The Travels of Count József Zichy I. Asian Journals 1875-76

The Travels of Count József Zichy I. Asian Journals 1875-76

The Travels of Count József Zichy I. Asian Journals 1875-76
Editing, preface and annotations by Mihály Zichy

NSZL–Széphalom Könyvműhely, Budapest, 2013., 298 pages
ISBN 978 963 9903 60 9

3 300,- Ft
Not available

Count József Zichy (1841, Pozsony – 1924, Pozsony) was a well-known politician of his time, a Member of Parliament (1865-1872), the first Governor of Fiume (1870-1872), and Minister of Labour (1873-1875). After a number of journeys in Europe he set a farther goal to achieve together with his brother Ágost: they traveled by ship through Constantinople and Cairo to China and Japan in the Far East, and then returned home on land through Siberia, with stops in Moscow and Warsaw.

They were not only led by the desire to adventure and see the world, but also did a job of representing the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy as semi-official envoys, although they paid all the costs themselves. They observed carefully the political, economical and commercial situation of all the countries they visited.

In the last chapter of his journals, Zichy draws this conclusion: „…›Sail the seas, Hungarians!‹, look at the faraway lands and peoples, learn from them what is good and useful, let their errors be a lesson for you, admire the great works of the Creator. Look at the wonders of Nature and the artworks of your fellow creatures, get to know the planet a grain of dust of which you are. But then, when you return from your wanderings, rich in knowledge, your intellect trained by experience and memories, with a broad vision and an inalienable, inexhaustible spiritual treasure, do use them properly. When you are back to your homeland, remember what our poet [Mihály Vörösmarty] says: „No other spot in all the world can touch your heart as home – let fortune bless or fortune curse, from hence you shall not roam!”