DESHAYES DE COURMENIN, Louis
Louis Deshayes was born at the end of the sixteenth century. He undertook various diplomatic missions to the East, Russia and Denmark, on behalf of Louis XIII. In 1621 he travelled to Jerusalem, in order to found a French consulate. The chronicle of the journey was written by a secretary in his entourage. The first chapter relates the journey from Paris to Constantinople, across Southeast Europe by the land route (Vienna – Belgrade – Sofia – Adrianople – Constantinople) otherwise known as "via militaris". At the same time, the text records the other possible routes to the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Deshayes stayed in Constantinople for six weeks, and described the city and its environs. The following chapters concern the organization of the palace, Ottoman administration and religion. As the journey continues towards the Holy Land by sea, the text describes the visits to Troy, Smyrna, Chios, Patmos, Symi, Rhodes, Megisti and Cyprus, among other places. Deshayes returned to France after travels that had lasted eleven months and nineteen days. Of special interest in this edition are the engravings of Constantinople, the Bosporus, the Hellespont, Rhodes, Jerusalem and the coast of Asia Minor. Deshayes was accused of conspiring against Cardinal Richelieu and was beheaded in 1632.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou