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Medieval Itineraries: Arnold von Harff

Map of places mentioned in Harff

The German knight Arnold von Harff, from Harff an der Erft, near modern Bedburg west of Cologne, went on a lengthy pilgrimage to Rome, the Holy Land, and Santiago in 1496-9, when still in his 20s. His illustrated journal was edited in 1860 by E. von Groote, and published by Heberle as Die Pilgerfahrt des Ritters Arnold von Harff von Cöln durch Italien, Syrien, Aegypten, Arabien, Aethiopien, Nubien, Palästina, die Türkei, Frankreich und Spanien, wie er sie in den Jahren 1496 bis 1499 vollendet, beschrieben und durch Zeichnungen erläutert hat. An English translation by Malcolm Letts, The Pilgrimage of Arnold von Harff, Knight, from Cologne, through Italy, Syria, Egypt, Arabia, Ethiopia, Nubia, Palestine, Turkey, France and Spain, which he accomplished in the years 1496-1499, was published in 1946. A translation into modern German Das Pilgertagebuch des Ritters Arnold von Harff (1496-1498) was published by the Böhlau Verlag in 2007.

Von Harff’s journey took him from Cologne to Rome and on to Venice, where he enshipped to Egypt. He claimed to have visited India, Madagascar and the source of the Nile, before continuing to the Holy Land, and on through Asia Minor and the Balkans to France and Spain, where he visited Santiago before returning home via Mont St Michel.

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spreadsheet | detailed map (419 placemarks)

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