There and Back: The Pilgrimages of Livonians in Medieval Europe
In Livonia, just like in the rest of Europe, pilgrimages formed an intrinsic part of mediaeval life. Pilgrims from Livonia travelled to sacred places near and far; foreign pilgrims, on the other hand, visited more or less known local places, from Vastseliina to the Kastre fortress. All of these activities left various traces in the local material culture of the time: from symbols used in art and on everyday items to the clothing worn by pilgrims and the souvenirs they brought back from their travels.
This exhibition, which provides an overview of the phenomenon, is the first opportunity for the public to see the majority of currently known Estonian and Latvian material artefacts, as well as the textual and artistic legacy, of Livonian pilgrimages. There is now sufficient evidence to suggest that our pilgrim culture, rooted in personal piety, was much richer than previously believed in two respects: the number of destinations and the range of different pilgrimage practices.
The items on display belong to the Tallinn University Scientific Collection of Archaeology, the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the Tallinn City Museum, the Tartu City Museum, the Pärnu Museum, the Latvian History Museum, and the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.
Curator: Erki Russow (Tallinn University)
Exhibition design: Villu Plink
Graphic design: Jaana Ratas