Travelogues in the Morea, Before Cameras (BC)

A gallery of pionneering travelers’ impressions of the Peloponnese


From the 15th to the 20th century there has been a constant flux of travelers (including diplomats, archaeologists, geographers, cartographers, painters, writers and others) from Western Europe to the Mediterranean. Initially, they traveled for commerce, politics, or on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, but by the 18th century an interest in antiquities started to shape their travels and they began to explore continental Greece, which was still under Ottoman rule. In the 19th century, as Greek cities gained their independence one-by-one and mass transport was developed, knowledge-thirsty globetrotters started visiting Greece more systematically, and the Peloponnese inevitably became part of their archaeological and historical explorations. In texts and images that have been handed down to us, travelers related their impressions of the area. 

Here is a sample of art depicting life and emblematic locations in the Peloponnese. For more artwork and information visit the website of the Aikaterini Laskaridou FoundationTravelogues, which is doing an extraordinary job collecting the graphic material found in travel accounts of journeys to Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean from the 15th century onwards.

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