Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

Sites connected with the Swiss-born traveller and Orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (aka Sheikh Ibrahim Ibn Abdallah). Web editions of his travel journals are available as follows :-
"Travels in Syria and the Holy land"
"Travel in Nubia"
Dates of visits are from these journals together with links to the correct book/chapter. A shorter narration of his travels is in

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Aleppo Burkhardt's base from 1809/12 after being accepted by the "Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa" or "African Association" to penetrate the central and western Sudan. Perfected his Arabic there, adopted an Arabian persona and probably genuinely converted to Islam.
Baalbek Sept 28th - Oct 1 1810
Damascus He left Aleppo in early 1812 and headed south through Damascus, Ajloun and Amman. (wiki)
Historic Cairo He arrived at Cairo on 4 September 1812, where he spent four months. He spent the remaining two years of his life editing his journals and living modestly in Cairo. (wiki)
Historic Jeddah After crossing the Red Sea, he entered Jeddah on 18 July 1814 and became sick with dysentery for the first time in his travels. (wiki)
Meroe Burckhardt noticed the ruins of the town in 1814, but he underestimated their importance (nom file)
Nubian Monuments "rediscovered" Abu Simbel on 22 March 1813
Palmyra (Tadmor) July 1810
Petra Rediscovered on Aug 22 1812. Burkhardt used a "trick" to gain entrance claiming that he had to sacrifice a goat in honour of Haroun (Aaron)
Qadisha Valley Oct 2nd - 4th 1810
Saint Catherine Area May 18th -21st 1816


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