Jerusalem in the eyes of an Armenian Pilgrim : the phenomenon of Armenian pilgrimage and Armenians in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is one of the most important sites associated with monotheistic religions in the world; for the Armenian Apostolic Church it is a holy city, surb kaghak, whose significance for the Armenian community is indisputable even today. Here is situated the hajoc tagh - as the Armenian Quarter with its center at the Monastery of St. James is called - and it is also the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Seat of St. James; the head of the Patriarchate. For centuries, Jerusalem and its pilgrimage sites were the destinations of ukht, Armenian holy pilgrimage. Pilgrims (mahtes) attempted to complete a precisely planned itinerary of holy sites (tnorinakank). The text by Shimon of Lvov, an Armenian pilgrim from the beginning of the 17th century (who was also a contemporary of Kryštof Harant of Polžice and Bezdružice) and the one by the Italian traveler Pietro della Valle provide a view insight the Armenian quarter in Jerusalem right during the period of its great transformation. Within the canon of period Armenian literature and the history of the Armenian community in Jerusalem, Šimon Polský’s travel memoir remains the key reference work.
Slovanský přehled, redakce, Historický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Prosecká 76, 190 00 Praha 9, Czech Republic
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