There and Back: The Pilgrimages of Livonians in Medieval Europe 09/03/2024 – 08/09/2024

Niguliste Museum

3rd floor of the Niguliste tower

Adult: Niguliste Museum
  • Family: Niguliste Museum
  • Discount: Niguliste Museum
  • Adult ticket with donation: Art Museum of Estonia
A pilgrim’s souvenir discovered in Pärnu. Pärnu Museum

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 Journey Starts at Your Front Door: Pilgrimage Routes in Estonia Today

Exhibits: Tallinn University, Archaeological Research Collection, Estonian History Museum, Estonian National Museum, University of Tartu – Institute of History and Archaeology, Tallinn City Museum, Tartu City Museum, Pärnu Museum, Cēsis History and Art Museum, Kuldīga District Museum, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, Turaida Museum Reserve and State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Curator: Erki Russow (Tallinn University)
Exhibition design: Villu Plink
Graphic design: Jaana Ratas