SAYGER, C. & DESARNOD, A[uguste Joseph]. Album d’un voyage en Turquie fait par ordre de sa majesté l’empereur Nicolas 1er en 1829 et 1830, par C. Sayger & A. Desarnod, Paris, Imprimérie de Firmin Didot Frères, 1834.
C. Sayger, librarian to the Czar of Russia, and Auguste Joseph Desarnod, painter (1788-1840), participated in military operations against the Ottoman army during the Russian-Turkish War of 1829-1830.
During the expedition, Sayger combined his military tasks with archeological and topographic research. After his return from the mission, he published this Album as well as the “Relation” of the journey. The Album includes fifty-five extremely rare lithographs, and descriptions of Didymoteicho, Edirne and Northern Thrace.
The travellers started out from Saint Petersburg in August 12, 1829. They reached Odessa by way of Witebsk and Doubassary, and then sailed to Burgas. Travelling by land,, they arrived in Edirne. They visited the city market, the mosques of Selim II and Beyazid I, the fortress and several ancient monuments. Sayger writes on their encounter with the bishop and with Armenian people living in Edirne. They continued on to Didymoteicho (the author describes the fortress, antiquities, the inhabitants, commerce, products, cotton and silk manufacture, tobacco, ceramics etc.)
Subsequently, the two travellers visited Saranta Ekklisies (they provide data on inhabitants, products, minerals), Doxipara (Pinarhisssar), Vize (they describe antiquities, churches, mosques, population, products and commerce), Edirne again (the old palace, climate, population, festivities). On their return trip, they visited and described Silimnos (Sliven), Burgas, Nesebar (Mesimvria) (ruins, churches, inhabitans), and Sozopolis. They stopped at Odessa, Sevastopol, Chersona and Simferopol, and finally reached Saint Petersburg. At the end of the “Relation” of the voyage, one finds the text of the Treaty of Adrianople, signed in Edirne by the Russian Czar and the Ottoman Sultan on 2 September 1829.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou