New PUBLICATION: From The Bosporus to the Southern Sea Travel book from 1793 by Gaspard Testa with a visit-guide to Vienna of 1793

Mehmet Tutuncu Discussion

Book announcement
Van de Bosporus naar de Zuiderzee
by Gaspard baron Testa
edited and published by Mehmet Tutuncu


an ambassador, his wife, his son his interpreter, an Anabaptist widow whose husband
Istanbul has been murdered, a scientist who deciphered hieroglyphs for the first time, a
merchant, a professor and another unknown person travel by stagecoach together for 3 months
in war-torn Europe.
It is 1793. Frederik Van Dedem leaves with a group of nine people from the cosmopolitan city of Constantinople to the Netherlands. He was eight-year Dutch ambassador in the capital of the mighty Ottoman Empire. The overland journey takes months and is arduous. The carriages
are uncomfortable, the horses too weak. Many dangers lie in wait: driving rain, bad roads, difficult mountain passes, robbers, vermin,
accidents, and even the plague. They cross the Balkans, Austria, Germany to finally end up at Wijhe  a small village in in Overijssel-Nethralnds.
Gaspard Testa, at the time only 23 years old, interpreter and secretary of the embassy in Constantinople travels along and records the events daily in a diary. He writes in French with beautiful calligraphy letters and tells about the route, the distances, the landscapes, the population, food and events along the way. We get an impression of the Ottoman countryside. He passes battered by the French Revolution areas in Austria and Germany. He visits Belgrade, Budapest, Vienna, Regensburg, Frankfurt and Cologne. Young Gaspard opens his eastern eyes. The community stays 17 days in Vienna Capital of the Austrian (Holy Roman Empire)
Vienna travel guide
Gaspard and the company led by the ambassador spend seventeen days in Vienna. Gaspard takes the opportunity to visit his relatives, but also to see all the sights in Vienna. He visits all the great palaces such as Belvedere, Schönbrun, and Liechtenstein, but also the National Library, theaters and
monuments (such as the Plague column, the Maria column), parks and churches. His descriptions are very accurate, special and detailed. Less noticeable to a modern traveler were institutions such as the Military Hospital and the Oriental Academy in Vienna. Also belong to this category
factories, such as a porcelain factory in Vienna. Because of the numerous details we encounter unexpected aspects of life at the end of the eighteenth century. His report reads like a travel guide of sights in Vienna and can be regarded as one of the first travel guides
of the city.
And we watch with him europe in Turmoil. The more than two hundred year-old texts force themselves upon us like a thrilling film.
The original travel diaries are in the National Archives in The Hague  and are published here for the first time in Dutch.

Published ‏ : ‎ SOTA; 1e editie (14 november 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ DutchHardcover ‏ : ‎ 204 pagina's
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-9069210476
size ‏ : ‎ 17.6 x 1.7 x 24.7 cm

Introductiory pages and cover :

ORDERS to be placed by email :