivalent to about $450,000 in modem money.
Baedeker's Northern Italy (7), in a section devoted to foreign cur-
rency and travel expenses, shows the franc to be worth 25 cents
(American) and states, "The average expenditure of a single trav-
eller, apart from railway fares, may be estimated at 15-25 francs
per day, or at 10-20 francs when a prolonged stay is made in one
place." Thus, the range was from $2.50 to $6.75 per day. Assuming
that 20 francs, or $5.00, per day represented moderate comfort, and
that it would now require at least $20.00 per day to achieve com-
parable traveling comfort, one can postulate that the purchasing
power of money was at least four times greater at the beginning of
this century than now. From this, it would appear that money was
worth about twenty-four times as much in Ogier's day as now.
Based on these calculations, Ogier's income of 1,362 livres tournois
would be equivalent to about $148,000 per year in 1972, probably
more. Small wonder that he appears unconcerned about expenses!
On 12 October 1391, King Charles VI* pardoned Ogier for a
serious offense of which he stood charged. The following is my
translation of the king's letter of pardon:
Charles, by the grace of God King of France, make known to
all present and to come that We have heard the plea of our
beloved and loyal Ogier, Seigneur d'Anglure and avou6 of
Thdrouanne, knight, stating that on the evening of Easter in
the year 1385, at about suppertime, Jehannot de Saint Martin,
Jehan de Monbleru, Colinet de Chaletray and Jehan Raimbaut,
squires and vassals of the said supplicant, had come to him
and had asked leave to go and amuse themselves, which the
said supplicant had allowed them and given them leave, stip-
ulating that they return early in the morning when he would
arise. And then these squires and vassals had gone to the town
of Janvilliers in Brie, in front of the house of one Jehan le
Desgourdi, where they had encountered his wife, by name
Colette, and this Colette they had trussed up and put upon a
horse belonging to the said supplicant, and had brought her
without the knowledge of the said supplicant to one of his
castles, known as Castle Le Thoult. And early the next morn-
ing, when he had returned from the monastery where he had
heard mass with one of his cousins named Baudon de Ven-
dieres, knight, the said supplicant returned to his Castle of Le
*Of the Capetian line, he was known as Charles the Well-Beloved and
reigned from 1368 to 1422.
Thoult and encountered the said de Saint Martin and asked him
whence he had come, where were the others, and where they
had been and stayed, to which de Saint Martin had replied,
"Go look in your chamber and you will know." And then this
supplicant went into his castle, where in his chamber he found
the said Colette, who was warming herself by the fire, and he
asked her in this manner, "My dear, who fetched you and left
you here?" To which the said Colette replied that it had been
Jehannot de Saint Martin. Whereupon the said supplicant
pleasantly addressed the said Colette, saying, "Welcome, my
dear, I must have a talk with you." And he took her by the
hand and led her into his dressing room, and there he had
carnal knowledge of her one time only. And, immediately after-
ward, this supplicant had her return to the fire in his chamber
and directed his household and his servants to bring her food
and drink. And presently the said Colette heard her mother,
who had followed her, and who was crying out in a loud
voice. "False, wicked knight, you have my daughter there in
your castle." Whereupon, the said supplicant asked the said
Colette, "What was that I heard?" to which Colette said to him,
"It is my mother. For the love of God, let me go with her."
And immediately the said supplicant took her and turned her
over to her mother, saying, "Lady, you say your daughter is
here; if this is she, take her, for I do not know her. May God
know her!" And thereupon the said Colette departed with her
mother and went wherever she chose to go. However, two
years later, or thereabout, the said Colette, at the urging of
her mother and of the said Jehan le Desgourdi, her husband,
brought suit against the said supplicant. As a consequence of
this action, this supplicant considers himself to be molested or
hindered in his person and goods by the harshness of the law
unless Our Grace and Mercy be extended and imparted to him.
Wherefore We, considering what has been said, and in con-
sideration of the services that he and his predecessors have
rendered to Us and to Our people in the wars of Our Realm,
by Our royal authority and special mercy have acquitted, re-
mitted, and pardoned him of the aforesaid act if it occurred
as was alleged. Thus we order by these presents, etc.
Given at Chastes-sous-Moutlhery in the Year of Grace one
thousand three-hundred ninety-one, and of Our Reign the
twelfth, in the month of October.
By the King in Council.
It will be remembered that this pardon was given four years before
Ogier's departure for the Holy Land. While there is no positive
evidence to substantiate the hypothesis, it is possible that his pil-
grimage was made in expiation of the offense with which he had
been charged, and to which he had freely admitted. One can
imagine his confessor insisting that now that Ogier was cleared be-
fore the civil law, he must clear himself before God. One may also
assume that considerable pressure would have been brought upon
Ogier to expiate his offense by the abbot of Th6rouanne, for whose
abbey he acted as legal representative, and by the bishop of
Therouanne, to whom he owed fealty. Both may have been keenly
embarrassed by having their avou4 haled into civil court on moral
charges; they may even have threatened him with dismissal from
That the pilgrimage did not take place until four years after he
received the royal pardon, does not really signify; a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem was not something to be lightly undertaken. Arrange-
ments must have been extremely complex. Quite aside from the
problem of securing permission from the papal see, of assuring
places from Venice to Jaffa on the Venetian galley service, and of
obtaining numerous letters of passage, there would be many private
affairs to be settled. Someone would have to be found to take over
Ogier's duties as avou6 of Therouanne. Other arrangements would
have to be made for managing the extensive family holdings, par-
ticularly if both Ogier and Simon de Saarbruch were to be absent
from Anglure for a year or more, and, as actually occurred in the
case of Simon de Saarbruch, might never return. Wills would have
to be written, powers of attorney given, financial accounting made.
In any case, it must have comforted Ogier to know that, accord-
ing to the Church laws of his time, not only would the pilgrimage
absolve him of all his past sins, but for each of the holy places that
he visited in Jerusalem and Bethlehem he would receive advance
absolution of seven years and 280 days!
The Holy Jerusalem Voyage
W g HAT follows is the full account of the holy voyage to
Jerusalem and of the route to take to Saint Cath-
erine* of Mount Sinai and likewise to Saint Anthony and Saint
Paul* in the far distant desert of Egypt; which holy voyage was
made by Monseigneur d'Anglure* and others of his company
in the year 1395, and in the manner following.
FROM ANGLURE* TO PAVIA
2. First, we left Anglure-on-the-Aube on the sixteenth day of
the month of July in the year of 1395 to go on the pilgrimage to
the Holy Sepulcher in the holy city of Jerusalem, and to go to
the shrine of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai in the deserts of
Arabia, where the greater part of the body of the said Saint
*An asterisk indicates that there is a note, keyed to the paragraph number.
Catherine lies, and the shrines of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul,
the first hermit, in the deserts of Egypt.
3. First,* we went from Anglure to Troyes; from Troyes to
ChAtillon-sur-Seine; from ChAtillon to the manor of Fromen-
teau; thence to Fleury-sur-Ouche; from Fleury to Beaune; from
Beaune to Chalon-sur-Saone; from Chalon to the toll bridge at
Tournus; thence to Saint-Trivier; from Saint-Trivier to Bourg-
en-Bresse; thence to Pont-d'Ain; thence to Rossillon. Leaving
Rossillon, we came to Belley; from Belley to Pierre Chatel,
where we crossed the Rh6ne; from Pierre Chatel to Yenne;
thence to Mont du Chat; then to Chambery in the Savoy;
thence to Montmelian; then to Aiguebelle; from there to La
Chambre and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne; then on to Saint-
Julien; from there to Saint-Michele-de-Maurienne; then to Four-
neaux; thence to Lanslebourg, which is at the foot of Mount
Cenis; thence to La Ferriere; next to Susa, which is at the foot
of the aforementioned mountain; thence to San Antonio, to
Avigliana, to Moncalieri, to Chieri in Piedmont. From this place
we came to Asti on Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of the
month of July, and there we rested half a day. From Asti we
went to Felizzano; thence to Alessandria; thence to Bassignana,
to Sannazzaro. From there we reached Pavia the following
Saturday, the thirty-first day of July. There we sold our horses
and rested for two days. And in that same place we rented a
boat to take us to Venice by the river Po, which is very wide.
FROM PAVIA TO VENICE
4. We left Pavia, which is a very great, beautiful, and pleas-
ant city, on the following Tuesday, the third day of August;
and went aboard the boat to proceed to Venice. And that same
night, we took shelter at Piacenza, which is a large, beautiful
city; thence to Peticolla; thereafter to Guastalla, to the Ponte
d'Oglio;* this bridge is wholly constructed of timbers and is
very handsome and very strong. From the Ponte d'Oglio to
Borgoforte; here is located another great bridge called the
Mente Bridge,* which is handsome and heavily built, and
which is the point of entry to the lands of the lord of Taranto.
Here the traveler must show letters of safe conduct. From Bor-
goforte we went to Governolo, another strong castle; thence to
Sermida, also strongly defended, which is the point of entry to
the lands of Milord the Marquis of Ferrara. Thence to Ponte
Lagoscuro, where one is obliged to display letters and obtain
passes and take them to Ferrara, which is situated on the river
bank at a distance of two leagues, and which is a large, hand-
some town. From Ponte Lagoscuro one proceeds to Corbedes-
sure and thence to Corbedesson. And at each of these strong
points everyone who has letters of passage and safe conduct
must show them, and whoever does not have a letter must pay
the salt tax at every one of them. From Cordebesson one goes
to Chioggia, and from there to Venice.
5. We reached Venice on Monday, the ninth of August: an
excellent, noble, great, beautiful city, wholly built over the
sea. In the city of Venice are many beautiful churches where
we were shown numerous holy relics, the names of which are
6. First, in the Church of Saint George* is the arm of Milord
Saint George; item: the arm of Milady Saint Lucia; item: the
heads of Saint Cosimo and Saint Damien; item: the body of
Saint Paul the Martyr,* duke of Burgundy.
7. Item: in the Church of Milord Saint Nicholas* is the staff
of Saint Nicholas; item: one of his back teeth; item: the hand
of Bishop Prophirus, who baptized Saint Catherine; item: the
two-handled pitcher made of something resembling glass, in
which Our Lord Jesus Christ changed water to wine; item: the
feet of Mary the Egyptian;* item: the ear of Saint Paul the
Apostle; item: the powder of the roasted flesh of Saint Lau-
8. Item: at Mara, in the Church of the Innocents, there is a
great quantity of the bones of the Innocents* in a bin.
9. Item: at Saint Mary Cresequier* is the body of Saint Bar-
bara the Virgin; item: the thigh bone of Saint Christopher and
one of his teeth; the bone of one of the arms of Saint Laurence;
the bone of one of the arms of Saint James the Less; item: the
head of Saint Sabina.
10. Item: in the Church of Saint Lucia is the body of Saint
11. Item: at Saint Peter Castle* is the stone on which he was
12. Item: at Saint Mary Celeste* is the leg of Milord Saint
Laurence the Martyr.
13. Item: at Saint Zacharias* is the body of Saint Zacharias,
the father of Milord Saint John the Baptist; item: the body of
Saint Gregory the Bishop; item: three of the stones with which
Saint Stephen was lapidated.
14. Item: in the Church of Saint Daniel* is the body of Saint
John the Martyr.
15. Item: in the Church of Saint Helen* is the body of Saint
Helen; item: a double cross made from the True Cross of Our
Lord Jesus Christ, which the said Saint Helen used to carry in
her hand out of devotion; item: the throat bone of Saint Mary
16. Item: in the Church of Saint Mark* of Venice, the body
of the said Saint Mark, which is a beautiful and noble thing.
17. In the hospital in Venice is one of the back teeth of the
giant Goliath, which giant David slew. And know that this par-
ticular tooth is more than 2 feet long and weighs 12 pounds.
But do not marvel at all over the size or weight of this tooth,
for Holy Writ mentions that in the time of King Saul, the first
king of the Hebrews, he had assembled a great host against the
Philistines, among whom was this same Goliath, who went
about saying and shouting to the Hebrews that if there were
any Hebrews who wished to fight him in single combat, which-
ever of them should have the victory, the other would be as a
slave and subject to the conqueror. Thus, this Goliath went
about shouting every day between the two hosts; but neither
King Saul nor any other Hebrew dared fight the said giant; and
much they feared him for his great strength. He was 6 cubits
and a palm tall, which is 16 spans.* His coat of mail with which
he was armed weighed 5,000 shekels, which is as much as 5,000
ounces. The iron of his lance was as big quasi liciatorium texen-
cium.* David, who at the time was guarding the beasts of his
father, Jesse, and who was the youngest of his brothers who
were in the aforementioned host, heard the words that this
giant went about saying, as has been told. Therefore, the desire
came to him to fight this giant, for which his brothers and
others strongly rebuked him. So David was armed with the
weapons of King Saul himself, but because he was not used to
them, nor were they easy for him to carry, he laid them down
and took his staff, with which he guarded his beasts, and his
bread bag with five pebbles in it, and a sling in his hand; and
in this state went off to fight the giant Goliath, who had scorn
of David when he saw him come against him. So David struck
him in the forehead with a stone, from which he fell to the
ground, and in the end David cut off his head with his own
sword. At this, the Philistines were so astonished that they all
fled, and those who could not flee, the Hebrews fell upon and
killed many of them.
18. On Friday, the thirteenth day of August, we went by water
from Venice to Padua to witness a combat which was to be
held there between Sir Boucicault and Sir Galiache of Mantua,
whom we found in the field, most nobly appareled for fighting.
But the lord of Padua, before whom they were in high good
spirits, and the lord of Mantua would not allow them to fight:
consequently, they made peace between themselves.
19. At Padua, in the Church of Saint Anthony,* the friar
minor, we were shown his very body, not all of a piece, but we
did see several bones of his members which at one time had
been stolen and which had been miraculously restored: namely,
one of his fingers and the jawbone with all of the lower teeth;
item: a glass set in silver in recognition of the miracle of this
saint; item: the ear of Saint Paul the Apostle; item: several
bones of Saint Laurence.
20. After we had seen these things, we returned on a galley*
on Sunday, the twenty-ninth day of August, to cross the sea.
And Monday morning we left the port of Venice; thus we ar-
rived at Pula, which is 100 miles from Venice, on the following
Tuesday, which was the last day of August.
21. Pula is a pleasant enough town, but formerly it was much
better, for it was destroyed in the time of the war between
Genoa and Venice. And outside of the town, somewhat inland,
there is a lovely freshwater brook, beside which there is a tilt
yard* which, plainly, was once very beautiful and built most
richly and nobly. It is said that Roland had it built, and it is
still called the Palace of Roland. And outside of the palace,
toward the harbor, there is a great quantity of burial vaults in
carved stone, and they are built above ground: and there must
surely be about 400 of them there; and inside of some of them
one can see the bones of the Christians that were buried there
after a great slaughter that the heathens perpetrated. One can-
not see inside some of these tombs, for they are too tightly
sealed. The town of Pula is under the seigniory of Venice.*
22. Item: on Wednesday, the first day of September, we left
Pula and soon arrived at a little island called Insula,* quite near
Pula; and there they held the muster of the sailors before the
captain of the galleys.
23. This same day we departed from there and arrived at
Corfu the following Monday, the sixth day of September. Corfu
is an island under the suzerainty of Venice,* with a town named
Corfu, and is 600 miles from Pula.
24. Between Pula and Corfu there is an uninhabited island
called Cazapoli.* On this island there is a chapel of Our Lady
called Our Lady of Cazapoli. In the chapel, in front of the holy
image, there is a lamp filled with oil; and in front of the chapel
there is a fig tree whose wood, when it has been moistened with
the oil of the lamp, will cure fevers; and many make pil-
grimages to the chapel. This island was wholly depopulated by
a serpent that suffers no creature to live there except those who
dwell in the chapel.
25. We left Corfu on the following Monday, the seventh day
of September, the eve of the Feast of Our Lady; and we wan-
dered by sea, now under sail, now with oars, till the following
Saturday, when we reached an island called Cephalonia. And
we landed right at a beautiful stream of fresh water where
formerly there was a city called Alexandria. No one lives there.
But quite soon after we got there, men and women came to us
who carried fresh bread, chickens, grapes, and other goods to
sell; for this island is well peopled and plenteous with many
good things. There we stayed for two days because of the wind,
which was contrary.
26. The following Sunday, the twelfth day of September, we
left the aforementioned stream and set a course to sea.
27. And the following Wednesday we passed Licardia, a
beautiful castle in the Morea, and so arrived at Modon the
same Wednesday, the fifteenth day of September.
28. Modon* is a handsome town and very strongly built; and
it lies 300 miles beyond Corfu. Modon is under the suzerainty
29. The following Thursday, the sixteenth day of September,
we departed from Modon and set our course at sea until Sun-
day evening, the nineteenth of the month, when we arrived at
30. We reached Rhodes on Sunday, the nineteenth of Sep-
tember, during the night. And our galley ran aground this same
evening, quite near the port of Rhodes; and it came about that
three of the other galleys came up to pull ours back into the
water. It was not damaged at all, since we had gone aground in
sand, but it had been quite seriously damaged the night before
in an accident at sea.
31. The island of Rhodes* is very large and well settled by
Greeks. And know that very excellent wines in great plenty are
produced there, and that there are many beautiful gardens and
beautiful trees bearing fruits, such as figs, and other trees as
32. The city of Rhodes is large, beautiful, and well fortified;
and there are many churches, both Catholic and Greek. The
castle of Rhodes is marvelously beautiful, noble, large, and
strong. Within it are the quarters of the knightly brotherhood,*
who have dwelt there a good 200 years or more. Within the
castle is the Hospital of Saint John, which they call the Infir-
mary,* in which poor and rich are nobly cared for when they
are sick. Nearby is the church of Milord Saint John the Bap-
tist,* which is most beautiful and devout, and where the broth-
ers conduct many beautiful services, and all of the brothers
regularly come to hear the services. In this church we were
shown several holy and joyful relics, which are hereafter de-
33. First, a brass cross, which is very worthy and of great
power, which was made of the basin in which Our Lord washed
the feet of his apostles. Item: the right arm of Saint Bartholo-
mew. Item: a very rich and very noble cloth worked in threads
of fine gold, which Saint Helen made with her own hands.
Item: a thorn* of the worthy Crown of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
with which he was crowned, which worthy thorn is most nobly
set in silver; and know that it flowers every year on Good
Friday, at the hour of midday, and thus did we see it all in
bloom on Good Friday upon our return to Rhodes. Item: one
of Saint Helen's pennies, mounted in lead, after which they
make the seals of Rhodes, which are of such great power; and
they make them on Good Friday. Item: in two silver crosses
there are two crosses made from the True Cross of Our Savior
34. We left Rhodes the next Monday, the twentieth day of
the month of September, and this same day passed Red Castle,*
which is 100 miles beyond Rhodes and is under the seigniory
of Rhodes. Next we crossed the Gulf of Adalia and then passed
the island of Cyprus.
35. And the following Friday, the twenty-fourth of the same
month, we arrived at Beirut, which is a beautiful city, although
it was formerly more beautiful than it is at present; only Sara-
cens live there. This is the port serving Damascus, the noble
city of Syria.
BEIRUT, THE PLACE WHERE SAINT GEORGE
CONQUERED THE SERPENT
36. About a league outside of Beirut is the place where Saint
George slew the serpent. And in this place there is a chapel*
40 feet long; and outside the church, right near the wall, is the
place where the serpent was slain, and this spot has been lower
than the surrounding ground ever since the day when the said
serpent was slain there. And the chapel, which Saint Helen had
built, was made the same length as the serpent; and within the
chapel, in front of the altar, there is a little pillar of white
marble* that Saint Helen installed with her own hands; and
this pillar cures fevers.
37. Item: on the way back from this place on the way to
Beirut by the road near the city, at a distance of about half a
league, there are two great vaulted arches, and beneath them
a sort of terrace on which the damsel was sitting, waiting for
the serpent, on the day when she expected to be devoured. And
right in front of this place, in a garden, is the very olive tree
which still bears sacred leaves every year, to which tree Saint
George hitched his horse when he went to talk to the damsel
under the arch. And those who wish to do so take pieces from
the tree as an act of devotion, for which reason it is never per-
mitted to bear its fruit.
38. Item: in the city of Beirut is the Church of Saint George,
and also the Church of Saint Barbara; and outside the church
in a narrow street is a pillar of marble in several colors on
which Saint Barbara had her head cut off; and this pillar is still
stained with her blood today.
39. Item: still in the Church of Saint George is Milord Saint
George's spring,* which he made with the lance with which
he killed the serpent. This spring is excellent, and people drink
from it out of piety.
40. From Beirut to Damascus takes three and a half days by
41. We left Beirut* on Sunday, the twenty-sixth day of Sep-
tember, and the Monday following we passed Sur in Syria,*
which is a great, devastated city; only Saracens live there.
42. We then passed Acre and then went by Carmel Castle*
and Pilgrim Castle,* and on Thursday, the last day of Septem-
ber, we came into Jaffa, which is the port where one disembarks
to go to the holy city of Jerusalem.
43. The following Friday, the first day of October, we got off
the galley and went ashore at Jaffa.* Jaffa was once a fair, large
city, but it is presently quite deserted.
44. Jaffa is the place where Saint Peter raised Tabitha,* the
maidservant of the apostles, from the dead. And near there,
Saint Peter* used to fish in the sea. Item: right on top of the
mountain, the pilgrims are in the custom of sleeping in a Chapel
of Saint Peter,* which is not properly maintained at all.
45. Item: from Jaffa we went to Ramlah this same Friday.
Ramlah is a beautiful, fair city, very active in commerce and
heavily populated by Saracens. In this city is a Church of Saint
46. And outside of the city about a league and a half there
is a large country village* where there is a Church of Saint
George, of which the greater part has been torn down, but
which once was most noble and beautiful; and in this church,
in front of the great altar, is the spot where Saint George was
47. Item: nearby is the castle called Emmaus,* which the
Gospel mentions as being the place where the disciples* recog-
nized Our Lord at the breaking of the bread on Easter Day
following the Resurrection.
48. Item: at Ramlah is the sepulcher of Saint Mary Cleophus.
49. Item: at Ramlah the good Joseph of Arimathea was born,
he who took Our Lord Jesus Christ down from the cross and
buried him in his own tomb.
50. We left Ramlah the following Monday,* the fourth day
of October, before dawn; and at the hour of vespers arrived at
the holy city of Jerusalem and stopped in a walled place called
Castle David,* just outside Jerusalem.
51. Shortly after, we left there all afoot, and by leave of the
sultan's* lieutenant entered the holy city of Jesusalem t* at the
hour of low vespers, and were all accommodated and lodged in
the hospital* where at present it is customary to house pilgrims.
52. The following Tuesday, the fifth day of October, about
three hours before dawn, the guardian* of the Church of the
Holy Sepulcher took us to make the Holy Circuit which one can
and should take on the holy voyage to Jerusalem, in the manner
HEREAFTER ARE RECORDED THE HOLY PLACES THAT
WE VISITED BY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD
53. And all of the places where the symbol of the cross is
shown confer plenary indulgence of sin and guilt; and the other
places not marked herein with the symbol of the cross, which-
ever they may be, confer pardon for seven years and seven
quarantines.* And these indulgences were granted by Saint
Sylvester, the Pope, at the prayer and request of Saint Helen
and of her son Saint Constantine, the emperor of Constanti-
In the Name of the Lord, Amen.
54. First, the friar guardian, who was a very good, honest
body, took us across from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
where Our Lord Jesus Christ took on his shoulders the cross*
that Simon had brought; and the Jews had forced Simon to
carry it because they knew well* that he and his children
served and loved Our Lord,* and made him carry it to do him
great shame rather than to aid Our Lord. And at the spot where
Our Lord took up the cross, there is a square stone about a
foot and a half on each side, which is set in the pavement
somewhat below the level of the surrounding stones, and on it
the foot of the cross t rested when Our Lord took it up to carry
it to Mount Calvary.
55. Item: from there we followed a street* that Our Lord
took when they led him to be crucified.
56. And in the same street, he showed us where the cross
was given to Simon;* as was stated, pardon for seven years and
seven quarantines; and the same for the street itself.
57. A little farther up this same street is the place where Our
Lord Jesus Christ said to the women who followed after him
weeping when he was being led off to be crucified, "Weep not
for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."*
58. Then, farther uphill* on the right side of this street is
the house where Our Lady climbed up on the front steps to see
her dear child when they were taking him to be crucified, for
such a great crowd was following him that there was no way
for her to approach him or see him; and truly, there is a tall
flight of steps in front of the house.
59. Item: still going uphill in the same street, on the right
side, there is a house where the sweet Virgin Mary went to
60. Item: in the same street is the place where Our Lady fell
in a swoon* when she saw her dear son crucified.
61. Item: in the same street on the left side is the house of
Pilate,* where Our Lord Jesus Christ was falsely accused and
condemned to death; no Christian pilgrims enter this house,
and the door to the house is walled up.
62. Item: still going uphill, in the same street is the house of
Milady Saint Anne,* the mother of Our Lady. In this house,
the sweet Virgin Mary was born; yet no Christian dare enter it,
for the Saracens have recently turned it into a mosque-that is
to say, the place where they conduct their services.
63. Item: farther uphill on this street is the house where
King Herod used to live,* and there Our Lord Jesus Christ was
led at the command of Pilate, and Herod had him dressed in a
white robe* like one he considered mad.
64. Item: outside of the holy city there is an egress* by the
same street, still following this route; on the right is the place
which is called in the Gospels probatica piscina,* where Our
Lord cured the man who was languishing, saying, "Take up
thy bed and walk."
65. Leaving this place and going farther downhill, on the
left side is the spot where Saint Stephen was stoned, and the
place is all rocks; and there is one rock higher than the others
on which Saint Paul the Apostle sat and guarded the clothing
of the throwers* while they were stoning Saint Stephen t.*
66. Item: near there, going downhill on the right side, is the
place where they say that one of the beams of the True Cross
was taken-that is, the beam that went the long way of the
cross; and this piece of wood had been laid down in this place
as a foot plank to cross over a little brook called Cedron. This
valley is named the Valley of Jehoshaphat in Holy Scripture,
which mentions that the Last Judgment will be held there.
67. Item: going farther along, on the left side and a little
farther down, there is a beautiful fountain* in a beautiful spot.
In this place there is a very large and deep vault and there are
forty-three steps to descend; in this vault there is a very noble,
sacred, and very worthy place, for the sepulcher of the Blessed
Virgin Mary is enclosed there in a little chapel,* which is on
the right hand as you climb down into this vault; and in this
chapel there are two very small doors. And know that this tomb
is well vaulted and well made, and there is a good fountain
within the vault from which people drink as an act of devotion;
and there is also an altar right in the tomb.
68. Item: leaving this sacred chapel and tomb, on the left-
hand side about fifteen or sixteen paces from it is a rather dimly
lit vault* where Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to God the
Father three times, saying, "0 my Father, if it be possible, let
this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou
wilt."* And right there he sweated drops of blood on the earth
for fear of death.
69. Item: a little farther on after leaving this place, on the
left side, is the place where Our Lord Jesus Christ left his
apostles when he went to pray in the aforementioned place; and
here the apostles fell asleep and Our Lord said to them, "Sleep
no more, for the hour approaches," etc.*
70. Item: a little farther on, on the left hand, is Gethsemane;
there is the garden* where Our Lord Jesus Christ was seized
with swords and lanterns when Judas had kissed him at mid-
71. Item: at one end of this garden is the place where Saint
Peter cut off Malchus' ear, and Our Lord said to Saint Peter,
"Put up thy sword into his sheath," etc.* And here Our Lord
72. Item: a little farther on, as one goes up toward Galilee,
on the right side, there is a great stone on which Our Lady used
to rest when she was making the Stations of the Cross after the
Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, her dear child.
73. Item: quite nearby, on the left hand, is the place where
Our Lady dropped her girdle* to Saint Thomas when the angels
carried her off to Heaven.
74. Item: a short way above there is the place where Our
Lord stopped and wept three drops of blood* and more for the
city of Jerusalem, saying, "If thou hadst known, even thou,"
75. Item: still going up toward Galilee, on the left side, is
the place where the angels t brought the palm to the sweet
Virgin Mary, on the day of her Assumption, in token of her
76. Item: a little farther on, going toward the hill of Galilee,*
is the place where Our Lady began to do her penance.
77. On the hill of Galilee is the spot where Our Lord Jesus
Christ appeared to his disciples* after the Resurrection t.
78. From the summit of the hill of Galilee, one can clearly
see the Temple of God and Solomon,* where there are always a
good 12,000 lamps burning, and on all of the feast days of the
Saracens, there must be a good 40,000 alight; this was told us
by our dragomans, who vouched for it as truth.
79. Atop the hill of Galilee, thirty-two holy places are ven-
erated, or more than there are in Jerusalem and round about the
city-to which no Christian dare go for fear of the Saracens;
but, despite this, it is said that absolutions are granted for them.
THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
80. Item: from the hill of Galilee, our guardian led us to the
hill where there is a very beautiful place arranged in the fashion
of a great chapel,* and from the outside it looks to be an old
neglected castle. In the center of this chapel, there is a small
shrine constructed with a stone dome, and right in the middle
of the floor of this shrine, in a square marble stone, is the im-
pression of the blessed foot of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which he
made with his worthy foot when he ascended to Heaven on the
day of Ascension; and the chamber of the stone vault is quite
circular t. And behind the shrine is another stone where the
left foot of Our Lord is imprinted.
81. Item: a little way down the slope of the Mount of Olives,
on the right side, is the spot where the apostles composed the
Creed, and the place is quite desolate.
82. Item: a very short distance farther is a place in which
Our Lady spent much time in prayers and orisons for her dear
child, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
83. Item: quite at the bottom, at the foot of the Mount of
Olives, there is a very beautiful monument all in cut stone; and
it is said that here lies Absalom,* the son of King David, who,
as the Scriptures testify, was the handsomest man in the world
when he was alive. And it is on the way down to the Valley of
84. Item: passing on and climbing a little, on the left side is
a Chapel of Saint Mark, in which there is the tomb of Saint
James the Less,* bishop of Jerusalem.
85. In this place Milord Saint James used to dwell, and here
Our Lord appeared to him after the Resurrection. And to this
very place the glorious Virgin Mary was wont to come, seeking
the advice of Milord Saint James. This place is quite near the
Valley of Jehoshaphat.
86. Item: quite nearby is Bethphage, where Our Lord Jesus
Christ mounted the foal of an ass* on the day of Palms, and
across from it is the gilded door* by which Our Lord entered
Jerusalem on the said day of Palms; but it is kept closed all the
time. And across from it is the holy Temple of God and of
Solomon,* which is a very noble thing to see, from what one
can see of it from the outside; and it was a beautiful sight to
see the lamps that were burning within, which we saw from the
hill of Galilee before the sun came up; for, as was mentioned
before, there are always 12,000 lamps burning and twice a year
the Saracens light 36,000,* as our dragomans told us and af-
firmed as truth.
87. Item: going on a short way down from the Mount of
Bethphage, on the right hand, is the well where the sweet Vir-
gin Mary used to wash the diapers of her dear son, and the
Saracens still call it the Fountain of Saint Mary.
88. Item: a little farther down, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat
on the right side, is a pool called the Pool of Siloam* in Holy
Writ; there Our Lord opened the eyes of the blind man who
had never once before seen with his eyes.
89. Item: a little farther on, across from the Pool of Siloam,
there is a great stone on the left side, which is like a pillar set
up in a comer of the road. On this pillar the Jews sawed the
body of the prophet Isaiah* into two pieces for having prophe-
sied the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
90. Still continuing, on a little hill is the place where the
disciples ran to hide for fear of the Jews who had seized Our
Lord; and this place is in a most peculiar rock.
91. Item: a little farther up is the field, arranged like a gar-
den, which was bought with the thirty pieces of silver for which
Our Lord Jesus Christ was sold; and it is called Archeldemach*
in the Gospel, which, when translated, is "the field of blood."
And they say that bones of the Maccabees are buried there.
This same field was bought, according to the Gospel, to be a
burying ground for pilgrims. And know that in this field there
is a great vaulted cavern* that is very deep, and there are sev-
eral windows on top of it through which one can look inside.
HEREAFTER FOLLOWS AN ENUMERATION OF
THE HOLY PLACES OF MOUNT ZION
92. First, as one ascends from there to Mount Zion, on the
left side, adjoining the Church of Notre Dame* in an angle of
the wall, is the place where the lamb was roasted which Our
Lord gave to his disciples to eat at the Last Supper.
93. In this same place, the water was heated with which Our
Lord washed the feet of his apostles.
94. As one leaves this place and continues on, on the right
side is the spot and monument where Saint Stephen, the first
martyr, is buried.
95. Item: farther on, on the right side, is the Church of Saint
Savior;* and at this spot the house of Annas, the bishop of
Jerusalem, used to stand. In this very house Our Lord Jesus
Christ was first led after he was taken in the garden; and there
he was tied to a stone pillar. This same pillar is still in this
church in a little passage that will not accommodate more than
two people at a time, and is quite close to the great altar, on
the right-hand side.
96. Item: the top of the great altar, which is very large and
very heavy, is the original cover of the Holy Sepulcher of Our
Lord. It was on this stone that the angel was sitting, on Easter
Day, when the three Marys came to the Holy Sepulcher to
anoint the precious body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who had
already been resurrected.
97. Item: as one leaves this church going toward the Church
of Notre Dame, near to the latter is a great square in which
there are two large stones, on one of which Our Lord was ac-
customed to sit when he was preaching to his disciples, while
Our Lady sat on the opposite side.
98. Item: near this first stone is a chapel attached to the
Church of Notre Dame, in which chapel are the tombs of
David* and his son Solomon, kings of Jerusalem; and within
the chapel is a crypt in which David wrote the Psalter.
99. Item: leaving this place and going to the left, is the place
where the sweet Virgin Mary lived* for fourteen years after the
Ascension of her dear child. Item: in this same place the
glorious Virgin Mary departed this life t.*
100. Item: quite nearby is the place where the wicked Jews
wished to seize and take the body of the Virgin Mary from the
hands of the apostles.
101. Item: near this place is where Matthew was chosen as
an apostle in place of Judas, who had sold and betrayed Our
Lord Jesus Christ, his sweet master.
102. Item: the place where Saint John the Evangelist daily
sang the mass before Our Lady after the Ascension of Our Lord.
103. In the Church of Notre Dame of Mount Zion-that is to
say, in the very place where the great altar of this church is
located-Our Lord Jesus Christ had the Last Supper for his
apostles on Maundy Thursday t.
104. And quite nearby, the lamb was prepared.
105. Right near the altar, on the left hand, is the sacred spot
where Our Lord washed the feet of his apostles.*
106. Item: outside the church near the cloister is a Chapel of
Saint Thomas, in which place Our Lord appeared to his apostles
when the doors had been closed, following the Resurrection,
saying "Peace be unto you," etc.* And right there Saint Thomas
prodded with his finger at the precious side of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, who said to him, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me,
thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet
have believed," etc.*
107. Item: right above this chapel is the place where Our
Lord Jesus Christ appeared to his apostles when he sent them
the Holy Ghost in tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost* and
illuminated them all with his grace.
108. Item: on Mount Zion is the place where Saint Peter
wept most bitterly for the triple denial that he had made of Our
Lord Jesus Christ, his lord and his master, after he had heard
the cock crow; and the place is called Gallicantus.*
109. Item: from the same Mount Zion one can see the place
called Evil Counsel.* Here the Jews plotted to cause the death
of Our Lord.
110. Item: on the way back from Mount Zion to Jerusalem
there is a church of Armenians* in which Saint James the
Greater was decapitated. Armenians are monks from Armenia.*
111. Item: a little farther on, as one approaches the holy city,
there is a very beautiful chapel. In this place the three Marys
found Our Lord Jesus Christ after his Resurrection.
112. Item: in the holy city of Jerusalem, quite close to the
square of the Holy Sepulcher, is the house in which Saint John
the Evangelist was born.
113. This same Tuesday, the fifth day of the month of Oc-
tober, upon our return from the holy places mentioned above,
all of us pilgrims together went to the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher t at the hour of vespers,* and there we remained all
that night and the following day till the hour of nones,* when
the doors were opened for us by the Saracens.* And you should
understand that within the said church are enclosed all of the
holy places that are described hereafter.
THE HILL OF CALVARY
114-15.* First, upon entering the church, right in front of the
door is the holy place where Our Lord Jesus Christ was cruci-
fied and suffered death and passion for mankind t.
116. And one must ascend a full eighteen steps* to climb
this sacred hill. There are two altars, and between the two is
the very place where Our Lord was put on the cross.
117. At this spot is the socket* in the rock in which the cross
was stood, and the hole is quite round.
118. And here one can see the rock that split, where the
blood of Our Lord fell profuse and deep, when Our Lord re-
ceived his death.
119. This cleft* is near the socket, and is very large and
deep; and at the bottom of the cleft one can see the skull of a
dead man, which some say is the head of our original father
120. Know that this sacred hill is arrayed almost after the
fashion of a beautiful chapel,* the top of it being all covered
over with marble, and it is vaulted and most nobly and richly
worked, painted, and conceived: consequently, it is a most
beautiful and reverential place. And you should know that the
opening where the foot of the holy True Cross was placed is not
covered with marble, nor is the rock to the right, where it is
121. On this sacred hill we heard a high mass at daybreak,
which was most solemnly celebrated, and we all confessed and
took communion at this mass. And, in addition, several low
masses were said by priests among the pilgrims.
122. Item: directly under this sacred hill there is a com-
pletely enclosed chapel of grey friars, from which crypt one
can see this skull of Adam* in the split rock. In this chapel are
the tombs of Godefroi de Bouillon* and of King Baudouin,*
his brother, and the two tombs are facing each other.
123. Item: nearby, outside of the great chancel and right in
the middle of the church, there is a little Chapel of Saint
Stephen having its altar facing the east end of the church; and
from the other side toward the chancel, one enters by means of
a little door into a small chapel, and thence, by means of a still
smaller door, one goes into another small chapel.
124. Here to be seen is the Holy Sepulcher* of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, where his precious body was placed and laid out
by the good Joseph of Arimathea. These small chapels were
opened for us so that for that whole night we could go to pray
and make our devotions at the Holy Sepulcher t. Several masses
were both said and sung in the Holy Sepulcher before the pil-
125. Item: in the chancel there is a hole which some say that
Our Lord said was the center of the world.*
126. Item: near the Holy Sepulcher, on the right, there is a
very beautiful and reverential chapel* established by Our Lady,
where Our Lord first appeared to her after his Resurrection.
And quite near the entrance to this chapel, on the right hand,
is the marble pillar* to which Our Lord was tied, and where he
was beaten and scourged most harshly at the command of
Pilate, as a result of which it is written that Our Lord received
5,627 wounds; and this pillar is set in a great window over
which there is an iron grille, and one can touch it with his hand
through the grille t.
127. Item: outside of the chapel of Our Lady described
above, right in front of the door, there is a round stone sunk in
the floor paving, and in the middle of the stone is a round hole.
On this stone and in this same place Our Lord appeared first to
Mary Magdalene* in the guise of a gardener,* and from the
hole the tree grew which stood between Our Lord and her
when he said, "Touch me not," etc.
128. Item: near this stone there is a small chapel in which
Saint Mary Magdalene was at her prayers when Our Lord ap-
peared to her and she noticed him.
129. Item: going from there around the chancel, on the left-
hand side is the cell* where Pilate had Our Lord imprisoned
and there he endured much harshness.
130. Item: quite near here is a rather low-ceilinged crypt,
where Our Lord suffered much evil, and there they struck him,
saying, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote
131. Item: a little farther on there is a chapel where Our
Lord's clothing, that is to say, his outer garment,* was played
for at dice.* Our Lady knitted this robe herself for Our Lord
when he was an infant, and as he grew, it grew. This worthy
robe is in Constantinople, for Saint Helen left it there, along
with one of the nails, and many other relics.
132. Item: a little farther on there is another chapel, and be-
low the altar stone is a thick, short marble pillar to which Our
Lord Jesus Christ was tied and on which he was made to sit
when the Jews crowned him with thorns* and rushes and wor-
shipped him, mocking him as king, saying "Hail, King of the
Jews," etc. And there they spat in his blessed face.
133. Item: on the left side there is a large chapel* to which
one must descend a good thirty steps, and it is located right at
the end of the church on the east side; and in this chapel, which
is very beautiful, there is a great altar. This is the Chapel of
Saint Helen, the mother of Constantine, the emperor of Con-
stantinople. And on the right, a little farther down, about
twelve steps, beneath a great stone is the very place in which
Saint Helen found the holy True Cross* of Our Lord Jesus
Christ t; and you should know, she had the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher built and most of the churches visited as shrines of
which we have spoken. With the cross were the nails and the
lance, the sponge, the reed, and the worthy robe of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, that was played for at dice and which presently is
134. Item: outside of this holy church across from the door-
way there are four beautiful chapels in the churchyard; the
first is dedicated to Our Lady, the second to Saint John the
Evangelist, the third to Mary Magdalene, and the fourth to
Saint Michael. And these chapels are maintained by Greeks, by
Armenians, by local Christians, and, if there are any, by Chris-
tians from the land of Prester John.*
135. Item: know that in the doorway of the Church of the
Holy Sepulcher, on the left hand, there is a flight of steps to
which the door is locked; and at the top of the stairs is the place
where Our Lady and Saint John the Evangelist were when Our
Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the holy True Cross, when
he commended his mother to Saint John the Evangelist, saying,
"Woman, behold thy Son."*
136. Above this place there is a little chapel where the Chris-
tians from the land of Prester John* worship Our Lord accord-
ing to their rites.
THE HOLY PLACES OF BETHLEHEM
137. This same Wednesday, the sixth day of October, after
we had left the Holy Sepulcher at the hour of nones, we left
Jerusalem on donkeys and came to the hostel in the worthy city
of Bethlehem. And know that in Bethlehem there is a very
beautiful, noted, and reverential church,* and at one time it
was more beautiful than it is at present. From the entrance to
the chancel there are forty-four marble pillars* in three rows
which hold up the church, not counting the other pillars which
are in the transept of the monastery and in the choir.
HERE FOLLOW THE HOLY PLACES THAT ARE
CONTAINED IN THE SAID CHURCH
138. First, underneath the chancel of the church there is a
small crypt all made of fine marble and mosaics* which is very
nobly and richly worked, particularly the ceiling. This crypt is
the most gracious and delightful place that one could possibly
see. Inside the crypt, at the east end, is the sacred and happy
spot where Our Lord Jesus Christ was born t, and there is an
altar above it, at which several high and low masses were cele-
brated while we were there.
139. Item: in front of this altar, a little lower under an over-
hang of rock, is the holy place where Our Lord was put in the
manger of the ox and the ass, and in the rock there are still the
heads of the nails where the rings used to hang, to which the ox
and the ass were tied t.
140. Item: leaving this worthy crypt, overhead on the right-
hand side, there is an opening through which fell the star* that
led the three kings when they came to worship Our Lord Jesus
141. Item: in front of this place is the spot where the three
kings formed their procession to go and make their offerings to
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
142. Item: proceeding from this place to the chancel, on the
left side under a little altar is the sacred spot and worthy place
where Our Lord Jesus Christ was circumcised and put into the
hands of Saint Simeon; and in this place were a great many of
the Innocents,* who were spitefully thrown into a place de-
scribed later, and which is quite dilapidated.
143. Item: as one leaves this church, on the right hand there
is a handsome place arranged like a cloister. Entering here, on
the right hand, there is a very tall vault in which Saint Jerome
translated the Bible from Hebrew to Greek and from Greek to
Latin. Within this crypt, on the right side, there is still another
crypt containing the tomb of Saint Jerome,* who was one of the
four Doctors of the Holy Church. And there is yet another small
crypt at a lower level and behind the others in a very dark, dis-
ordered spot, where King Herod had the Innocents thrown, out
144. Item: as one leaves these crypts, in the cloister on the
right hand there is a beautiful clear spring.* And know that
this church is wholly under the supervision of the guardian of
Jerusalem, and services are conducted there only by Latin
priests, that is to say, Catholics.
145. Item: after one leaves this church in the city of Bethle-
hem, on the right hand there is a Church of Saint Nicholas, in
which place the sweet Virgin Mary hid to draw the milk* from
her worthy breasts when she wished to flee into Egypt. In this
church there is a marble pillar on which she leaned while she
drew her worthy milk, which pillar still sweats since the time
when she leaned on it; and when one wipes it, instantly it be-
gins to sweat again. And in every place where her worthy milk
fell, and where it spread out, the ground is still crusted and
white like curdled milk, and people who wish to do so take it
out of devotion. In this worthy spot Our Lady hid herself with
her dear child for one night, for fear of the agents of King
146. A little farther on, about the distance of two bow casts,*
on the road to Jerusalem, is the place where the angels an-
nounced to the shepherds* the nativity of Our Lord Jesus
147. Item: leaving the Jerusalem road,* and going about 2
leagues in the hills from Bethlehem, on the left-hand side there
is a valley with a beautiful well,* where Our Lady composed
148. And it was at this worthy well that the sweet Virgin
Mary and Saint Elizabeth met when both were pregnant, and
they greeted each other most sweetly; and on this occasion
Saint Elizabeth made up a part of the Ave Maria,* saying,
"Blessed is the fruit of thy womb," etc.
149. Item: leaving this well and keeping to the left about
two bow casts, one comes to the house where Saint Zacharias*
dwelt, the husband of Saint Elizabeth and the father of Saint
John the Baptist. The entrance is very small, but otherwise it is
a beautiful place in reasonably good condition. And know that
on the left hand as you enter the house, there is a little chapel
where Milord Saint John the Baptist was circumcised and given
150. Item: in the chapel, near the altar on the right side, is
a rock* with a cavity that can still be seen; it is set in a window,
and in this rock the angels placed and hid Saint John the
Baptist when the tyrants were killing the Innocents. And the
rock closed itself until they had passed, and after they had
passed the rock opened itself, and Saint John came out safe
151. As one returns from this house and chapel to the well
previously described and continues toward Jerusalem, about
two bow casts from the well is the place where Saint Elizabeth
used to live. In this place is a beautiful little church,* most
filthily and foully maintained, and this is the place where Saint
John the Baptist was born t. This holy place is in the left side
of the choir of the church, and here they store wheat and stable
152. Item: on the way back to Jerusalem, at a distance of
about 2 leagues,* there is a handsome place* constructed like
a castle, and inside there is a very beautiful church conducted
by Greek monks, which church is called Holy Cross. Beneath
the great altar of this church is the spot where one of the arms
of the cross grew-that is, the log from which the crosspiece of
the holy true cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ was made t. And
the hole where the holy tree grew is still tidily maintained.
153. And quite nearby is the place where Saint Simeon the
Just* used to live, he who held Our Lord Jesus Christ in his
arms in the Temple on the day of the Circumcision and said,
"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace," etc.
154. This same Thursday, the seventh day of October, we
returned to the hostel in Jerusalem.
THE RIVER JORDAN
155. The following Saturday, the ninth day of October, we
left Jerusalem to go to the river Jordan. We put up at an inn,*
about 2 leagues from Jerusalem, which the sultan had com-
pletely rebuilt to accommodate pilgrims and other foreigners.
This lodging is near a mountain where there was once a castle
that was called the Red Tower.
156. On Sunday we left there at midnight* and rode about
4 or 5 miles along the river. There on the right, off the road on
the right side, is where the city of Jericho used to be, and there
are still traces of the walls.
157. Item: thence we went down to the river Jordan; and all
about the river, for about a mile, are little bushes. This is the
river where Our Lord Jesus Christ was baptized at the hands
of Saint John the Baptist t. The water of this river is very tur-
bulent and white and the current is quite strong.
158. Item: not far from here, downstream, is a great body of
water called the Dead Sea. On this Dead Sea there used to be
five cities, that is, Sodom, Gomorrah, etc., which crumbled into
ruins for the vile sin of luxury. Concerning this matter, the
Scriptures mention that the worthy man Lot lived in one of the
five cities. And when Our Lord wanted to destroy these five
cities, the Lord sent his angel to him and commanded that he,
his wife, and his two daughters depart immediately from the
city where they were living and leave the country without look-
ing behind them. And Lot did all of this, just as Our Lord had
commanded him. But Lot's wife could not keep from looking
back when she heard the storm behind her. Thus it happened
that, by the will of Our Lord, she was transformed into a great
stone, which stone we later saw when we were going on the
road to Saint Catherine, not far from Gaza near Jerusalem, on
the left as one climbs the mountain. And this stone definitely
looks as though it had been transformed in this way.
159. Item: when we had been at the river Jordan for a little
while and had bathed in the river and prayed, we departed and
went to a beautiful hostel* that looks like a castle; and the
building is located on the left as one goes toward the Quaran-
tine Mountain.* As one enters this hostel, there is a very beauti-
ful and inspiring chapel where there are grey monks in resi-
dence. Here was the cell of Saint John the Baptist when he was
in retreat in the deserts as a hermit. And in truth, the area
round about can well be called desert. In this Chapel of Saint
John the monks showed us a hand of Saint John the Baptist.
These particular monks are Greeks.
160. Item: leaving this place going toward the Quarantine
Mountain, there is a country town,* and there and round about
a great deal of sugar is grown; and about 2 miles beyond this
town, there is a public inn to shelter pilgrims and other tran-
sient folk. We got down from our donkeys and went to the
Quarantine, which is about a mile from there.
161. The Quarantine is very high and hard to climb. It is the
place where Our Lord fasted forty days and forty nights. When
one climbs this mountain, he finds four entrances* one after the
other, always ascending; and beyond the last entrance there are
two chapels. In the first of these, as it is related, Our Lord Jesus
Christ fasted for forty days and forty nights t; and the other is
the place where the devil tried to tempt Our Lord Jesus Christ,
saying, "Cast thyself down from hence."* Inside this cliff one
could find lodging for 400 persons or more.
162. At the top of this great mountain there are beautiful
streams* of fresh water that descend from the spring at the
summit of the Quarantine, and there are mills that grind grain
on them. Along with all this, there are as beautiful gardens as
one could devise, full of trees bearing fruit fit for an earthly
paradise, which fruit goes by the local name of "muse";* and it
is true that if you cut this fruit crosswise into ten slices, or into
more or fewer, you will always see the image of the crucifix
clearly in each slice.
163. From the Quarantine, we returned to the inn next to the
Red Tower, and the following Monday we left before daybreak
and came to Bethany, which is about 4 miles from Jerusalem.
Bethany is still a big country town, in which is located the
house of Saint Lazarus,* and there in that same house is the
tomb from which Our Lord raised Saint Lazarus from the dead.
This house is beautiful and admirable as the local houses go,
and is built like a fort; and it is still quite evident today that in
the past it was a beautiful and noble residence. The city is lo-
cated in a quite fertile valley, well developed in wheat, grapes,
and handsome gardens.
164. And you should know that in the house of Saint Lazarus,
near the tomb of Saint Lazarus and right at the back of the
house, there is a little chapel in which there is a hole in the
floor near the door into which one could easily fall if he were
165. Near the door to the chapel is the place where Our Lord
ate with his disciples, "and Martha served," etc.*
166. In this chapel Mary met Our Lord Jesus Christ, when
she said to him, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had
167. This very same Monday we left Bethany and reached
Jerusalem early in the morning, for we left Bethany before
168. You should know that Jerusalem is a very great and
beautiful city, however filthily and vilely it is maintained by the
Saracens, by whom it so heavily populated that it is a marvel
how everything there is full of them. Wherever goods are sold
in the city, the streets are well vaulted* with beautiful stone-
work and with windows above that give good light everywhere.
And above these vaults are other streets by which people con-
tinually go from house to house; that is, the Saracens and not
other people, for the local Christians and also the Jews who re-
side in the city have certain places and certain streets where
they live. Moreover, you should know that the holy city is at
present not enclosed* at all, except by the houses that have
been built over the ditches, though it is quite evident from the
old ditches and walls that are still visible that the city was once
most nobly fortified, and though at the Jaffa Gate there is a
strong castle, well built of dressed stone with good towers,
which is called Castle David.
169. As for the holy Temple of God and Solomon,* one can
only see the entrance (and at that only from a considerable dis-
tance) beneath a vault, that is, a street arcade; and even so, one
who wants to see the entrance cannot do so. For as soon as the
Saracens see a Christian coming up this street leading to the
holy temple, they shout at him and make him turn back and
jabber that he must not come there to see the holy temple. In
any case, one can see well enough from outside that it is a most
noble and massive affair, and also from what is said about it,
which our dragomans certified to us.
170. We left Jerusalem for Saint Catherine* on Wednesday,
the thirteenth day of October, and went about a league to the
hostel in a village named Beit Jala. In this village of Beit Jala
we laid in our supply of wine, which was delivered by the con-
sul at Jerusalem, for, because the Saracens themselves drink no
wine, the pilgrims can get it only at very great danger and at a
high price. Beit Jala is populated more by Christians* than by
Saracens. The Christians work the vineyards* where these good
wines grow; and you may be sure that one can properly call
them good wines.
171. The following Thursday we left Beit Jala at vespers and
camped in the fields outside the city.
172. The following Friday, the fifteenth day of October, we
left our lodgings outside of Beit Jala and went to the shelter in
a town called Sucarelle,* where there is an inn.
173. The following Saturday, about two o'clock in the morn-
ing, we arrived at the hostel in Gaza. Gaza is an open city and
is larger than Jerusalem. In this city is the place where the
strong man, Samson, pulled down the royal hall on himself and
about 4,000 Philistines, who were killed dead.* These Philis-
tines had kept Samson in prison for a long time. It happened
one day that they had a great feast and assembled in this hall
to take their pleasure. And when they had sufficiently played
together, they had Samson brought in, whom they were keep-
ing in prison and whose eyes they had put out, so that they
could amuse themselves with him, as with a fool; and when
they had played with him and amused themselves enough, they
left him and turned their attention to others. Samson, whose
hair had grown back (which they had cut as soon as he was
captured and betrayed by his wife-for his strength was in his
hair), asked the servant who was guarding him to lead him
where he could lean against the main pillar that held up the
hall; and the servant did so. And when Samson felt it, he pulled
the pillar against himself so violently that the room fell in on
him and on the Philistines. Thus Samson ended his life, he who
for forty years had been a judge of the Hebrews. In the place
(where the royal hall was) there is a house, which is near a
street inhabited by Jews.
174. Item: near this house in another street live some mis-
creants known as Samaritans; and of these people there cannot
be more than a thousand alive in the world, as we were told;
and this Our Lord commanded at the prayer of Moses.
The difference by which one can tell all sorts of people in
this country is as follows: first, one can tell the Saracens be-
cause they wear a white linen kerchief on their heads; the Arabs
are known by this, that they have and wear the white linen
kerchief on the head, but always have the end of the head
covering or cloth of which the kerchief is made, wrapped
around their throats; the Christians of the Girdle are known by
the fact that they wear a kerchief made of colored stuff from
Persia; the Jews are recognized by the kerchief of cloth dyed
yellow that they wear on their heads; and the Samaritans, the
same people I spoke of before, by the fact that they wear a
linen kerchief dyed the color of peach blossoms, but more pink
than red. And in all the garments and ornaments that these
people wear, there is no difference, either in the way they are
made or in the way they are used by one or another, except for
the differences in the head coverings described above.
175. Item: it should be mentioned that the pilgrims are not
usually lodged in the city, but in an inn provided for this pur-
pose, and which is wholly outside of the city, near a beautiful
well of good water. At Gaza we laid in our provisions* of all
the different sorts of things that we knew of that would be
necessary for crossing the deserts, along with the supplies that
our dragomans provided for us: namely, biscuits, asses, harness,
goatskins to carry water, and tents. And we stayed there nine
THE BEGINNING OF THE ARABIAN DESERTS
176. We left Gaza on Sunday, the twenty-fourth day of Oc-
tober, and made camp in the fields with all our equipment,
reasonably near the city at a distance of about two miles.
177.* The following Monday we left there and traveled all
day till vespers, when we made camp near a small town* where
there are two wells, one of fresh and the other of salt water.
178. The following Tuesday we traveled all day and camped
that night in the desert.
179. The following Wednesday we pushed on for the whole
180. The following Thursday we traveled all day till vespers,
when we camped near a well.
181. The following Friday, we traveled all day.
182. The following Saturday, we traveled till vespers, when
we camped at another well.*
183. It should be stated that there are no running springs in
the desert; the wells are low places among great rocks where
the water is held and collected after a great rain.
184. The following Sunday, the thirty-first day of October
and the eve of All Saints, we traveled the entire day.
185. The following Monday, All Saints' Day, we traveled
until about nones, when we passed the Sultan's Well* and went
on a bit farther, about 2 miles, before making camp. All of the
pilgrims make a habit of stopping at this well to refresh them-
selves with the sweet water, for once you leave Gaza until you
reach Saint Catherine you will find no water that is good and
worth having, save in the Sultan's Well. The reason we could
not camp there is that there were 10,000 Saracens encamped all
around it, who were returning from Mecca and were resting
there. Moreover, there were more than 40,000 behind them,
who were all returning from Mecca; and they have the custom
of going there every year to worship their principal prophet,
Muhammad. And between Cairo and Mecca there are about
fifty days of desert travel. Mecca, according to what they say
about it in that country, is a very large city and is, as it were,
the gateway to India.
186. The following Tuesday, the second day of November,
we traveled all day.
187. Wednesday and Thursday, we also traveled all day.
188. The following Friday, we traveled all day till vespers,
when we made camp at another well.*
189. The following Saturday, the sixth day of November, we
traveled all day; and in the evening, about the second hour of
the night, we reached Saint Catherine.
190. At Saint Catherine there are fine accommodations built
in the fashion of the country, and the abbey is enclosed with
high walls like those of a fortress.* There we entered on Sun-
day morning. And know that there is a great deal of room in
the abbey, and a good 400 brothers can be received and ac-
commodated there, and presently there are about 200, some-
times more, sometimes less, according to when they go to visit
the houses of their order that they maintain in various places in
191. Inside the abbey there is a most beautiful little church,*
for the place is very well arranged and proper and most rev-
192. It is true that in this church is the actual body and head
of the virgin Saint Catherine,* that is, the greater part of it, en-
closed in a marble container which lies on the right side of the
great altar; and we saw in this container her head and the
bones of her arms, which are marvelously heavy by modem
193. Item: near this marble container, on the right hand, is
the entrance to a beautiful chapel through which one enters
another chapel,* on the left side, which is very beautiful; and
a very reverential place it is. In this chapel is the place, very
properly maintained and arranged, where the bush was that
the good prophet Moses saw burning but which was not con-
sumed, of which Holy Writ speaks, saying: "the bush burned
with fire, and the bush was not consumed."* In this very place
Our Lord, being in the bush, spoke to the prophet when He
gave him the rod.* It seemed to Moses that the bush was on
fire; but when Our Lord had gone, Moses found that the bush
was all in bloom, which greatly astonished him. Moses took the
blossoms from the bush and scattered them all down Mount
Sinai; and in every spot where he scattered them the image of
them can be clearly seen today, in such a way that you would
hardly know where to break the rock without finding the im-
print of the flower* more perfectly drawn than any painter
could depict it. This is a very marvelous thing but can readily
be known to many pilgrims who carry off these rocks in which
one can see the miracle. This bush signified the Incarnation of
Our Lord and the virginity of the sweet Virgin Mary, as the
Scriptures state. And you should know that in this same place
Our Lord said to Moses, "Solve calciamenta tua de pedibus tuis,
quia locus iste sanctus est"; that is, "Put off thy shoes from off
thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."*
And because of this, no priest, pilgrim, or other person, who-
ever he may be, enters here unless he has his shoes off and is
194. In the place where the bush used to be, there is a silver
plaque* with a hole in it, into which hole people poke their
finger as an act of devotion; and in it is oil, with which those
who wish to do so may make the sign of the cross on themselves.
195. Certainly in this church there are many inspiring places
that are most decently maintained, and the monks conduct
beautiful services there according to their own rites.*
196. Item: there is a little chapel outside of the church which
is beautiful and reverential; and know that right opposite the
church and within the abbey is a great Saracen mosque.*
197. The Abbey of Saint Catherine stands between very
great and very high mountains, all of solid rock. And right in
front of the abbey there is a very handsome great garden,*
where there are many sorts of trees bearing all manner of
fruits. This garden is made in such a way that all of the trees,
in particular, are artificially grown by ingenious means; for
wherever the trees are planted, there is a wall* of stone and dry
earth around them. And there are a number of brothers among
the monks who are knowledgeable in gardening and who are
assigned and directed to tend the trees and the garden with
fresh water and other necessary things.
198. In this garden there is a beautiful spring from which the
garden and trees are sprinkled and watered as necessary; and
likewise, next to the Church of Saint Catherine inside the
abbey, there is a very beautiful spring and they draw water
from it, as from a well.
199. Item: on one side of the abbey (that is, on the right
hand going toward Saint Catherine), is the tall mountain of
Sinai, in which there are several inspiring and holy places.
200. First, going up the mountain, about a sixth of the way
to the top, there is a beautiful, marvelous spring* that flows
directly from the rock. And Moses made this spring by the will
of Our Lord, with the rod that He gave him, concerning which
I have spoken before; and it was made to serve the people of
Israel, whom Moses had taken out of Egypt and whom he was
leading through the deserts into the holy Promised Land.
201. Item: still going up the mountain, about a third of the
way up on the left side, there is a chapel dedicated to Our
Lady.* In this place, Our Lady appeared to the monks of the
Abbey of Saint Catherine, who had left the abbey and were
neither willing nor able to live there because of the multitude
of flies* that were there. And concerning this, she told them to
return to their abbey, for from then on, such verminous flies
would no longer live there; and this is a certain fact.
202. Item: climbing still farther, we found two small doors*
made partly from the original rocks themselves and partly from
cut stones; and it is many a hard pace up the mountain.
203. Item: still farther up the mountain, there are two
chapels near together, one larger than the other, the smaller of
which is on the right hand as you go up, and is dedicated to
Saint Margaret; and the other, which is on the left, is called the
shrine of Elias. This shrine of Elias is a very worthy and quite
beautiful place; there are altars for three chapels, the first of
which is the holy place where Our Lord spoke to Elias; the sec-
ond is the holy place where Our Lord sent food to Elias by a
raven; and in the third chapel, on the left hand, is the holy
place where Saint Alexis did his penance.
204. And when one has climbed as far as the highest part of
the mountain, there one sees a beautiful little church like a
chapel, in which is many a beautiful and holy place. This
church is the Chapel of Moses. So you should know that right
outside of this chapel, to the right of the choir, on the left-hand
side as you go up the hill, there is a great, heavy stone* in
which there is an empty cavity, as though it were shaped to
contain a person. And it is the truth that Our Lord once spoke
to Moses without Moses seeing him, at which Moses was so
frightened when he heard the voice of Our Lord that he backed
away as far as he could, and in backing he struck the rock such
a blow that he would have destroyed himself had Our Lord not
willed that the rock be as soft as wax at that moment; and for
this reason, a large part of Moses' body penetrated the rock, as
can be plainly seen, especially from the thighs upwards.
205. In this place the Christians make their devotions, and
those who wish to do so sleep here as an act of devotion.
206. Inside the Chapel of Moses is the holy place where Our
Lord gave Moses the Law. It was exactly at the place where
the great altar stands.
207. Item: in the chapel on the left side is an altar in a little
shrine dedicated to Saint Michael, the archangel. This church
is well and decently kept up.
208. Item: in front of the church, a bare stone's throw away,
is a Saracen mosque, that is to say, a shrine made in the fashion
of a chapel. Here our dragomans said their prayers, and thus do
the other Saracens who come to the mountain on pilgrimages.
209. Item: below the wall of this Saracen mosque is the cave
where Moses fasted forty days while doing penance, and it is
in one corner of the mosque at the left side.
210. Item: from in front of the Chapel of Moses you can see
the Red Sea,* which is very far from there.
211. We descended Mount Sinai-that is, by way of the slope
facing the mountain where Saint Catherine was carried by the
holy angels* at the command of Our Lord, after she was be-
headed in the city of Alexandria in Egypt-and from there to
Alexandria it is at least fourteen bitter days of travel entirely
through the desert. On this mountain her body lay for many
212. On this mountain, which is a great deal taller than
Mount Sinai and which some call Mount Saint Catherine (de-
spite the fact that all of the mountains around this place are
called Mount Sinai) and on which the body of the virgin Cath-
erine lay for a long time, there is no building* nor any other
sort of construction, except a stone slab which is still there and
which is about the length of a person. And here one can really
see a beautiful miracle: on this stone the body of Saint Cath-
erine was placed by the holy angels, and you can see that the
birds spatter their droppings all around this stone on the other
rocks, but do not drop on this one stone on which the body of
the saint was laid.
213. Between these two mountains is a great valley: a short
way down the valley is the beautiful and distinguished garden
that is called the Garden of Moses, which is most noble, hand-
some, and extensive. In this garden one can see all manner of
trees, both those that bear fruit and those that do not, which are
so well tended and arranged that one could hardly conceive of
doing better. As for the cultivation of the garden, know that it
is well worked and tilled from one end to the other, and know
that this garden is at least half a league long and is wider in
some places than others, as the topography of the mountains
permits. Also, there are good, beautiful fountains in the garden
by means of which it is sprinkled and watered by mechanical
methods as may be needed; that is, they make the water flow
up from below. And truly, the place is so dry and arid that it is
a marvel that anything can grow there.
214. Near the middle of this garden is a beautiful chapel sur-
rounded by houses well enclosed in good walls; this is the resi-
dence of the Brothers of Saint Catherine, who manage this
noble garden. And you may be sure, it brings much sustenance
to the Abbey of Saint Catherine, for in it grows a great quantity
of provisions. But no one would believe that the very beautiful
and noble garden and the beautiful, cleverly contrived foun-
tains could exist where they are, considering the desolate spot
where. they are located.
215. Here our asses were returned to us so that we could ride.
So we mounted up and returned to Saint Catherine, staying all
the way on the plain around these high mountains.
216. When we had visited the holy places of Saint Catherine
and its environs, as has been recounted, and had spent three
and a half days there, we made ready to take the road to Egypt
through the desert.
THE DEPARTURE FROM SAINT CATHERINE AND WANDERING
IN THE DESERT WHILE GOING TO CAIRO
217. We left Saint Catherine* on Wednesday, the tenth day
of November and the eve of Saint Martin's Day, right after
mass, and made camp in the desert.
218. The following Thursday, we went on for the whole day.
219. The following Friday, we traveled all day.
220. The same on Saturday, we went on all day till vespers,
when we came to a halt beside a well,* where we found re-
freshment for ourselves and watered our animals.
221. The following Sunday, about dinner time, we rested by
a beautiful flowing brook.* And there was much green grass
round it. It is almost 2 miles from the Red Sea, and the brook
falls into the Red Sea.
222. The following Monday, we traveled all day.
223. Likewise, on Tuesday we traveled all day.
224. Item: the following Wednesday, the seventeenth day of
November, we traveled till noon, when we halted at a beauti-
ful and noble well that they call the Fountain of Moses,* which
well has been all newly and most handsomely walled in and
arranged in the fashion of wells in that country, both for getting
drinking water and for watering camels, asses, and other ani-
mals; and it was a most costly thing to do, being so far from
225. The reason why this well is called the Fountain of
Moses is thus: you know that the Scriptures assert that in the
time of Moses, who was a Hebrew, there was a great number of
Hebrews in Egypt, descendants of Jacob and Joseph, who were
sold by their brothers and who had such great power in Egypt
in the time of King Pharoah, the king of Egypt, who, on the
advice of Joseph, had constructed in his reign those noble
granaries known as Pharoah's Granaries,* of which we will later
speak in describing Babylonia. In the time of Moses, these peo-
ple of whom we are talking were greatly oppressed by slavery
in Egypt. Moses and his brother Aaron were the most outstand-
ing of the Hebrews, that is to say, the Jews. Our Lord com-
manded Moses by his angel to deliver these people from Egypt
and to lead them for three days. So Moses did as Our Lord
commanded, for he delivered them all at one time from Egypt,
and there were 600,000 men, not counting women and small
children. When Moses had led these people for three days, they
came to the Red Sea and could go no farther; likewise, they
could not go along the shore because of the very high moun-
tains that are still there today; nor could they merely turn back,
for they had not left Egypt with the consent of the king. You
may be sure that the Hebrews had much to suffer because of
this, for when the king of Egypt, who was called pharoah,
heard the news that the Hebrews had thus left his kingdom, he
forthwith assembled a great multitude of armed men and set
out after the Hebrews. When Our Lord saw his people in such
great misery and affliction, he had pity for them and ordered
Moses to strike the sea with his rod; and no sooner had Moses
struck with his rod than the sea opened and there appeared a
handsome great road. Whereupon the Hebrews set out on this
road and they made the line of Judah, the oldest son of Jacob,
go ahead of the others with all the bones of Joseph. Thus the
Hebrews crossed over safely by the will of Our Lord; and when
they had all passed, they pitched their tents to rest in this very
place where the Fountain of Moses is located, about 2 short
leagues distant from the Red Sea. And when King Pharoah
reached the sea and perceived that the Hebrews would quite
escape him unless he hurried after them, he saw that the road
was still open before him by which the Hebrews had crossed
over, and he spurred after them; and his men did likewise. And
when they had all entered this deep sea, it closed itself by the
will of Our Lord; thus, they were all drowned without a single
one escaping. And the sea gave up to the Hebrews many of the
drowned men who had weapons, of which the Hebrews re-
lieved them, for they had great need of them. And for this
reason, the well is called the Fountain of Moses, for it was made
at his prayer by the will of Our Lord to give drink to his people
for the several days that they remained there. From this place,
Moses led his people toward the holy Promised Land.
226. This same Wednesday we left this well and went on to
our camp for the night.
227. The following Thursday we traveled the whole day and
passed the Sultan's Well, which does not have good water,
though there is a large inn.
228. The following Friday, we traveled all day.
229. The following Saturday, the twentieth day of Novem-
ber, we arrived at the hostel by the Fountain of Saint Mary near
Cairo.* Some call the well and the place itself Matarieh in the
THE FOUNTAIN THAT GOD MADE WITH His HEELS*
230. It should be explained that this fountain is at the point
where one leaves the desert and is near the cities of Cairo and
Babylon, about 2 leagues distant. At this fountain, the blessed
Virgin Mary stopped when she was fleeing into the land of
Egypt for fear of King Herod, who was putting the Innocents
to death. And it is the truth that when Our Lady had crossed
the desert with her dear child and had come to this place where
the present fountain is now located, she laid Our Lord on the
ground and went to look for water in the desert, but none could
she find. So she returned, greatly sorrowing, to her dear child,
who was lying on his back on the ground and who had so kicked
the ground with his heels that a very good, sweet stream of
water gushed forth from it; so Our Lady was most joyful over
this and thanked Our Lord for it. Here Our Lady put her dear
child to bed and washed Our Lord's diapers in the water of
this fountain, and then she spread the diapers on the ground to
dry; and as they dried, for every drop of the water that dripped
from them there sprang up a little bush, which bushes bore a
balm: and still today there is a great plenty of these bushes
that yield the balm; and in other parts of the world, unless it be
an earthly Paradise, you will not find the balsam bushes grow-
ing except in this garden. Even the Saracens refer to this well
as the Fountain of Saint Mary. And it is true that no balm-
bearing tree can be grown or made to yield balsam unless it is
watered with water from this well.
231. There is a handsome place there-that is, a most hand-
some house,* and a large one as houses go in this country, with
very extensive accommodations. From the second-floor win-
dows of this house, you can see the Fountain of Saint Mary.
There are four big fat oxen that do nothing else but lift the
water from this well by means of water wheels, and there are
two oxen to a wheel. This water is led to several parts of the
house and particularly to this garden where the balsam bushes
grow; and the water also goes by way of a conduit into a beau-
tiful little place in the house, right where you enter on the right
side, that is called the oratory. Here many people bathe as an
act of devotion, both Christians and Saracens.
232. In this beautiful garden where the balsam grows, Pha-
roah's Fig* still stands, bearing fruit and leaves every year. In
this fig tree-that is to say, in the trunk, which is very large and
hollow-Our Lady and her dear child hid for fear of the men
of King Herod, who were hunting for Our Lord to kill him.
And the pilgrims have whittled away so much of this fig tree
out of devotion that at present part of the trunk has been car-
ried off. The fruit that this tree bears is produced differently
from that of other trees, in that the figs are born on the big
limbs and heavy branches and look as though they had been
233. The following Monday, the twenty-second day of No-
vember, before midnight, we left Matarieh to go to Cairo. And
we reached the outskirts of Cairo (that is, the inn that is near
the house of the grand dragoman)* shortly before sunup, al-
though it is only about 2 leagues from the Fountain of Saint
Mary to the entrance to Cairo. But the city of Cairo* is so
marvelously big and so marvelously peopled with Saracens, and
there are so many other people as well, that nobody would
believe it if he had not seen it. And know that we took a third
of the night just to ride on our donkeys from the entrance to
Cairo to our inn, which is roughly, or little more than, midway
between Cairo and Babylon. And the reason we entered by
night was so that no Saracens might interfere with us; nor
would we have been able to get through the streets for the
great crowds, or at best only with great trouble. And we guar-
antee you that, in our opinion, if we had not entered the city at
dawn we would not have reached our inn before it was pitch-
black night. Despite the fact that the city is so large and so
wondrously full of people, it is well provided with houses made
in the fashion of that country, and there are immense, very
beautiful houses; and there is not a house roof that is not flat,
with no peak, and the roofs shelter well-built terraces. More-
over, the houses are nicely constructed of wood, stone, and some
material similar to plaster; it is better provided with houses
than any other city we have seen in our travels.
234. In this city there are, as we were assured was true,
12,000 Saracen churches that are called "mosques,"* wherein
they hold services and say their prayers. And they are very
neatly maintained and kept up and brightly lighted with beauti-
ful lamps, despite the fact that in these chapels there are no
paintings or images and anything painted is white all over; and
for the most part, they are made of marble, with beautiful
doors. And there are churches of this sort that are very large
and very beautiful, and which look like beautiful Christian
churches; but no Christian dare ever enter for fear of the
Saracens, who will not tolerate them.
235. And know that there are not only at Cairo 12,000
mosques, but, as we were told, 12,000 hot-water baths* serving
these mosques: to each mosque its bath. And they say that no
Saracen dares enter one of their chapels after having had carnal
relations with a woman, unless he washes and bathes, for their
law so commands them. For this reason, some go to wash in
these hot-water baths, particularly the rich; and the poor peo-
ple go to wash in the river. And know that we saw them wash-
ing; but they wash themselves most immodestly and quite pub-
236. Item: it was also certified to us that there are at least
60,000 pothouses,* which are places or stalls where cooked
meats are sold.
237. It is a great delight to see the great number of beautiful
fountains to be found in this great city, and likewise the beauti-
ful gardens and trees there.
238. Know that the sultan, who is the lord of Egypt, of Syria,
of Mecca toward India, and of other strange lands, spends most
of his time in the city of Cairo; and he lives in a very large,
powerful, and noble castle* located at the foot of the moun-
tains. Because of the beautiful palace and the wonderful work-
manship in this castle, it is a noble sight to see. And right in
front of the castle is a very large and handsome open square,*
long and wide and level, which lies between the castle and the
239. And in front of this castle, adjacent to the square and
thus inside the city itself but not far away, are the tombs of the
sultans, which are built like large, beautiful chapels; this is a
marvelously noble sight, but the most noble of all is the sultan's
mosque,* which is at the left side of the square.
240. In this same city, we saw several beasts that were
strange to behold: six elephants,* two very large, two middle-
sized, and two little ones. And one in particular was much
larger than the others; and he had a blackish hide, ears as wide
as a small winnowing basket and very pendulous, like those of
a bloodhound, and eyes that were remarkably small and round.
He was very large and very tall and had a short neck. As a con-
sequence of his great height, he could not reach the ground to
eat; but on his muzzle, right in the middle of his face, he had a
sort of hose which hung down almost to the ground. With this
great hose the elephant took his fodder from the ground and
carried it to his mouth. And likewise when he wished to drink,
he filled this hose with the water that they put before him and
returned the hose to his mouth; and when he had drunk what
he wished, he let the rest fall to the ground. And when this ele-
phant blew out his breath, he made this hose resound louder
than any trumpet in the world could do, and this voice is great
and terrible to those who are not accustomed to it. Item: there
grow from his mouth two teeth like those of a boar, which are
very long and heavy. In fact, his weight and height are such
that we would hardly know how to describe them properly, but
the pile of litter that they provided for him to sleep on was 2
or more spans deep, at least 25 feet long, and about 12 feet
wide. This great elephant was chained by the feet.
241. Item: in another place in the city we saw five other
strange beasts, which looked to be very wild and were called
giraffes.* These beasts are very big and wondrously tall, the
neck unbelievably long, and they carry the head high; and it
seemed to all of us that they could easily take their fodder from
the tip of the largest lance that any of us could carry, especially
the biggest ones. They have front legs a great deal longer than
the rear ones, a coat like that of a deer, horns about a half a
foot long like those of a goat, and feet like those of a deer.
HEREAFTER FOLLOWS THE HOLY CIRCUIT AND THE HOLY PLACES
THAT WE VISITED IN THE CITY OF CAIRO AND IN THE CITY
OF BABYLON, WHICH Is QUITE NEAR CAIRO AT A
DISTANCE OF HALF A LEAGUE
242. First, as one leaves Cairo to go to Babylon, there is an
Armenian Christian church* in which lies the body of Saint
Martin, but not the Saint Martin whose feast we celebrate in
winter. The remains are in a rather small casket.
243. And know that these two cities are quite near one an-
other and they are not more than half a league apart.
244. The city of Babylon is very large and beautiful and
heavily populated by Saracens. In this city there is a church
where the blessed Virgin Mary and her dear child Our Lord
Jesus Christ stayed for seven years. They call this church Saint
Mary of the Cave* because there is a low cave in this holy
place; and here there is a very beautiful and inspiring chapel.
245. Item: quite near this church is the place where the
angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest," etc.*
246. Item: still in the holy city of Babylon there is another
church that is called Our Lady of the Dove,* in which lies the
body of Milady Saint Barbara in a niche in the wall on the left
side as one approaches the choir of the church; and in front of
this niche there is an iron grille to protect the holy body. There
are Greek monks in this church.
247. Still in Babylon is another small church* as inspiring
and lovely as one could well imagine. And in the churchyard
that adjoins this church is the residence of the patriarch. This
patriarch was the brother of the king of Armenia who recently
died in France. This patriarch is in charge of the Coptic Chris-
tians who live in those parts, and he is a very good and char-
itable person, not only as it is reputed, but as he demonstrates
in a definite manner by feeding a thousand or more poor people
248. The city of Babylon lies on a stream called the Nile,
which is a great, wide river. This river comes from Paradise-on-
Earth* and passes through the land of Prester John, then
through Babylon, and empties into the sea quite near Alex-
andria. This river thus flows from between the east and the
south, and it is more turbulent and whiter than the river Jordan.
Thus it passes right beside Cairo. And know that this river over-
flows and waters the greater part of the land of Egypt and
when it is in flood, they cannot cultivate anything.
PHARoAH's GRANARIES *
249. The following Wednesday, the twenty-fourth day of No-
vember, we departed from Cairo-we four and no others-a
dragoman being with us who was called Cocheca; and we
crossed the river Nile with four clipped asses, big beautiful ani-
mals, to go to see Pharoah's Granaries, which are 4 leagues from
Babylon and across the Nile. And it is a miserable road that one
has to take, for one must cross water by boat in several places.
Although it seems to those who are in Babylon that these
granaries are quite nearby, they are not. There are many of
these granaries both up and down the Nile, which one can see
from far off; but where we were, there were only three* that
were reasonably close together. The truth of the matter is that
when we reached these granaries, it seemed to us, for three
particular reasons, that they were the most remarkable things
that we had yet seen on the whole trip. The first reason was for
the great size of the base, for they are built with four sides; and
each side one finds to measure over 900 feet.* Secondly, for
their great height, they being shaped like a cut diamond-that
is to say, very wide at the bottom and sharply pointed at the
top; and know that they are so very tall that if a person were
at the top, he could hardly be seen: he would look neither
bigger nor taller than a crow. Third, for the very noble and
heavy workmanship with which they are built, of great, tall
stones well hewn; and who could have the power to amass so
many of them there, seeing there are none in the country, and
to pile these stones in such noble fashion as they are? And we
saw that on one of these granaries, about halfway up the slope,
there were certain masons who were using tackle to remove the
great hewn stones which form the facing of the granary, and
were letting the stones down to the bottom. The greater part of
the handsome buildings constructed in Babylon and Cairo are
made of these stones, and have been made of them for a long
time: and it was sworn to and certified by the dragoman who
was with us, as well as by others, that a thousand years had
already passed since they had begun to peel and uncover these
granaries, and yet they are only half uncovered; and in spite of
this, it does not rain into them, nor will it, for the masonry is
too massive and must be exceedingly thick. We were told, more-
over, that of those stones that were brought down from the
granaries, the sultan took two-thirds of the profit and the ma-
sons the remaining third. And do you know, these masons who
were uncovering the granary and who were but halfway up the
side, we could scarcely make them out; and we were not aware
of them till we saw the great stones falling like so many vine
plants that these masons were chopping down; and despite the
fact that we could clearly hear the hammer blows, we did not
know what they were.
250. It should be explained that these granaries are called
Pharoah's Granaries; and the pharoah had them built in the
time when Joseph, the son of Jacob, was governor over all the
kingdom of Egypt by the command of the king. They were in-
tended to hold and store grain against a lean time that Joseph
had prophesied was coming to the kingdom of Egypt on the
basis of a dream that this same King Pharoah had had, just as
it is written more fully in Holy Scripture.
251. As for describing the inside of these granaries, we could
hardly speak of it, since the entrance from above is walled up
and there are enormous tombs in front of it; and we were told
that the tomb of a Saracen is there. The entrances were closed
up because people had been using the places to make counter-
feit money. And at the very bottom there is a doorway into the
ground, a long way in front of and below the granary where we
were, and it is not tall enough for a man to stand up in. It is a
very dark place, and foul-smelling from the beasts that live in it.
252. This same Wednesday we left there and returned about
sundown to the hostel in Cairo.
253. The following Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of Novem-
ber, we made our provisions to go to Saint Anthony and Saint
Paul in the deserts of Egypt, and rented a boat in which to go.
254. The following Friday we left Babylon and went aboard
the boat to go on the trip to Saint Anthony and Saint Paul,* and
we arrived at Saint Anthony-on-the-Nile the following Saturday.
255. At Saint Anthony-on-the-Nile there is a beautiful little
church in a large garden all tightly enclosed with walls in the
manner of a fort; and attached to the church there is a keep.
There are a good thirty brothers living in this abbey, serving
Our Lord and appearing to be very good and devout people.
And from Babylon to this place is two good days of sailing, even
when there is a favorable wind.
256. Know that there was the first dwelling place of Milord
Saint Anthony when he first became a hermit. This is the same
Saint Anthony whom we call Saint Anthony of Vienne.* And
while he was living there as a hermit, Our Lord God com-
manded him by an angel to go live somewhere else, for this
place was too delectable for him to do penance, as is appro-
priate to the life of a hermit, and was too near to people and
located on the river. Thereupon Milord Saint Anthony departed
from this place and went to live in the deserts, about three
good days' travel* from his first dwelling.
257. The following Monday, the twenty-ninth day of No-
vember, we left Saint Anthony-on-the-Nile and all mounted on
camels,* which were brought to us and cared for by our drago-
man; and we went through the desert all this day till night.
258. The following Tuesday, we traveled all day in the
259. Wednesday likewise we traveled all day; and this same
day we saw two great ostriches trotting in the desert, and they
had black feathers.
260. Thursday, the second day of December, we came to the
abbey where was located the second dwelling of Milord Saint
Anthony in the deserts of Egypt.
261.* Know that at this place there is a beautiful, pleasant,
large, strongly built house, well enclosed with good walls that
are tall and thick like a fortress; and within is a beautiful and
very inspiring church and a very beautiful dwelling for the
brothers and for housing the pilgrims when they visit there. It
is a fine thing to see the beautiful and noble place and the lovely
garden and the beautiful good spring that is inside the property
and which flows out below the house and the abbey. And to tell
the truth, the place is even more beautiful and better arranged
in all respects than is Saint Catherine, except that the church,
although it is beautiful and inspiring, is not nearly as beautiful
as the one at Saint Catherine. As for the garden, it is a lovely
sight; and, moreover, everything is well laid out and well culti-
vated and green with trees and plants that greatly delight you
when you see them in such a barren place, for the place is as
much a desert as Saint Catherine, or even more so.
262. In the abbey a hundred or more brothers* reside per-
manently and lead a very holy and worthy life, for at no time
do they drink wine nor ever eat either flesh or fish, nor do they
wear any linen clothing. And in truth they plainly show that
they are good people, for they provide excellent cheer for the
pilgrims and most willingly give them whatever victuals they
can come by and ask nothing in return. These brothers of whom
we are speaking are Coptic Christians,* for they are circum-
cised and then baptized like us, and they sing and conduct the
services very devoutly in their own tongue; and they do not
conduct the service of Our Lord according to our liturgy nor
that of the Greeks, but have a different liturgy, quite similar
to that of the Christians from the land of Prester John, accord-
ing to what we were told.
263. In this place dwelt Saint Anthony of Vienne until such
time as it was revealed to him by the angel of Our Lord that
there was another hermit in this country named Paul. This Paul
was the first hermit. Thereupon Milord Saint Anthony set out
from his hermitage and went through the deserts seeking and
searching for this worthy man, Saint Paul, and long he sought
him without being able to find him, and at last Milord Saint
Anthony found a little piglet* who led him right to the place
where Saint Paul was doing his penance. This place lies beyond
the abbey, a hard and painful day's travel; and, in our opinion,
of all the trips that a pilgrim can take overseas, one would
never find a road so desolate and so strange as the road from
the Abbey of Saint Anthony to Saint Paul. And in traveling this
road, one must cross a mountain which is nearer Saint Paul
than Saint Anthony, and this mountain is of such great height
that it seemed to us to be even more difficult than Mount Sinai.
264. Beyond this very tall mountain, a good piece past the
foot of the mountain on the far side, quite near the Red Sea,
is the abbey* where Milord Saint Paul, the first hermit, used to
live. This abbey is very well enclosed and shut up in good
walls, high and thick, quite like a fortress except that there is
no moat outside. The entrance to the abbey faces the Red Sea.
265. It should be pointed out that the Red Sea* divides the
road from Saint Catherine to Saint Anthony and Saint Paul;
for when one leaves Cairo going toward the east, on the left-
hand side of the Red Sea is Saint Catherine, and on the right-
hand side are the holy places of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul.
266. There are at least sixty resident brothers in the Abbey
of Saint Paul, who, in our opinion, are quite like the brothers
of Saint Anthony-that is, in the matter of kindness and dress;
for they gave us very good cheer, received us most sweetly and
benignly, and quickly brought us such provisions of food as
God had lent them. And it must have been around midnight
when we entered and came to the door of this abbey, yet these
good brothers nearly all got up and were so diligent in serving
us, and brought us hot meats as though each one of them were
to be paid a hundred ducats.
267. In this abbey there is a beautiful little chapel* which
is down several steps below a rock; here dwelt Saint Paul while
he did his penance, for at that time there was no dwelling other
than the rock.
268. When Milord Saint Anthony, with the help of the little
piglet, had found the blessed Saint Paul, he never again re-
turned to his former hermitage, but instead lived most happily
with Saint Paul under this same rock; and thither each day Our
Lord sent the bread of Heaven by a raven, by which the two
of them were fed. In this fashion these two holy hermits lived
for a long time, and at last Saint Paul died. Wherefore, Saint
Anthony buried him with the aid of a lion* who came there
to help him to bury the blessed Saint Paul and to dig his
grave; and the tomb in the chapel is under the rock, to the
left of the great altar, in a comer.
269. In this abbey there is a lovely garden and a beautiful
well, and it is a beautiful place, well and tidily arranged.
270. And we would have you understand that these three
abbeys-that is to say, of Saint Anthony-on-the-Nile, and of
Saint Paul and Saint Anthony, of which we are speaking-all
come under the authority of one abbot, and seem to be all one.
And when these brothers are in church, every one of them,
both young and old, carries a staff in his hand; and this is what
they do at these abbeys when they are attending the services of
271. After we had visited this holy place and had been there
from midnight till the following morning at the hour of prime,*
and after the service was over, we left there on Friday, the
third day of December, crossed the mountain, mounted on
camels which were awaiting us there, and returned to the hostel
at Saint Anthony-of-the-Desert.
272. The following Saturday, the fourth day of December,
after we had thoroughly visited the holy place of the Abbey of
Milord Saint Anthony of the Desert, and after mass had been
celebrated, we left there and made camp in the desert.
273. The following Sunday, the fifth day of December, we
traveled all day through the desert.
274. The following Monday, the day of the feast of Saint
Nicholas, we went on all day through the desert till about the
hour of vespers, when we arrived* at Saint Anthony-on-the-
Nile. And this same evening we went aboard our boat, which
had been waiting for us there, to go back to Babylon.
275. Know that this trip of which we are speaking is not as
safe as the trip to Saint Catherine; there are presently on the
river Nile so many Arab pirates that hardly anyone can go on
it without being robbed. And it happened that while we were
going through the desert on the holy trip described above, as
has been related, eleven boats-that is, Saracen vessels-were
seized and robbed at the hands of these Arab pirates, and
several Saracens were killed. In particular, there was killed
one of the most important emirs that the sultan had at his
court, he being the fiftieth* among the knights, which emir had
been dispatched by the sultan to capture these pirates and
destroy them and bring them to justice; but this emir and his
company were all chopped to pieces without a single one es-
276. And it happened to us that, on the second night aboard
the boat on the way back to Babylon, we were attacked by a
Saracen boat, just a little after midnight. And some of the
people in our boat were wounded by arrows, particularly a
young knight from Picardy named Sir Pierre de Morgueline,
who took an arrow in the head from which he later had trouble
aplenty; and others were wounded among the sailors. And it
was pure chance that we were not seriously hurt, for when the
daylight came and separated us, we saw that our boat fairly
bristled with sharp arrows in every part.
277. In this river Nile in which we were sailing, there live a
number of serpents that they call crocodiles, of which among
others we saw one that was very large and hideous, as thick-
bodied as a mastiff and half the length of a lance, or thereabout.
This beast was on a little island in the middle of the river, and
when we neared it, it slid into the water. This beast has a jaw
that is half the width of its body and longer than the body is
wide, and it does great damage to the Saracens' cattle, for when
it manages to get at the buffaloes and oxen and cows, it kills
them every time. The buffalo is as heavy and as large as an ox
or cow, and there is little difference between them, except that
the buffalo is usually black and has horns on his head that are
short, heavy, and recurved.
278. We arrived in Babylon upon our return from the trip
to Saint Anthony and Saint Paul on Wednesday, the day of the
Conception of Our Lady, the eighth day of December; and here
we took on provisions to continue downriver to Alexandria.
And likewise we collected here all of the things that we had
deposited with the Genoese merchants in Babylon.
279. That very night we left Babylon in our boat to go to
Alexandria down the river Nile, and we sailed past a part of
the city of Cairo that fronts on the river. Going from Cairo to
Alexandria, there is such beautiful country that it is a wonder,
rich and full of beautiful gardens and trees; and there are
many villages, and big cities like Fouah, where we found our-
selves on the following Saturday, the eleventh day of Decem-
ber, and then we passed another city called El-Kerioun.
280. We arrived near the city of Alexandria* in Egypt on the
following Monday, the thirteenth day of December, at a little
village that is about 2 short French leagues from Alexandria.
Here all our baggage was loaded on the sultan's camels to be
carried into the city. Thus we entered with the camels on this
same day and were very thoroughly searched* as we came in
the gate to find out how much money and other valuables we
had about us.
281. In the city of Alexandria is the place where the virgin
Saint Catherine* had her head cut off, and from this place she
was carried by the holy angels at the command of Our Lord
to the top of Mount Sinai, as has been related previously.
282. Within the city of Alexandria there is a great street,
the most beautiful and the widest in the whole city, which is
called Saint Mark Street, for in this street Saint Mark,* the
glorious patron of the Venetians, was martyred.
283. In this same street is the place* where the cell used to
be in which Saint Catherine was imprisoned.
284. In this same street is the place and spot where the
wheels were erected to cut up the body of the virgin Saint
Catherine, and here are still the four pillars of marble to which
the said wheels were fastened.
285. Item: know that in this city of Alexandria there are
several elegant residences for foreign Christians-that is, both
for the merchants and the pilgrims; and these residences are
called consulates, such as the French, the Venetian, the Geno-
ese, the Castilian or the Aragonian, the Cyprian, the Neopoli-
tan, the Anconian, the Marseillian, the Cretan, and the
Narbonnian consulates. And in the Narbonnian consulate all
we pilgrims were accommodated, and in none of the other
houses can pilgrims be lodged, because in this particular house
there is an official representing the sultan. This official is a
Christian, and he knows how much tribute should be paid to
the sultan each year, and how much he should get from each
Christian who enters Alexandria as a pilgrim. This official has
the title Consul of Narbonne and of the Pilgrims.*
286. On one side of Alexandria are the most beautiful and
the largest gardens that one could see, and on the opposite
side is the harbor.
287. Alexandria is a great and beautiful city, and excellently
well closed in* with good, high walls, very stout, easily de-
fended towers, and beautiful, strong gates. One finds lots of
good wines in the consulates mentioned previously.
288. We left the good city of Alexandria in Egypt, and went
aboard a ship* to return to our country on the Tuesday before
Christmas, the twenty-first day of December.
289. So it came about that on this Tuesday about midnight,
when we cleared the port of Alexandria, it was good weather
and we had a fair wind. But we were scarcely 6 miles beyond
the port when a great and horrible storm arose suddenly, which
lasted all Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which was Christ-
mas Eve, and until daylight on Saturday, which was Christmas
Day. In this dreadful storm our ship lost one of the two rudders
by which it was partly steered;* and on several occasions we
laid over so far that our sail was in the water despite all that
the crew could do. And when this happened on Christmas Eve,
a little after midnight, the storm grew twice as severe and it
grew so dark that we could not see one another on the ship.
Moreover, we were at that time near the land-that is, the rocks
of Cyprus, which were about 40 miles away-and this fact was
what disturbed us the most, and the sailors as well. And in
truth there was nobody who gave any appearance other than
that of someone who clearly forsees that he is going to die.
Thus this horrible storm drove us off the course which we had
been holding for Rhodes and we found ourselves near the
kingdom of Cyprus, as it is called. So it happened that, right
at daybreak-for which Our Lord be praised and blessed!-we
got an offshore wind that took us a little away from the coast
and the rocks. And so, as the daylight grew brighter, our sailors
clearly recognized that they were off the island of Cyprus, and
that there was a big town in Cyprus where there was a port, or
harbor, called Limassol. And thus it pleased Our Lord that we
came upon Limassol, not right at the town but a little below
it, about the hour of terce* on the day of the Nativity of Our
Lord, for which each of us was most joyful and thanked Our
Lord heartily. And know that we certify that we heard several
people say that on several occasions they had been in many and
divers storms at sea, but that might their souls be damned if
ever in any storm they had weathered had they had such fear
of perishing as on this occasion. Now may Our Lord be praised
and thanked a hundred thousand times that He delivered us
from such peril, and may He guard and save the bodies and
souls of all good Christians at sea and ashore from the hand
and power of the Devil from Hell! Amen.
290. We landed in Limassol, which once was a very fine
city, on the following Sunday, the day of the feast of Saint
Stephen, the first martyr, and the twenty-sixth day of Decem-
ber. And know that the city of Limassol, which is largely de-
serted, was previously destroyed by the Genoese at the time
when they were at war with the king of Cyprus, and they still
hold a very strong town and excellent harbor in Cyprus called
Famagusta.* Other than this, the king of Cyprus peaceably
rules all of the island of Cyprus, which is about 700 miles in
291. In this city of Limassol we stayed from this Sunday till
the following Saturday, which was New Year's Day. On this
day, the king of Cyprus* had sent one of his squires to us with
mules, horses, and pack animals to carry our baggage to the
city of Nicosia.
292. That New Year's Day our baggage was loaded up and
we mounted horses to go to the city of Nicosia where the king
was. And we selected our route so that we could go in pilgrim-
age to Holy Cross* in Cyprus, which is the repository of the
cross on which the Good Thief was crucified on the right of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. This holy cross possesses very great
powers and is a marvelous thing to see.
293. Know that this holy cross on which the Good Thief was
crucified was brought by Saint Helen, the mother of Constan-
tine, and placed on the highest mountain* of all the realm of
Cyprus, which mountain is truly very high and difficult to
294. At the very summit of this mountain there is a beautiful
church and beautiful dwellings around it. In this church there
are two altars, the high altar of the church and another altar
in a chapel behind it. In this chapel in the choir of the church,
we were shown one of the nails with which Our Lord Jesus
Christ was nailed to the True Cross.
295. Behind this chapel is another small chapel in which is
the holy cross of the Good Thief. And know that this holy cross
is a marvel to behold, for it is great and heavy and yet holds
itself in the air without anything to support it, and when one
touches it, it sways heavily. It is a marvelous thing and beauti-
ful to see.
296. Moreover, it performs many beautiful miracles, of which
one was related to us in the city of Nicosia concerning a French
knight at the court of the king of Cyprus, called Sir Durant,
who departed in the year 1393* and took his leave of the king
of Cyprus to visit his friends in France, and this knight took the
pilgrimage to this same Holy Cross in Cyprus. Now, while he
was at his prayers, the thought came to him to cut off a sliver
from the cross, and he put this sliver secretly in his purse with-
out anyone noticing and went aboard a ship. Now, it happened
that when this ship sailed in good, clear weather, such a great
storm blew up suddenly at sea that it was necessary to bring
the ship back to the port from which she had sailed; and thus
it happened to this ship on three or four occasions, for no
matter how fine the weather or how fair the wind when the
ship cleared the harbor, a storm would immediately occur so
that she had to return to port. Everyone was fearful and amazed
that this could be, and this knight was frightened, too. Then
he remembered the sliver of the holy cross that he had stolen,
and so he had himself taken in the ship's boat and rowed to
shore and returned to the Church of the Holy Cross on the
mountain, and there he left his silken purse and the sliver of
the holy cross, and went back to the ship as soon as he could
and went aboard; and from that moment on, the ship left that
place and cleared the harbor without incident or difficulty and
arrived in France. And later he came back to Cyprus and is
still living there now. He requested pardon for this offense
from the king, who pardoned him; but the king then had a
heavy iron grille made, so that one cannot now approach the
cross as one previously could; and also this grille is not unlocked
if there is no one present to represent the king. However, we
had with us one of the king's squires, who had the brothers
open the grille for us.
297. In the center of this cross there is a small cross made
from the True Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and they make
seals* representing this little cross which have great power,
both at sea and ashore.
298. We left there about midday and stopped for the night
in a town called Nisso. There we put up at a house belonging
to the king.
NIcosIA,* WHERE THE KING OF CYPRUS
HAS His RESIDENCE
299. The following Tuesday, the fourth day of January,
about noon, we entered the city of Nicosia, which is an excel-
lent, beautiful city and a large one. And in this city the king of
Cyprus resides more often than in any other city or fortress of
300. The king of Cyprus was quite a handsome man and
reasonably fluent in French. He provided for us very generously
and showed many signs of friendship toward the pilgrims. For,
as was previously mentioned, no sooner did he learn of our
arrival in Limassol and of our desire to see him, than he dis-
patched horses and sumpter mules to fetch us to Nicosia-that
is to say, to the Monastery of Franciscan Observants-and there
he had us brought proper beds from his own palace; that is,
mattresses stuffed with wool to lie upon and rugs to use as
hangings in our rooms.
301. On Wednesday, the fifth day of January, which was
the day before Twelfth Night, the king of Cyprus sent all of us
pilgrims together a present of one hundred hens, twenty sheep,
two beefs, four skins of prime red wine* and four of excellent
Maruba wine, and a plentiful supply of very good white bread.
302. The following Sunday, the ninth day of January, the
king again sent us presents: one hundred partridges, sixty
hares, and five wild sheep,* which were very fine things to see.
303. He was a prince who was very fond of hunting* and
he had a little animal not quite as large as a fox. This beast was
known as a carable,* and there is no sort of game that this little
beast would not take, particularly the game mentioned above.
304. The king* was most gracious toward us and sent us
some of his beautiful saddle horses so that we could come and
wait on him at his court. And when we had all come to his
court, he received us courteously with much ceremony, and
when he had talked to us for a while, he asked the queen* to
come into the hall. Whereupon the queen came into the hall,
very nobly and graciously attended (that is, with four of her
sons* and five of her daughters, along with knights, lords,
ladies, and maidens), and most graciously bowed to us. The
queen of Cyprus was most handsomely gowned and had a most
noble and rich chaplet of gold, precious stones, and pearls on
her head. Her four sons were very gracefully turned out. Her
five daughters were well dressed and each wore a chaplet of
gold, precious stones, and pearls on her head. Then the queen
withdrew and bowed to us all as she was leaving. Afterwards,
the king took us into the fields to enjoy ourselves with hunting,
after which we returned to our lodgings.
305. The truth is that the kingdom of Cyprus, which is an
island, is an unhealthy and unwholesome place* for people
who are not accustomed to living there; for there is a sort of
fever going about that people easily catch, and from which one
cannot recover unless he is very lucky.
306. So it happened that Milord Simon de Saarbruch*-who,
in all the places and voyages described above had been healthy
and hearty, strong and lively, and still was when he returned
from seeing the king of Cyprus, as has been related-contracted
a small fever after he had dined with the gentlemen pilgrims
on Saturday, the fifteenth day of January, which lasted for three
tertian attacks but broke on the fourth attack, so that he
thought himself cured. Nevertheless, he was guided by the
opinion of the physicians of the city, who used to tell all the
gentlemen pilgrims who consulted them for this malady that
milord's illness was not one likely to cause death; and likewise
milord told the other pilgrims and his servants that he felt no
discomfort, or very little, except that he could not sleep com-
fortably. And on the following Sunday, the sixteenth day of
January, he was apparently so much better than he had been
before with this disease that he asked to borrow a litter to go
to Limassol with the other pilgrims who were soon leaving,
and rested quite well that night. And when the following Mon-
day morning arrived, the king of Cyprus sent him his royal
order* by his knights, and he accepted the order and the
knights most graciously and properly, and begged the knights
to commend him to the king and thank the king on his behalf
for his order which he had conferred upon him, and then he
thanked the knights for having come there. It was not long
after the knights had taken leave of milord, when he was sud-
denly afflicted with a pain in the head and such a high fever
that on Tuesday, about noon, milord rendered his soul to Our
Lord Jesus Christ, as it seemed, most graciously and sweetly.
May Our Lord forgive him his sins and receive his soul in
Paradise. He is buried in the Church of Saint Francis* at the
Franciscan monastery in Nicosia in decent fashion, and his
tomb is well made and well inscribed over him, and his es-
cutcheon and his likeness are painted on the wall above him,
and his banner with his coat of arms on a lance. His funeral
was attended by more than fifty knights and squires, both from
the gentlemen pilgrims and members of the king's household,
who had all visited him in his illness, and even by Monsignor
the Bishop of Tarsus, who very kindly visited and comforted
him all through the illness. The bishop sang the requiem mass
at the service for milord, whose soul may Our Lord Jesus Christ
receive and put in the company of the holy angels, into which
company may we all some day come. Amen.
307. We who had been in the service of the late lord of
Anglure-may God pardon him-deeply mourning and much
aggrieved like ones who had lost their lord and master, left
Nicosia on the following Saturday, the twenty-second day of
January, and returned to Limassol to board a big Genoese ship
that was in port; and we had with us one of the king's squires
to conduct us to Limassol.
THE WAY To Go TO RHODES
308. We went aboard this ship to go to Rhodes on the follow-
ing Sunday morning, the twenty-third day of January; and as
soon as we were aboard, the ship made sail and we cleared the
harbor of Limassol.
309. It so happened that when we had passed the Gulf of
Adalia,* we had such a contrary wind that we were obliged to
run for shelter to the port of Red Castle,* which is at the
highest point of a little island about half a league off the coast
of Turkey. This island and the castle are under the sovereignty
THE PORT OF RED CASTLE
310. We spent eight days in this port and on the ninth day
we sailed in good weather. But when we were about 6 miles
out of port the weather changed again and we thought to re-
turn to the port of Red Castle, which is located 100 miles from
Rhodes. But the contrary wind would not let us; so we headed
out to sea and sailed for three days, and on the fourth we came
to a port in Turkey which is called the island of Courrans,* and
it is uninhabited.
311. Here we stayed till the twentieth day of February, on
which day, as it pleased Our Lord, a little sailing bark from
Red Castle passed by there, carrying salt to Turkey. We so im-
portuned the people in the bark that they went and discharged
their cargo of salt and came back to us; so the ten of us pil-
grims* went aboard with our baggage, and it took us to Red
Castle, where there were at least 12,000 people.*
312. Know that when the bark came to our big ship, we did
not have all of our necessities,* for we had been three days
and more without drinking any wine, and also all of our food
had been exhausted for the past four days, nor did the steward
have any victuals with which he could help us, except a very
little water which stank and a little rancid biscuit full of wee-
vils. The bark brought us great help and aid. We left the ship,
which was a two-decker, and went in the bark to Red Castle,
as was previously said.
313. Here at Red Castle the chatelain,* who was one of the
brothers of Rhodes, made us most welcome; here we refreshed
ourselves with bread and wine, which greatly comforted us.
And, as was mentioned before, Red Castle is a very strong
castle, beautifully and well situated on a high, rocky mountain,
completely surrounded by the sea; and it is 100 miles from
Rhodes,* toward the east. And in this castle, there are at least
forty companies of Greeks who work and cultivate the ground
in the vicinity of the castle and make crude salt on the sea-
314. On Monday, the twenty-first day of the month, the ten
of us left Red Castle and went aboard the bark, which we had
hired to take us to Rhodes, and passed close to an island called
the Island of the Maiden,* and there we found a beautiful little
chapel which is called Saint Mary of the Maiden.
315. Item: from there we went to another place in Turkey
called the Gulf of Macry,* where we took on fresh water.
316. And when we had done, we went to another place in
Turkey that is called Greek Amassa,* and thence we set a
course to take us to Rhodes.
317. So we reached Rhodes on this bark on Wednesday after
Embers, the day of the Four Seasons and the twenty-third day
of February; and there we stayed all through Lent, daily hoping
for a ship.
318. Quite near to Rhodes, a distance of about 2 leagues,
there is a beautiful and worthy pilgrimage to a place called Our
Lady of Filerimos.* This place is on a very high and rugged
mountain where there used to be a strong, beautiful citadel in
the days when the island of Rhodes came under the govern-
ment of the emperor of Constantinople, against whom the peo-
ple of the island rebelled; and because of this rebellion the
emperor offered the island to the Knights of Rhodes if they
could conquer it. These knights were living at that time on the
island of Cyprus, whither they had come from the city of Acre
in Syria after they had been expelled from the Hospital of Saint
John in Jerusalem.
319. When these knights came from Cyprus to the island of
Rhodes, they would have conquered it by great efforts as
quickly as they had hoped to, except for this strong city that
was on the mountain of Filerimos. The knights were seven years
in the siege of this city and in these seven years they could not
take it, neither by siege engines nor by assault. In the end, the
knights came to think most maliciously about this city; and
finally they managed to suborn a herdsman who every day left
this city and reentered it, taking his animals to graze. So it
happened that one day they killed and skinned several of these
beasts and dressed several of the knights in the hides of these
beasts; and when late in the day the herd reentered the city,
the knights who were dressed up in the hides of the beasts and
had mingled with them entered this strong city with the ani-
mals and nobody knew of it until they had seized the gates.
Thus was this strong city taken, where the siege had lasted
seven years. Consequently, the knights put the city to the sword
in return for the great trouble it had given them, and because
it had taken no part in the rebellion; nevertheless, there is still
a fine, strong castle there.
320. And in the middle of the city there is a very beautiful
little church where there are two hermits. There, in the church,
is a picture of Our Lady, beautiful and of great powers, which
performs many beautiful miracles and which is held in very
great faith by all the inhabitants of the island, not only the
Knights of Rhodes but also the Greeks and other merchants.
There is no other habitation on the mountain, except that there
are still the old walls of the city; and it was not long ago that
one could see at Rhodes a man who had been at the siege of
the city with the knights and who was born on the island.
321. On Good Friday, when we were in the church of Milord
Saint John in Rhodes, we saw several beautiful and holy relics,
among which we were shown a thorn from the worthy Crown
with which Our Lord Jesus Christ was crowned at his Passion.
Know that there we plainly saw a beautiful miracle,* for about
noon, when the service was held, we saw this worthy thorn all
in flower with little white blossoms, and it was sworn and certi-
fied to us, by worthy men of good faith, that previously they
had seen this thorn on another occasion, and that it was not in
flower at all, but was black; and the good brothers also af-
firmed that it bloomed thus every year on Good Friday.
322. This same day, many other holy, beautiful relics, suit-
ably encased, were displayed on the altar.
323. At Rhodes, there is a fine and noteworthy harbor, and
right on the waterfront are sixteen windmills,* all on the same
street and near to one another, and most of them have six wind
THE WAY FROM RHODES TO VENICE
324. We left the port of Rhodes to return to Venice after the
Easter communion on Sunday, the ninth day of April in the
year 1396, on a ship under Greek command, which all of the
pilgrims together had chartered without equipping it with any-
thing but their determination.
325. So we made sail and kept the coast of Turkey on the
right for a long time, and we left the isle of Crete on the port
side; this island is 700 miles* in circumference, and the Vene-
tians own it.
326. Later we passed in front of Cape Saint Ange* in Morea,
and we left it on our right. And near there, at a distance of 200
miles, turning toward Turkey, is the mouth of Rumania, a nar-
row passage in the sea by which ships go to Rumania, which
used to be called Greece. And near there at a distance of 600
miles was the city of Constantinople where the emperor pres-
ently lives. Then comes Pera, a strong city across from Con-
stantinople which the Genoese built at great difficulty and hold
by force of arms. From here we may go entirely by sea to
Caffa,* a place where it gets wondrously cold in winter, as it
was related and certified to us by sailors and merchants who
had been in these parts on several occasions, but where we had
never been-that is to say, beyond the said mouth of Rumania.
327. Quite near to Cape Saint Ange there is a mountain by
the sea where there is a hermitage and a hermit. About 20 miles
from there is where the noble city of Athens* used to be, which
today is all destroyed; and it is in Morea.* The Morea is like an
island 700 miles in circumference and surrounded entirely by
water except for about 5 miles of land* which would have to be
cut through, and then the sea would be all around this country.
The lord of Morea is the despot, who is the brother of the em-
peror of Constantinople; and they are all Greek Christians.
328. After we had passed Cape Saint Ange and were near
Kor6ni,* a good walled city held by the Venetians, the wind*
stayed so foul for us that for fifteen whole days we could never
pass this good city, but finally turned back to a port in Morea
where there is a castle called Vitylos,* and there we took on a
fresh supply of victuals.
329. After this, at the end of fifteen days, the wind blew fair
for us again. So we set sail and passed near Modon,* a city
mentioned previously, which is held by the Venetians.
330. And all the while we were at sea, without making a har-
bor till the sixth day of May, when, with the wind foul for us,
we arrived at a little island called the island of Monte,* which
is 6 miles from the town of Ragusa* in Slavonia. At this island,
some of us went aboard a rowing boat and entered the town of
Ragusa to obtain fresh victuals.
331. The town of Ragusa is a beautiful little city, with two
of its sides on the sea; but it is wonderfully and powerfully
closed in by very high walls, very tall towers, walled ditches,
and the sea.
332. And in this town, in the Church of Milord Saint Blaise,*
we were shown the following worthy relics:
First, in the Church of Milord Saint Blaise, the head of the
latter very nobly mounted in silver. Item: his right arm with
the hand, which is complete, even to the nails. Along with this
there was, nearby, a coffer filled with other relics, all very
nobly encased in silver, of which we forget the names.
Item: with all of this we saw the worthy sheet, or cloth, in
which the good Saint Simeon received Our Lord Jesus Christ
in his arms, at the temple, on the day of Atonement, when Saint
Simeon said, "Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,"
etc.* And this worthy sheet is most nobly encased in a coffer
with fretwork over fine crystal glass, through which one can see
this sheet quite plainly; and it is very white and thick, velvety
like the goods woven with a high nap in the Frisian manner,
and would appear to be very delicate. And you may be sure that
the people of the town value it very highly, and well they
should, in consideration of the miracles that they had seen from
it quite plainly, as they said, and on several occasions, which
would take too long to write.
333. Item: in the Coptic church* in Ragusa we were shown
one of the fingers of Milord Saint Stephen, and a piece of the
True Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and several other relics of
saints, both men and women, which were very well encased in
334. This town of Ragusa was supposed to be wholly subject
to the king of Hungary, but the inhabitants rebelled against
him; so they pay taxes to him and are their own masters and
govern the city themselves.
335. There is a beautiful little harbor at Ragusa, strongly
closed with heavy iron chains. And right in front of Ragusa,
situated on a high rock next to the sea, there is a very strong
castle controlled by the citizens of the town.
336. Outside of Ragusa are great mountains, beyond which
lies the kingdom of Bosnia,* where there are very bad Chris-
tians, according to what we were told; and in the opposite di-
rection, on the left hand, is the sea.
337.* Coming from Rhodes to Venice, we left there around
the kingdom of Apulia and had a good look at the territory; and
then one comes to Ancona.
338. We left the island of Monte* opposite Ragusa on Tues-
day, the ninth day of May, and stayed at sea without making
harbor until the Tuesday *after Pentecost, the twenty-second
day of May, on which day we arrived at the port of Venice.
339. Here we stayed for six whole days and bought horses;
and during these six days there arrived in Venice Milord Sir
Henri de Bar and Milord de Coucy, who were on their way to
Hungary to set out with Milord the Count of Nevers against the
Turks. And Milord Henri de Bar and Milord de Coucy gave us
their letters of passage to return to France.
340. In Venice there is a large area that is tightly closed off
by walls and by the sea, called the Arsenal;* it is the place
where the municipal works are completed, such as the galleys,
of which there must have been at least ninety, both old and
new, three-deckers drawn up on the shore. Next to the shipyard
is where they make the cordage for the ships, and, God knows,
the buildings where they lay up the rope are certainly long!
Next are the forges where they make anchors, not only for the
galleys but also for the sailing ships. Next is where they make
oars and the artillery with which to arm these vessels. And you
may be sure that all of these things are very costly; and all of
this is provided by the city of Venice.
341. By law, the Venetians each year send five galleys to the
Holy Land,* all of which arrive at Beirut, which is the port for
Damascus in Syria; and from there, the two galleys leave that
carry pilgrims to the port of Jaffa, which is the port for Jeru-
salem and Ramlah. Item: every year they send four galleys to
Flanders.* Item: they send four to Constantinople. Item: eight
of them guard the Gulf of Venice against pirates as far as
Modon. They also send plenty of other vessels to sea, such as
nefs,* cogs,* panfriers,* mairans,* destrieres,* grippories,* and
342. We left Venice for France on Monday, the twenty-ninth
day of May, and got as far as the city of Padua.
343. The following Tuesday after dinner we arrived at Vi-
cenza, which is a beautiful, large city and belongs to the duke
344. The following Wednesday, we stopped at Villa Nova for
dinner and put up for the night at Verona, which is a large,
beautiful city belonging to the duke of Milan; and we dined
there on the Thursday following, which was the day of the
Holy Sacrament. And there, on this same Thursday, we saw
more than six hundred persons two by two, who were beating
themselves* with scourges and iron chains as they marched
through the city in procession with draped crosses and priests
in vestments, making their penance and carrying the body of
Our Lord* through the city. And these flagellants had each put
on a cloth robe and had their faces covered, except that in front
of their eyes they had openings so that they could see where
they were going, and they were beating themselves with these
scourges on the bare flesh between the shoulders and singing
all together; and it was a pitiful and marvelous thing to see.
345. This same Thursday, we put up for the night at Peschi-
era on a lake.*
346. The Friday following, we dined at Ponte de Nove and
put up at Brescia, a city in Lombardy.
347. The following Saturday we went through Palazzolo and
stopped for dinner and the night at Vaubery;* and there we
crossed a swift river by boat.
348. The following Sunday, the fourth day of June, we
reached Milan in time for dinner: a very beautiful, good city,
and there they are building a beautiful big church.* There in
Milan we stayed for two days and a half to rest our horses.
349. The following Tuesday, the sixth day of June, we left
Milan and halted for the night at Caronno, a pleasant town.
350. The following Wednesday we had dinner in Varese and
stopped at Laveno on the lake.*
351. The following Thursday we put ourselves and our horses
aboard two boats to cross Lake Maggiore; and we went 9 miles
toward France by water and had dinner at Mergozzo on the
lake, and this same day put up at Diveria, which is at the foot
of Mount Simplon* as one goes toward France. Here we rented
packhorses to carry our gear beyond the mountain, so as to
spare our own horses.
352. The following Friday we stopped for dinner at Simplon
on the mountain and stayed for the night at Brig, which is at
the foot of Mount Simplon on the side toward France.
353. The following Saturday we had dinner at Susten and
put up at Sion.
354. The following Sunday we stopped for dinner in Mar-
tigny and spent the night at Saint Maurice in Chamblais on the
Rh6ne. In the Church of Saint Maurice* in Chamblais there are
many worthy and beautiful relics, among which we were shown
a large part of the body of Milord Saint Maurice, nobly cas-
keted. And also we were shown two worthy vials filled with the
blood of the 6,000 knights who were killed near there in the
defense of our faith and while fighting against the unbelievers;
and the angels obtained part of the blood of these knights and
filled these vials with it, and themselves brought the vials from
Paradise. And one can readily recognize that they were never
made by the hands of earthly men, nor can one tell what they
are made of, but they are very beautiful; and Milord Saint
Maurice sealed these vials with his great seal and they are still
sealed with it. There are other holy and worthy bodies without
355. The Monday following, the twelfth day of June, we left
there after dinner because we had bad luck with one of our
horses, which died there; and we crossed the Rh6ne at the port
of Saint Maurice and put up at Vevey on Lake Leman.
356. The following Tuesday we had dinner in Lausanne,
which is a fine city built on the lake, and here we spent the
357. The Wednesday following, we ate dinner in Les Clees
and spent the night at Oye.
358. The Thursday following, we stopped for dinner at
Salins, which is a large, pleasant, walled town, and put up at
359. The following Friday, the sixteenth day of June, we
crossed the river Doubs by boat and stopped to eat dinner at
Saint-Jean-de-Losne on the Sa6ne. There we crossed the Saone
by boat and put up at Dijon; and there we spent the whole of
360. The following Sunday, we left Dijon, dined at Saint-
Seine-l'Abbaye, and spent the night at Chanceaux.
361. The following Monday we had dinner at Chitillon-sur-
Seine and put up at Gye-sur-Seine.
362. The following Tuesday, the twentieth day of June, we
had dinner and stayed the night at Troyes-en-Champagne.
363. The following Wednesday we spent the night at Mery-
364. The following Thursday, the twenty-second day of June
and two days before the feast of Saint John the Baptist, in the
year of grace of Our Lord 1396, we were back for dinner in
365.* May the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be the guard
of all Christians who are making, will make, and have made this
holy voyage, and bring us all to Paradise. Amen.
LE VOYAGE FAICT
IN HIERVSALEM ET
autres licux de dcuotion,
tant en la tcrrc Sain6de
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fur le manuiftipt troute en
Par No i MoRE AVYdi& lCoq,
dcmeurant en la rue nottre Damac
al'Enfeigne dul Coq.
Title page of the edition of 1621. (Reproduction
courtesy of the Bibliothdque nationale.
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Table of contents of the volume containing Le saint voyage de Jherusalem.
(Reproduction courtesy of the Bibliothdque nationale)
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various French editors. (Reproduction courtesy of the Bibliotheque nationale)
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Manuscript page containing paragraph 326, with questionable readings.
(Reproduction courtesy of the Bibliotheque nationale)
(Reproduction courtesy of the Bibliotheque nationale)
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Last page of the Paris manuscript. (Reproduction courtesy of the Bibliothdque
The harbor of Rhodes with a pilgrim galley lying at anchor, one of the illustrations prepared by
Reuwich for Breydenbach's Peregrinationes in Terram Sanctam. (Reproduced from E. Keble Chat-
terton, Old Ship Prints .)
1 rn -
Aerial view of Anglure (Marne). The Chateau d'Anglure appears in the left foreground. (Photo by
The ChAteau d'Anglure, Anglure (Marne). The round tower and a few wall fragments are all that remain
of the original structure. (Photo by Claude Despoisse.)
F or purposes of simplicity, each note is keyed by number to
the paragraph with which it is concerned. I have used the
binumeral system of reference. The first number in parentheses fol-
lowing a quotation refers to the correspondingly numbered item in
the sources. Subsequent numbers indicate volume, page, and plate
1. Saint Catherine. A much venerated place of pilgrimage in the
Saint Anthony and Saint Paul. Two monasteries, much venerated
as places of pilgrimage, in Egypt near the Gulf of Suez.
Monseigneur d'Anglure. The eighth baron of Anglure and avou4
of Therouanne (see Introduction for biographical details). Therou-
anne is a small town in the Pas de Calais on the river Lys. It was