Virtual Pilgrimages to Real Places: the Holy Landscapes

Bianca Kühnel

in Imagining Jerusalem in the Medieval West

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265048
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754159 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Virtual Pilgrimages to Real Places: the Holy Landscapes

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter attempts to differentiate between types of monumental representations of Jerusalem, to locate them historically and to explore the reasons for their extraordinary density by deciphering the essentials of their function as mnemonic devices in the framework of medieval devotionalism. Conditioned by historical events such as the Crusades, Franciscan canonization of the Stations of the Cross and the Counter-Reformation, representation of Jerusalem gradually expanded from copies of Christ's tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to commemorate the Stations of the Cross and other holy places in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The holy landscapes are multimedia representations: they combine topography and architecture (neutral or reflecting the original) with life-size figural groups and wall painting to identify the holy places. Groups of such representations could form separate sites at a certain distance from settlements, or encompass a city with a network of reproduced loca sancta.

Keywords: Holy Sepulchre; Jerusalem; Holy Land; Stations of Cross; Crusades; Counter-Reformation; devotionalism

Chapter.  7378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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