[RUSSIAN GUIDE TO THE HOLY LAND BY THE IMPERIAL ORTHODOX PALESTINE SOCIETY] Putevoditelʹ v' Palestinu po Ierusalimu... [i.e., Guide to Palestine and Jerusalem, the Holy Land and other shrines of the East, with drawings, road map and plan of Jerusalem]

  • $950.00
    Unit price per 
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.


Izdatelstvo Afonskago sv. Andreevskago Skita, Odessa, [1890].

COMPLETE TITLE: [RUSSIAN GUIDE TO THE HOLY LAND BY THE IMPERIAL ORTHODOX PALESTINE SOCIETY (IOPS)] Путеводитель въ Палестину по Ієрусалиму, Святой Землѣ и другимъ святынямъ Востока : съ рисунками, дорожной картой и планомъ Ієрусалима / Putevoditelʹ v' Palestinu po Ierusalimu, Svatoj Zemle i drugim' svâtynâm' Vostoka: s' risunkami, doroznoj kartoj i planom' Ierusalima [i.e., Guide to Palestine and Jerusalem, the Holy Land and other shrines of the East, with drawings, road map and plan of Jerusalem].

Contemporary quarter brown calf, six raised bands to spine, new cloth labels including gilt title and date with place on second and fourth compartments. 4to. (26 x 20 cm). In Russian. vi, 601, ii p., 29 unnumbered engraved plates of 33, decorated head titles, one folded map of Jerusalem of 2. Stains on boards, lacking title page, one folded map (Palestine, Second of 2), and four engraved plates are missing, notes in ink on recto of the first illustrated page, age toning and foxing on pages, and new black endpapers. Else, a poor/fair reading copy.

Extremely rare first edition of this Russian guide to the Holy Land prepared by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), founded in 1882 to deal with the needs of pilgrims in the Holy Land in the second half of the 19th century by an anonymous Russian pilgrim as it's stated at the end of the introduction. Engravings of the book were signed by Efim Fesenko, who was one of the first in Ukraine to publish books for readers from among the people. The printing house printed a wide variety of products: books - from luxurious publications to brochures, icons, small images, and lined notebooks. In addition, Efim Fesenko published a lot of Ukrainian literature, and after the revolution, banknotes of the Ukrainian People's Republic were printed in his printing house. He was a native of the Chernihiv Cossacks, and in 1869 he walked to Odesa to work. Here, thanks to his hard work, he succeeded, and in 1883 he was able to open his own printing house. Already in 1893, Efim Fesenko was recognized as an exemplary printer in the south of Russia, and his company was known even outside the empire. Four years later, at the Milan World Exhibition, Fesenko received the first prize for the lithographs presented. In total, the printing house has received four international awards.

The book provides detailed information to the Pilgrims on many issues, from passport procedures to ship tickets, from horseback travel to accommodation in Russian buildings affiliated with the organization, during the Pilgrimage from Odessa to Constantinople, from there to Jaffa and the Holy Land.

“During the journey on the ship pilgrims could take advantage of the food, according to the tickets they bought. Pilgrims of the first and second classes received meals in common canteens at the appointed time. For a full daily meal, consisting of morning tea, breakfast, lunch, and evening tea, it was charged: in the first class, 10 franks (3 rubles 75 kopecks), in the second class 8 franks (or 3 rubles).

Steamships sailing from Odessa, as a rule, on the way visited Constantinople. During the pilgrimage the pilgrims were sent ashore to rest on the monasteries of Athos monasteries: Panteleimonovsky, Andreevsky, and Ilyinsky, whose monks went to each arriving ship, paying for the return trip of 20 kopecks. Pilgrims coming from Sevastopol and Batum, awaiting the arrival of a steamer from Odesa, going to Jaffa or Athos, had to go ashore and stop at one of the above-mentioned compounds. They were provided with housing and food and tea, for which, like in Odessa, there was no fixed fee, each pilgrim donated a will. Under the guise of the monks of Mount Athos, other persons often abused "collecting donations" and therefore the pilgrims were instructed first to find out from which monastery the monks or novices were expelled. Usually, steamboats stood no more than 1.5 days in Constantinople and the most zealous pilgrims managed to visit the shrines of Constantinople: St. Sophia, the patriarchate, where the relics of Solomon, the mother of the Maccabees, the chair of St. John Chrysostom, Vlaherna, where there was a vision of St. Andrew, Christ for the sake of the holy fool, the Intercession of the Mother of God and Balukley with a sacred source. These pilgrimages were carried out accompanied by the monks of the compounds or with the guides recommended by the heads of the compounds, otherwise, the pilgrims could be subjected to the insolent abasement of various rogues.

Male pilgrims who wished to visit Athos used the circular Alexandria line, which operated between Odessa and Port Said, calling at the port of Daphne - the pier of Athos - once every two weeks, or from Constantinople on a Greek and Turkish steamer weekly. Daphne's dock is a half-hour distance from the Russian Panteleimon Monastery. Disembarkation from the ships took place on monastery boats or longboats. In Daphne, there were compounds Panteleimonovsky, Andreevsky Ilyinsky monasteries, shipping agencies, Russian post, and customs. Here they checked the baggage of pilgrims and climbed into the pledge of the passport, which was returned after the marking of the Kaimakam when leaving Athos. If the ship came to Daphne late at night, the pilgrims stayed to spend the night on the farmsteads of Athos monasteries and the next day, early in the morning, they rode mules along the Holy Mountain to the monasteries and monasteries in which they were in Odessa, or where they wished.

Those pilgrims who chose the place of their stay at Panteleimon monastery, in case the ship arrived before midnight, went on a boat to spend the night in the monastery. Big luggage was delivered in the morning, and the small one was brought in the same evening. Upon arrival at the monastery, pilgrims were accommodated either in common rooms or in separate rooms, beautifully furnished with everything necessary. After arrival, if it was not late at night, the pilgrims were offered a hearty meal and tea. For three days, the arrivals held a strict fast, they talked and then joined the Holy Mysteries, and for them, the table was cooked separately, even without oil. On the fourth day, pilgrims, under the guidance of the monk-conductor, with the blessing of the hegumen, went on a trip to the Holy Mountain. Fans who did not have much time visited only the Russian sketches of Ilinsky and Andreevsky, as well as the Protatsky (Kareisky) Cathedral, Iver, the Monastery of St. Athanasius, and the summit of Mount Athos, and then returned to the monastery. Those who had more time visited: Xenoph, Dokhiar, Zograf, Esfigmen, Vatoped, Ilyinsky monastery, Pandakrator, Andreevsky monastery, Protat, Lavra St. Athanasius, Iver, the summit of Mount Athos, St. Paul, Dionisiat and Xiropotam. This journey took place either on foot or on mules on horseback, and in some places where there was a good road, and on horses. When mules and horses were always there were drivers (vordunari), whose duties included caring for mules and their maintenance. Pogonschiki for their work upon return received a monetary reward at the request of the pilgrim. The pilgrims were not recommended to be ruled and urged by mules, especially on paths with dangerous precipices, since this animal is very cautious and goes on its fine, but when compelled to be capricious tries to throw off the rider. The route on the mountain was set by the head of the caravan - the monk conductor. The stops for the night were made in Russian monasteries, in the Russian cells of St. Artemia and St. George in Keshar and the Bulgarian monastery Zograf, in rare cases in the regular Greek monasteries: in Vatoped, in the monastery of St. Athanasius, in the St. Pavel and the Bulgarian Hilandar. In all the above-mentioned monasteries, fans were attached to holy relics, inspected the sights, and enjoyed hospitality - lunch or dinner and tea. In the Russian monasteries for payment, the board was not supposed to be paid, and the pilgrim was allowed to decide for himself how to thank the monastery with his donation. In the Greek state monasteries and Bulgarian Hilandar they paid necessarily, although there was no definite payment here either. The reason for this commitment was that the hotel received from the monastery for the pilgrim meal only bread, cheese, wine, and butter, and everything else was prepared for them at their own expense. Upon their return from the tour of the Holy Mountain, the pilgrims received a refreshment in the Russian monastery with a rich meal, received as a blessing from the Holy Mountain from the hegumen icons, rosaries, brochures, leaflets and accompanied themselves on boats or mules to Daphne to sail to Russia or Jerusalem. The monk, accompanying the pilgrims to the ship, when leaving the shore for the steamer, handed each pilgrim his foreign passport. At the same time giving money to monks was not recommended, if someone wanted to thank the monastery for hospitality with his donation, then before leaving he gave it to the hegumen of the monastery.

Arriving for the most part in the morning steamboats with pilgrims because of the inconvenience of the Jaffa harbour, stopped at a considerable distance from the shore. The pilots were transported ashore in boats delivered by the Russian Society of Shipping and Trade (without a new fee), under the supervision of the conductors (kawas) of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.

At seven o'clock in the evening the pilgrims arrived in Jerusalem at the railway station and accompanied by the Kavas of the Society, usually went on foot to the Russian buildings. Those who had difficulty walking, and who had the financial means, could hire wheelchairs at the station, even for four people for a fee of 75 kopecks up to 1 rub. 50 kopecks. On the third day after their arrival in Jerusalem, the pilgrims, accompanied by Kawas, went to the patriarchate to receive the blessing of the patriarch to visit the Holy places in the special room of the monastery of the holy emperors Constantine and Helena. The pilgrims received refreshments there and wrote down the names of their relatives for the commemoration. From the patriarchy, everyone went to the Holy Sepulcher church, where the Greek clergy led them with hymns to all holy places.

On the fifth day in the morning pilgrims, accompanied by Kawas, went to the Alexander Compound, visiting the church of St. Alexander Nevsky, which is very close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Here at the threshold of the Judgment Gate, there was a reading of the unsaved Psalter on the deceased members and benefactors of the Palestinian Society and those who wished could write here the names of their relatives with a fee of at least 30 rubles. The reading of the psalter was conducted by the nuns of the Gorniy Monastery. Then the pilgrims on the Via Dolorosa journeyed through the Gethsemane Gate (Lion gates - note Pavel Platonov) to the cave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then to the Russian church of St. Mary Magdalene, from where they ascended the Mount of Olives to the place of the Ascension of the Lord, visited the Russian church on Eleon and a museum with the antiquities found here. After that the pilgrims returned to the Russian buildings of the Palestinian Society and after a short rest on the same day made a trip to Gorniy. There, pilgrims spent the night in a shelter arranged by Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin), and in the morning attended the service in the church in honor of the Kazan Icon of the mother of God and visited places of interest belonging to Catholics: the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the source of St. John the Baptist, and others.” (Source: Life and needs of Russian Orthodox pilgrims in the Holy Land in the XIX-XXI centuries by Platonov, Pavel).

The pilgrimage continued to visit Bethlehem and Oak of Mamre, travel through Bethany to the Jordan and the Dead Sea, journey to Nazareth and Galilee, and visit the holy mountain of Sinai and the monastery of St. Catherine and Matarie (Egypt). All parts of this pilgrimage and the return of Russian pilgrims to their homeland were illustrated and described in the book presented here.

Following the failure of the Russian Palestinian Commission established in 1865, there was an urgent need to create a new organization free from the state bureaucracy and on more democratic principles to deal with the needs of pilgrims in the Holy Land in the second half of the 19th century. Additionally, there was the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem as a church representation of the Russian Orthodox Church, founded on 11 February 1847; the Russian Society of Shipping and Trade - (ROPiT), established on August 3, 1856, which provided shipping to the Holy Land, as well as throughout the whole territory of Russia. Ships of the ROPiT brought pilgrims to Odessa, and from there through Constantinople and Athos to Jaffa, and then to Egypt - on pilgrimage trips to the holy places of the East. It should be noted the activities of the Palestinian Committee, which operated during the period 1859-1964, and the Palestinian Commission, which operated from 1864 to 1889. The Chairman of the Palestinian Committee, and then the Commission was the brother of Emperor Alexander II - Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, the manager of affairs - B.P. Mansurov.

There was an urgent need to create a new organization free from the state bureaucracy and on more democratic principles. Practically, this idea is carried out by the prominent Russian public figure, practical founder, ideologist, and inspirer of the future Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) - Vasily Nikolaevich Khitrovo, who served as the assistant to the Chairman of the Society from 1882 to 1889, and from 1889 to 1903 - the duties of the Secretary.

Among the Russian social organizations listed above, who actively manifested themselves in the Middle East in the maintenance of the needs and daily life of Orthodox pilgrims in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), founded in 1882, occupies a special place. Only from 1883 to 1896 through the IOPS in Palestine passed 22.328 people (14.891 pilgrims and 7347 pilgrims). The number of women pilgrims was 66% of the total number of pilgrims. 85-90% of the pilgrims were from the common people. Already on February 10, 1883, the Society introduced the pilgrimage books, for the purchase of which pilgrims were provided with a cheap train journey to Odessa and a ship from Odessa to Constantinople and Jaffa and back.

Overall, a reading copy of this beautiful and historically significant, and rare Russian guide to the Holy Land.

As of January 2024, OCLC shows only two copies: 1407574983 (Institut français d'études byzantines), 81710005 (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library), 236223392. Only one is in a North American library.