Libro d’oltramare / A Voyage Beyond the Seas

Name of text:

Libro d’oltramare / A Voyage Beyond the Seas

Author of text: Niccolò of Poggibonsi
Date of text: 1346-1350
Date of person in text: 14th century
Name of structure in text: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Mary Magdalene, Andrew, Nicholas chapels
Type of structure in text: Church
Date of structure in text 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th
Century of structure 1: 4 AD
Century of structure 2: 12 AD
Country in text: Israel
Region in text:
City in text: Jerusalem
Specific place of mosaic in text: Various
Chapel of S. Mary Magdalen, aka Chapel of the Apparition of Jesus to his most holy Mother, Chapel of S. Nicholas, Chapel of S. Andrew
Description of mosaic in text:

… Above the arch of the said door which opens, there is a figure of the Blessed Virgin with the child in arms, and it is mosaic work, but now the greater part is damaged.  (ch 14)

The said door of the Holy Sepulchre is wide enough for one person to enter; above this door there is a mosaic work, showing Jesus Christ being placed in the monument, all shrouded in white, with the Virgin Mary pierced with grief, and St. John the Evangelist, and the Marys, and Joseph of Arimathea at the head, who places him in the Sepulchre.  Above is the following inscription: SANCTA RESURRECTIO DOMINI.  But is it already obscured, and it is painful to behold it. (ch. 19)

 ... faces east, with an apse decorated with mosaics, with the figure of the Saviour. (ch. 22)

In front of the altar is the apse very beautiful and large, raised from the ground on columns; and it is all sculptured and figured in mosaic.  In the upper part are the XII Apostles, as to them the holy Ghost comes in the form of fire; on the lower part are these episodes: saint Peter; then the church looking at Solomon and holding a scroll with the words: Estote prudentes etc. [Peter IV.7]; and then there is Solomon who responds to the church: Veni, amica mea [Canticle of Canticles II.13].  Nearby stands the mighty Sampson, holding a tower on his shoulders, and a lock in his hands.  At his side stands Job, and then David, gazing at the Synagogue, and the Synagogue says: habens faciem ligatam [John XI.44], Ve nobis, cecidit corona nostra quia peccavimus [Lamentations V.16].  The apse is six paces wide.(ch. 26).

… to the south is a beautiful chapel of St. Nicholaus … to the east is an altar and the apse, with St. Nicolaus represented in mosaic.  On the left side of the church there is, at the foot of said bell-tower, a beautiful chapel of St. Andrew: and in the apse is represented St. Andrew in mosaic: and lower down a figure of the Virgin, which is in part so destroyed that it is piteous to behold.  (ch. 39)

Mosaic date in text:
Tesserae silver mentioned in text? No
Tesserae gold mentioned in text? No
Colour descriptions in text:

[Fra] Niccolò of Poggibonsi, A Voyage Beyond the Seas (1346-1350),chs, 14, 19, 22, 26, 39 trans by T. Bellorini and E Hoade (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1945, repr. 1993), pp. 12,15-18, 26-27


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