A REPORT... ON THE STATE OF THE CONVENTS AND OTHER HOLY SITES IN JERUSALEM & PALESTINE

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Mémoire particulier pour Le Roy de l’estat present des couvents et autres saincts lieux de la ville de Hyerusalem et de la Palestine à la fin de la présente année, 1706.

Manuscrit signed “Gastines”, [c.1707].

Description: Mémoire particulier... Jerusalem et de la Palestine .pdf

Folio volume. 22 manuscript pages in a contemporary vellum binding, spine with 6 raised bands.

ILLUSTRATED WITH A HAND-DRAWN FOLDING MAP, drawn on a separate sheet and laid down as a frontispiece, showing the various convents and other important sites established in Palestine and giving the distances between them. There are a few corrections in the text, but essentially a fair-copy in a neat and readable hand. Locations on the map include Jaffa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Mont Tabor, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Mont Carmel, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and other sites.

Report written by Louis Le Bigot de Gastines (16??-1708), a Naval commissioner and administrator, who retired in 1704, then was in 1705 engaged to visit the “échelles du Levant”--or the “ports of call” in the Levant as represented in this manuscript.

Gastines accounts for the state of the churches, convents, hospices and religious houses of Jerusalem and Palestine, which was then under Ottoman rule. He describes at length the hierarchical and administrative organization of the convent of Saint-Sauveur where travelers and pilgrims are received (Saint-Sauveur benefited from financial assistance from Europe, and although the sums were kept secret, it was known that Spain was the largest contributor).

He recounts the fate, less fortunate, of the convent of the Holy Sepulcher, closely guarded by the Turks, as well as that of the Greek, Armenian and Coptic monks, in Jaffa, Nazareth and Bethlehem.