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GILLIODTS, Juan. Impressions d'Orient, Voyage en Turquie, en Bulgarie et en Serbie, Brussels, [1897].

Juan Gilliodts was a Belgian traveller and diplomat born in Bruges. His family was Flemish of Spanish origin. Like several leading Flemings of the time, they spoke the French language and as such were given the derogatory nickname "Franskiljon " by Flemish speakers. Gilliodts studied in France and served as attaché of the Argentine consulate and vice-consul of Greece and Bolivia in Belgium. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.

He published a volume on his extended tour of the Balkans, especially Constantinople, entitled "Impressions d’Orient". His itinerary included Italy, Greece, Constantinople, Bulgaria, Eastern Rumelia, and Serbia. While in the Ottoman capital, Gilliodts rather felt “powerless in expressing the beauty of the Golden Horn and Constantinople, triggering an enchantment that lingers on in one’s mind, never to let go”. Although initially prejudiced against the Ottomans, the author left Constantinople impressed by the politeness of the ordinary people and the advancements that the state has made.


Rees, Philip. Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991, p. 401.

Cats. H. «Juan O. Gilliodts - Impressions d’Orient» in La Revue diplomatique : politique, littérature, finances, commerce international, Paris, 31-07-1898, pp. 9-10.

Written by Nicolas Nicolaides

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