What I Saw

21 Jul 2023

Wilhelm von Boldensele

Wilhelm von Boldensele or Boldensleeve (Otto von Neuhaus) deserted the Dominican Convent of S. Paul at Minden, and undertook in 1888 the pilgrimage to the Holy Places.

His Hodoeporican ad Terram Sanctam was written in 1886, and includes a passage on Cyprus:

From Rhodes I went on towards Cyprus. This island is rich in excellent wine, whence the bride in the Songs compares the bridegroom to a cluster of Cyprus in the vineyards of Engaddi. These vineyards are in Cyprus, near the city Nicomosa, and are called to-day by the inhabitants Engaddia. The wines of Cyprus are naturally red, and after a year they grow white, and the older they are the whiter they grow: they smell well, are wholesome and very strong, and unless largely mixed with water are hardly fit to drink.

There is in Cyprus on a certain high mountain in the care of the monks of S. Benedict the cross of the good thief, and part of a nail of the Passion; and other worshipful relics. Also in Cyprus is the body of the blessed Hilarion under the royal care in the castle which is called Gedamors [Dieu d'amours]. And another saint who is called Zozonion or Zozomion is held in this island in great reverence, whose head is preserved in the royal chapel. S. Barnabas also of the city Salamina or Constantia now destroyed, near Famagusta, was born in Cyprus.

There are in the mountains of Cyprus wild sheep, with hair like that of goats and dogs, which are said to be found nowhere else. It is a very swift animal and its flesh is good and sweet. When I was out hunting I saw several caught by dogs, and especially by the tame leopards of Cyprus.

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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