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.
In the medieval period, the relics of some of the major figures of the Christmas story were revered at various holy shrines across the Christian world. Many medieval Londoners would have made arduous, sometimes lengthy and often dangerous journeys to worship at these shrines in the hope of salvation, healing, for thanksgiving or to atone for sins. Read the full post