Pilgrim badges and the birth of tourism

By james read, guest blog author on 26 Aug 2015
Curator looking at medieval Pilgrim Badges

Curator looking at medieval Pilgrim Badges

For centuries, tourism was a pursuit largely reserved for nobility. By the Middle Ages though, the rise of Christianity and success of the crusades saw a surge in pilgrimages across all classes, for religious salvation, to pray for relatives or simply to escape the misery of medieval life. This was the first time people were travelling en masse for reasons other than war, trade or industry – and was the beginning of tourism proper.

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