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KLEEMANN, Nikolaus Ernst. Nikolaus Ernst Kleemanns Reisen von Wien über Belgrad bis Kilianova durch die Butschiack-Tartarey über Cavschan..., Leipsig, Johann Paul Krauss, 1773.

Nikolaus Ernst or Μiklos Erno Kleeman made a journey to Crimea in the years 1768-1770 and published his impressions in German in 1771. His account includes very interesting and detailed information on sailing the Danube, on his voyage overall and on social life at the regions surrounding the Black Sea. His work was translated into French in 1780. Kleeman left Vienna on a commercial ship on 6 October 1768, carrying with him the diplomatic accreditations and firmans which would permit him to travel. He mentions that a book merchant, two commanders of the royal cavalry, a Hungarian nobleman and some workmen also sailed on the same boat. According to his narrative, the travellers stopped at Presbourg for provisions, and reached Peste on 12 October by way of the cities on the Danube. Sailing the river, they stopped at Mohacs, Semlin and Belgrade. They continued their journey, crossing the Iron Gates, and also stopped at Silistra, Widdin, Kilianova and Galati at Moldavia. Finally, they reached Cǎuşeni, capital of the Tatars of Crimea, of which Kleemann gives a highly interesting description.

On 30 December 1768, the Khan of the Tatars received Kleemann in audience. Kleeman stayed at the Tatar region of Crimea until the summer of 1769, and toured the region as far as Karasu. He describes the country, administration and justice system as well as commerce, weights and measures, customs and traditions of the inhabitants (Tatars, Armenians and Turks), and relates several incidents which took place during his stay. Subsequently, Kleemann left for Istanbul with the Ottoman fleet in October 1769. From Istanbul he sailed to Izmir by way of Bozcaada (Tenedos) island. In January 1769 he left Izmir and, stopping by Chios, Skyros, Methoni, Zakynthos, Corfu and Ragusa (Dubrovnik), reached Trieste and finally Vienna. The closing chapters of his narrative deal with the cities on the Danube, the militias of Tatars and Turks, and Tatar feasts.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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