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Estate  of Europe
early 20th century

Journeys to the Holy Places

The trips to the Holy Places are verified from the first centuries of the
Christianity. In the second half of the 19th century, Spain encourages the organization of
some trips to biblical lands involving travelers from
Spain and Latin America.

The great promoter of this initiative was the Basque businessman and politician José María
Urquijo Ibarra, who had the support of Hispanic and American prelates, with the approval of the papal and the monarchy. Between 1902 and 1914, 8 trips were carried out, which became authentic expeditions. More than 200 people participated in each one, who constituted the elite of the moment. It was not until after the First World War that they were resumed again, calling themselves Hispano-American Pilgrimages, which were maintained until the 1950s.

The Capuchin Order, the Franciscan Order and the Spanish diplomats in Jerusalem, the Count of Ballobar and Pablo Jaurrieta collaborated in its excellent organization. The presence of journalists, chroniclers, photographers and filmmakers meant a great diffusion at the time and the preservation of a legacy of exceptional images that we exhibit for the first time in this exhibition.

The route they followed was as follows: the Holy Land, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Turkey,
Lebanon, Tunisia, Cyprus, Malta and Rome, where they ended with a private audience with the Pontiff. During the trips, the pilgrims experience numerous adventures and get to know these lands linked to biblical history at a time when the great explorations of Mesopotamia and Egypt begin and the discovery of the tomb of Tutanjamon takes place.

These exchanges will lead to the Foundation of the Colegio del Pilar and the Casa de Santiago in Jerusalem (the Spanish Biblical and Archaeological Institute in Jerusalem), and to strengthen the biblical museums of Spain. The center of the trip was the Via Crucis through the streets of Hierosol. Those huge crosses are brought to Europe and America and remain as memorials of these great deeds.
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