Bertrandon De La Broquière - Le Voyage D'Outremer - Holy Land

Holy Land

After several stops at Venetian ports, in the Morea, on Corfu, on Rhodes and Cyprus, Bertrandon reached Jaffa. There he was forced to pay a tribute to the Egyptian sultan, the usual demand on pilgrims. From Jaffa he moved towards Jerusalem, which took two days. Probably he behaved as a regular pilgrim at the time, though he was also on a mission of observation.

He saw the image of the Notre Dame de Sardenay (Ṣaidnāyā), but called the healing oil supposedly sweating from it a "mere trick to get money", noting that both Christian and Saracen were devoted to the image. His stay in Jerusalem was short, after which he moved south to Gaza. There he and ten companions made preparations to cross the desert, despite the heat and the brigands, to visit the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai. Though Bertandon fell ill and had to turn back to Gaza, he does record the sighting of several exotic desert animals in his Voyage.

In Gaza he was nursed back to health by some Arabs, whom he admits in his Voyage were not as bad as often portrayed in Europe. They conducted him to Mount Zion, where he was placed in the care of the Conventual Franciscans. He wished to continue to visit the sites of the Holy Land, but on account of the political situation could not. He took an Arab ship from Jaffa to Beirut and there joined a mule team headed for Damascus. In Damascus met the French merchant Jacques Coeur and a Genoese merchant from Kaffa who was working for Barsbay, Sultan of Egypt, to purchase slaves for his mameluke ranks.

Read more about this topic:  Bertrandon De La Broquière, Le Voyage D'Outremer

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Famous quotes containing the words land and/or holy:

    Those who till their land will have plenty of food, but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.
    Bible: Hebrew, Proverbs 12:11.

    Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes!
    the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to
    solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926)