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Exhibit of the Month - April 2024

April 10 - May 14, 2024 Ante-room to the General reading Room (gate A), open Monday to Saturday 9 am - 7 pm (see opening hours of the NL - 1st and 8th May closed)
Admission 20 CZK (free for the NL readers)

Bernhard von Breydenbach, Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam
NL Prague, shelf mark 41 E 8

A travel book by Bernhard von Breydenbach (ca. 1434–1497), a canon of Mainz Cathedral, who is considered its main author, was first published in 1486. The work was translated into many languages and issued in a large number of editions. For its time, it represents a very modern and comprehensive relation on the Holy Land, in which we can find a description of Breydenbach´s pilgrimage to Palestina and Egypt made in 1483-1484. Studies of local inhabitants, medical advice, excerpts from chronicles or, e.g. an Arabic-Latin dictionary were also included.

Breydenbach´s work is in fact a compilation of previous descriptions and relations, and represents an important editorial undertaking. As one of the first printed travel books, it featured many expensive woodcuts, including a spectacular large fold-out view of Venice and other Mediterranean ports, and a panoramic depiction of the Holy Land. The work spread out throughout Europe in several language versions, as evidenced by i.a. more than two dozen copies preserved in Czech library collections.

The volume kept in the National Library of the CR (shelf mark 41 E 8) is interesting in that it was owned by the Italian humanist, translator and philologist Jacopo Corbinelli (ca. 1535 Florence – 1590 Paris), as evidenced by a brief ownership inscription on folio a2a (Iacobi Corbinelli). The further fate of the volume is unclear until it was acquired in the Public and University Library in the first half of the 19th century at the latest.

Online version }another copy here >>

Apr 08, 2024
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