The Byzantine and Christian Museum, in collaboration with the “Skiathos” cultural association and the Holy Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Skiathos, are organizing an exhibition titled “Journey to the Holy Land through the proskynetaria of the Byzantine and Christian Museum”. The exhibition is set at the Holy Monastery’s exhibition hall, and is slated to run from July 30 – October 31.
The exhibition depicts the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, building its narrative through the printed, illustrated proskynetaria, the 18th- and 19th-century pilgrim guides of the Holy Land, which acted as the travel guides of the time, and addressed Orthodox Christians with information on the sites of Christ’s earthly life and passion. As the exhibition’s literature explains in further detail, “in printed proskynetaria, the city of Jerusalem is commonly rendered as walled and sitting atop the peak of a hill, following the Byzantine tradition. More rarely it is developed longitudinally and bears standard morphological elements of the city. Jerusalem is the archetype city, the city chosen by the Lord as his residence from the time of the Old Testament, the city in which the first Church was founded. Earthly Jerusalem is identified in Christian thought with Heavenly Jerusalem, serving as an image of the Divine Kingdom on earth and completing the image of the Christian emperor’s reign by the grace of God”. Easily transported in cylindrical rolls, painted proskynetaria were mementos that pilgrims brought back to their home country. Their illustration is directly tied to their text.
The pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a unique journey, an esoteric quest and an act of faith, with a special meaning for those embarking on it to this day, since Jerusalem is the site of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage and most worshipful monument: the building complex of the temple of the Holy Sepulchre, which holds within it a multitude of tributes.
Dr. Katerina P. Dellaporta, the Byzantine and Christian Museum’s director is in charge of the general coordination of the exhibition, which is curated by Dr. Antonis Bekiaris. Spyros Nasainas is responsible for the exhibition’s museographical design.
Where: Holy Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Skiathos
When: July 30 – October 31
The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation is a Communications Sponsor for the exhibition.