INFO: Pilgrimage Shrines in Central Europa c. 1500


This series of maps focuses on pilgrimage shrines in Central Europe before the Reformation, presenting them as a 'religious landscape'. The series makes use of spatial and temporal data relating to more than one thousand pilgrimage shrines in Germany and Austria, collected by Lionel Rothkrug in the late 1970s, and appended to his book Religious Practices and Collective Perceptions: Hidden Homologies in the Renaissance and Reformation (Waterloo, Ontario, 1980). The spatial dimension of this data had originally been visualized in form of a large-size printed map, which Rothkrug himself had appended to the book. In 2001 the data was given by Rothkrug, who was a Berkeley graduate, to the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) at the University of California, Berkeley, to be digitized, re-used, and preserved. A first GIS version, completed in 2001, was the result of these efforts. In 2010, the GIS data was passed on to the editor of the Mainz-based "Digital Atlas of the History of Europe since 1500" to be reworked for inclusion within the Atlas' section on religion. This small joint project led to a series of thematic maps on the shrines’ historical development and their geographic distribution in Central Europe, as well as to interactive web maps and a time-focused video clip. German and English language versions were prepared, and both were included within the Atlas ( The English version has, in addition, been placed on the ECAI website ( Shrines), where in due course some of the GIS-data will also be made available. Both versions were officially launched in December 2012 at an international conference of Academia Sinica (Taipei/Taiwan) and at the Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) in Berkeley/USA.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all persons associated with this long-term project: Rain Simar and Lewis Lancaster in Berkeley, Johannes Wischmeyer, Katrin Bodschwinna, and Carolin Heymann in Mainz. It is more than appropriate that this series of maps is dedicated to Lionel Rothkrug (1927-2011). Jeanette Zerneke (Berkeley) / Andreas Kunz (Mainz)


  © Andreas Kunz / ECAI