Based on the 1999 Calendar published by Massolini Group - Collebeato (BS) Italy by Mario and Claudia Massolini
copyright text by Michele Piccirillo; photos by Garo Nalbandian and Basilio Rodella

HOLY LAND OF THE CRUSADERS - 01
  St. John of Acre
 Road at Qubeibeh.
 Caesarea by the Sea
 Jaffa (pix Marzi - Morselli).
 
 Abbey of St Samuel Mont Joie. Seal from St Samuel. Seal from St Samuel.  Cesarea by the Sea
 

THE HOLY LAND OF THE CRUSADERS


Armenian Codex - Nativity

The Holy Sepulchre - Façade

The journey to the Holy Sepulchre
There were two principal roads that brought the pilgrims to the Holy Land. The first was reached via the sea. Fleets of ships provided passage annually to tens of thousands of pilgrims which, during the good season, from March to September, gathered in the Italian ports of Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi or in the Adriatic ports or in Puglia ready to set sail to “pray at the Lord’s Sepulchre”. After a month long voyage, longer for those with stops at Rhodes or Cyprus, reached the ports of St John of Acre, of Caesarea and of Jaffa on the Palestinian coast. There were also those who ventured across land, through Austria, Hungary, Belgrade and Bulgaria, coming down to Constantinople. Crossing the Bosporus and the Anatolian peninsula, they continued south in the direction of Antioch to reach the Palestinian coast. On reaching Jaffa they headed towards Jerusalem, the destination of the pilgrimage, on routes that could vary in the mountains of Judea, possibly with stops in villages and visits to some sanctuaries such as the abbey of St Jeremiah (today the village of Abu Gosh). Normally they would stop at the Emmaus sanctuary defended by the Toron castle, before starting the climb into the mountains along the road through Arab and crusader villages such as Qubeibeh. On the summit of this mountain rose the St Samuel abbey. This was Mount Joie, the mountain of joy, because it was from there that the pilgrims, for the first time, could see the walls and the bell towers of the Holy City.

LA TERRA SANTA DEI CROCIATI

Il viaggio al Santo Sepolcro
“Andare a pregare sul Sepolcro del Signore”. Due erano le strade principali che portavano i pellegrini in Terra Santa. La prima, vi giungeva via mare. Flotte di navi provvedevano al passaggio annuale di decine di migliaia di pellegrini che durante la buona stagione, da marzo a settembre, si raccoglievano nei porti italiani di Genova, Pisa, Amalfi o nei porti dell’Adriatico e di Puglia. Dopo un mese di navigazione, per lo più con scalo a Rodi o a Cipro, giungevano ai porti di San Giovanni d’Acri, di Cesarea e di Giaffa sulla costa palestinese. C’era anche chi si avventurava via terra, attraverso l’Austria, l’Ungheria, Belgrado, la Bulgaria, per scendere a Costantinopoli. Attraversato il Bosforo, e la penisola anatolica, si seguitava verso sud in direzione di Antiochia, raggiungendo la costa palestinese. Giunti a Giaffa si puntava verso Gerusalemme, meta del pellegrinaggio, con un percorso che poteva variare all’interno della montagna di Giudea. Normalmente si faceva sosta al santuario di Emmaus difeso dal castello di Toron dove si prendeva la strada che dal villaggio di Beit Nuba, passando per Emmaus-Qubeibeh, conduceva all’abbazia di San Samuele che sorgeva sulla punta più alta della montagna a nord. Era il Mont Joie, il monte della Gioia, perchè per la prima volta i pellegrini da lì potevano scorgere le mura e i campanili della Città Santa. Un’alternativa era data dalla strada che entrrando a Bab al-Wad raggiungeva l’abbazia di San Geremia (oggi villaggio di Abu Gosh).


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