Excursion Journey to the Middle Ages

Sokolova M

The range of the concept of "travel" is wide, from a short trip somewhere to many years of living in another country. In the Middle Ages, this was not an easy task, unlike our time. In the Middle Ages, transport was still poorly developed and therefore travel was made for a long time. Not everyone could afford the trip.

Serfs, for example, were tied to the land, they belonged to the landowner - the baron, earl, lord. To go somewhere else, they needed the permission of the owner. Therefore, all the information that we received about those times refers only to rich and noble people.

Middle-class people were also limited in their travels, despite the fact that they were free. Long trips took a lot of time, money and effort. And for what purpose did people travel in medieval Europe?

Travel is a whole event

Travel is moving long distances over a long period of time. The purpose of any journey is to move from one place to another. This can be a visit to friends or relatives living in another area. This was common in the Middle Ages among noble people. But for the peasants this was a whole event, since it was required to obtain permission from the master on whose land they lived.

In those days, there was almost no media, so monarchs often traveled around their possessions in order to control or support their henchmen, as well as to show themselves to citizens. Usually, the monarch did not make such a trip alone, but went with his courtiers. In those days, there was no government that would work separately, so all officials often moved with the ruler.

A king or king had to be light on his feet and love travel. His popularity among the people depended on this. Government residences in Europe appeared only in the 13th century.

Missionary Travel

Travels were also made for missionary purposes. The priests spread Christianity throughout Europe and beyond. Usually such activities were carried out by members of religious orders. Such travels were supported by monasteries. Missionaries, as they traveled around the world, strengthened the meaning of Christianity.

These trips were to North Africa and Asia Minor and were made, for the most part, by ships. There were times when such a journey ended for the missionaries with a martyr's death received from the pagans, a fatal illness, or some kind of accident, for example, a shipwreck.


Chapter Hiking and Traveling the Middle Ages

Trade Routes and Knowledge Journeys

The circulation of goods and commercial life in medieval Europe did not die out, although Christianity, preaching evangelical poverty, treated it with contempt. John Chrysostom directly said that "the trade of a merchant is not pleasing to God." This theme was also developed by Thomas Aquinas, claiming that "trade has something shameful in itself," however, fully realizing its necessity. Over time, in the 12th century, the profession of a merchant was morally rehabilitated by the Genoese archbishop in his "Golden Legend", where he likened Christ himself to a merchant who sails on the ship of the cross in order to enable people to exchange earthly, transitory things for eternal ones.

In the VII century. there is a shift in trade routes to the north of Europe. The reorientation was due to the fact that the emerging Arab caliphate cut off European markets from African and eastern ones, as well as the development of a large trade route along the shores of the North Sea. The Western pioneers of this path were the Frisians, who settled in Friesland and Zeeland (territories of modern Belgium and Holland). They were the ones who managed to connect the British west with the Scandinavian east. The Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Scandinavians and Slavs were followers of the Frisians in the development of this sea route. The change in trade routes is clearly visible in the evolution of money. From the golden "trient", which made up a third (hence the name) of the Roman sous or Byzantine nomism, they move on to a minted silver coin with inscriptions in local languages.

Merchants tried to give preference to waterways: both sea and river. This was due to numerous taxes in all major cities, as well as countless fees - for crossing a bridge and crossing a ford, for raising dust, for repairing a road, etc. Maritime trade relations were so well established that when the Irish missionary Columban at the beginning of the 7th century. It took him back to his homeland from Nantes, then he did not have any problems with sea transport.

In medieval Europe, land communications were partly inherited from barbarian peoples, and partly inherited from antiquity. For movement used light two- and four-wheeled carts. They put it in the XIV century. the beginning of passenger crews of many kinds. Large covered freight carts were used to move goods, where the wheels were often solid wooden disks. Due to the insignificant need for transport for transporting people in the early Middle Ages, no special attention was paid to its improvement. All the difference between freight carts and carts for travelers was only in their external decoration, so the latter were often distinguished by luxurious decoration. In France since the XIII century. there were carriages decorated with carvings and paintings on the outer walls of the body. The top of the body was covered with expensive carpets along the hoops, and many pillows were placed inside to dampen the jolts while driving. Horses were often covered with expensive blankets to match the appearance of the carriage.

In addition to carts, they continued to use stretchers (couchs) for travel. They were used mainly by sick travelers, as well as those who preferred this, certainly more expensive, but comfortable way of transportation, horse riding. During long journeys, they harnessed one horse in front and behind. The driver in this case walked with a whip near the stretcher. In this case, wealth and social origin manifested itself in the graceful ornaments of the sedan chair and expensive curtains and pillows [12]. The crews, due to their extremely limited use, have undergone little change. Until the 16th century. travelers either rode on horseback or on special stretchers carried by horses. By the decree of Philip the Handsome (1294), only women of princely origin and their immediate entourage had the right to use carriages. And therefore, even in the XV century. crew use was perceived as a luxury and was rare.

Merchants, military leaders, ambassadors, as well as traveling wealthy people, when traveling long distances, used itinerarii - travel guides based on drawn maps with illustrations.

Regular road traffic in the early Middle Ages existed in Southern Europe thanks to Roman roads, which began their second life, when they began to be restored, from the VI century. At that time, new, originally barbaric, kingdoms appeared on the map of Europe. It should be noted that a characteristic feature of the entire Middle Ages was the duty - both of townspeople and peasants - to maintain order on those roads, as well as bridges that were on their territories. They had to repair and pave them. With the spread of Christianity, such work began to be considered a godly work.

In Central Europe, the first national road was built between Mainz and Koblenz. Its width was about 6 m. The slabs with which its roadway was paved are displayed in some museums. The whole of Central Europe was crossed by a good dirt road - the "Vin-Dobond arrow". The Amber Road walked along it. Amber was transported from the Baltic to the mouth of the Neman and further to Vindobona (Vienna). The economic recovery at the end of the 1st millennium triggered a boom in road construction in Europe.

Byzantium did not lag behind in solving these problems. The best roads of the empire were in the Balkans. They girdled all the mountain ranges. The roads went through Trieste along the Danube to the Black Sea and further to Constantinople. On these main roads, caravanserais were built everywhere, where travelers could rest, take food, and also carry out any trade operations. In Europe they were called asylums, hospitals, hospitals. As a rule, they were located, like a kind of "boundary pillars", at a distance of a day's journey from each other. They resembled large barns, the light penetrated into them through the loopholes, made instead of windows. People were placed on platforms around a covered courtyard, and horses were tied to these platforms. Thus, everyone could see their animal and not worry about being stolen.

The special significance of Constantinople in the life of Byzantium, the wide interest in its history and sights, the needs of numerous travelers who visited the capital of the empire, caused the appearance of a number of guidebooks. The first of them was compiled in late antiquity - the 6th century. This vademecum 1, written in Latin, was called "City of Constantinople - New Rome".

Chapter Hiking and Traveling the Middle Ages

The beginning of the Middle Ages was marked by the “great migration of peoples”. The Huns invaded European territory. “Without a definite place of residence, without a home, without a law or a stable way of life, they wander like eternal fugitives, with wagons in which they spend their lives,” wrote Ammianus Marcellinus about them [21].

Northern European peoples have also “set in motion on an extraordinary scale. And there was a rumor that throughout the entire space, from the Marcomannians and quasi, to Pontus itself, a multitude of unknown barbarian peoples had moved towards the center with their wives and children. " The Roman Empire tried to regulate this process. Agreements were concluded with some peoples that allowed them to settle on the territory of the empire, where they were allocated state-owned or alienated lands from large estates in accordance with the laws of hospitality: Burgundians, Visigoths. Ammianus Marcellinus described the migration of the Goths in the following way: “Having received permission from the empire to cross the Danube and occupy the area in Thrace, they crossed the whole crowd day and night, on ships, boats, hollowed-out tree trunks” [21]. These migration processes (Fig. 2.) were so large-scale that Jordan and Tacitus, Procopius of Cessaria and Mauritius paid attention to them in their works. They continued for several centuries and ended only by the 18th century.

Fig. 2.. Map of migration processes in Eurasia

The Roman Empire learns more and more about the barbarians living near its borders, revealing for itself completely "unbarbarian" forms of their morality and behavior in everyday life. Publius Cornelius Tacitus noted that “no nation is as generous in hospitality as the Germans. It is considered a sin to refuse any mortal in a shelter, everyone treats them with the best food, in accordance with their income, when there is not enough food, then the one who was now the owner becomes a pointer of refuge and a companion, and they go to the nearest house without any invitation, and This means nothing. Both are received with equal cordiality. With regard to the law of hospitality, no one distinguishes between the familiar and the unfamiliar. If, leaving, the guest demands something, then the custom orders to provide him with this thing. You can also simply demand something, in turn, from him. They love gifts, but neither the given gift is credited to themselves, nor the one received does not commit them to anything. The relationship between the host and the guest is determined by mutual courtesy ”[22]. In the works of Theophanes "Chronography", Mauritius "Strategicon", Jordan (Iornand) "On the origin and deeds of the Getae" there are descriptions of the life of the Slavic peoples. Thanks to various forms of campaigns: military, trade, diplomatic, as well as the migration process in the form of the great migration of peoples, numerous contacts between peoples continued to develop and improve in the Middle Ages, having a beneficial effect on the overall progressive development.

Pilgrimages and Crusades

Magi become the patrons of wandering and traveling in the Middle Ages: Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar, who made an unprecedented, truly sacred journey, who came to worship the Infant Jesus who appeared in the world. In the era of the great geographical discoveries, seafarers and missionaries asked for their intercession and help. They began to be worshiped by Christians from the 2nd - 3rd centuries.

Pilgrimage became widespread in the Middle Ages. The pilgrims' wanderings to Palestine began already in the III-IV centuries. Under Emperor Constantine, temples were built in Jerusalem, in particular over the Tomb of Jesus. Constantine's mother, Empress Helena, at an advanced age undertook a journey to Jerusalem, where she assisted in the discovery of the Tree of the Lord's Cross in one of the caves, not far from Calvary. By this time, the names of such famous pilgrims as St. Porfiry, who later became Bishop of Gaz; Eusebius of Cremona; St. Jerome, who studied Holy Scripture in Bethlehem, St. Paul and her daughter Eustachia from the famous family of Gracchi, who are buried near the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

In the IV century. pilgrimage to the Holy Land has become such a massive phenomenon that among the pilgrims themselves it has often come to be perceived simply as "foreign tourism." This required the introduction of restrictions on this type of travel by the church. The speeches of St. Gregory of Nyssa, who pointed out the abuse and dangers of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In one of his letters, he proclaimed: "Christ and the Holy Spirit do not dwell in one place more than in another"; the inhabitants of Jerusalem, living in the Holy Land, are not at all sinless. During sermons, the statements of authoritative church figures were often cited. For example, St. Augustine: “The Lord did not say: go east and seek the truth, sail west, you will receive absolution. Do not contemplate distant travels, be where you believe, for one who is omnipresent is not approached by sea, but by love. "

St. Jerome: "The kingdom of heaven is equally open to both Jerusalem and Britain." And they shared the thesis that countless saints enjoyed eternal life without ever seeing Jerusalem. But all the admonitions were in vain.

With the spread of Christianity in Europe, more and more people wished to visit Palestine. Already in the V century. for the pilgrims traveling from Gaul, a route was drawn up, or road book, which served as their guide from the banks of the Rhone and Dordona to the Jordan River. In the VI century. from Piacenza made a journey to the Holy Land of St. Antoninus with a large number of his admirers. After this journey, another road book would be drawn up, bearing his name and describing in detail the Holy Land.

In the VII century. under Caliph Omar Jerusalem was captured by Muslims. But this did not stop the pilgrimage. Already at the beginning of the VIII century. chronicles testify to the visit of Jerusalem by the Bishop of Gallic - St. Arkulf, who left the memories of his journey. A relative, a nun, who accompanied him on his travels, left a story about the visit of the Saxon Bishop Gilebald.

Journey to the Middle Ages

Fikardou is a real medieval village-museum under the open sky, under the protection of the Europa Nostra organization. Only a few people live today in this picturesque ancient village, the narrow streets of which wind between the houses built of adobe bricks.

The cozy convent of Minas is known throughout Cyprus for its miraculous icon of the warrior Minas.

The Macheras Monastery, founded in the 12th century, attracts attention thanks to the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. The icon, which depicts "Theotokos alone, without the Child, as if praying, with outstretched hands," was painted by the Apostle Luke.

In the famous "lace capital" of Cyprus - the village of artisans Lefkara - you will admire and, if you wish, can purchase the famous handmade Cypriot laces, which are recognized as the cultural heritage of Cyprus and are protected by UNESCO. The silversmiths will also surprise you with their creativity: in the village of Lefkara you can buy original silver jewelry and souvenirs.

After spending this day in the foothills of Troodos, admiring the beautiful mountain views, you will see the real Cyprus in its pristine beauty.

  • travel by air-conditioned minivan car,
  • a story about Cyprus and answers to tourists' questions,
  • small walking tours in the villages.

  • lunch at the national tavern. The famous Cypriot meze, which allows you to get acquainted with the unique cuisine of the Mediterranean - up to 20 dishes, wine, water, dessert. Price 20 EUR per person.

Closed shoulders and knees are clothing for visiting monasteries.

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