Andrew Archibald Paton: Lika and Senj in a travelogue from 1849 Cover Image

Andrew Archibald Paton: Lika i Senj u putopisu iz 1849. godine
Andrew Archibald Paton: Lika and Senj in a travelogue from 1849

Author(s): Juraj Lokmer
Subject(s): Customs / Folklore, Regional Geography, Historical Geography, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, 19th Century, Tourism
Published by: Senjsko muzejsko društvo i Gradski muzej Senj
Keywords: Lika; Gospić; Otočac; Plitvice Lakes; Zavalje; the town of Senj; the Military Frontier;

Summary/Abstract: The great interest of English travel writers from the end of the 18th century, and especially from the beginning and mid-19th century in the Eastern Adriatic coast culminated at the endof it and at the beginning of the 20th century. The motives for travelling were varied: from the familiarisation of "exotic" regions, the discovery of unknown European cultural heritage, all the way to the targeted recording of the conditions and relationships of political powers in the Austrian Empire, its relationship with the neighbouring Ottoman Empire, and the strengthening of the selfconfidence of the Slavic peoples in relation to the Hungarian and Austrian hegemony and the Slavic peoples in the Ottoman Empire. British diplomat, secret intelligence officer of the British Embassyin Vienna, with significant military-diplomatic experience in the Middle East (Syria, Egypt) and in Serbia, Andrew Archibald Paton (1811-1874) travelled, in 1846 and 1847, the Eastern Adriatic coast, the Dalmatian Hinterland (Zagora) and Lika primarily with the task of gathering information about the material condition of that part of the Austrian Empire, especially the Adriatic ports. Hebegan the journey began by carriage from Vienna to Zadar, continued to Kotor, visited Montenegroand returned to Zadar from where, via Lika, he travelled to Rijeka, Trieste and ended in Graz and Vienna. He was the first Briton to visit the interior of Croatia, particularly the Military Frontier and Lika. Exploring these regions Paton described with documentary precision the people and regions with words and pictures, he noted some details from the cultural heritage and local history, which he mostly gleaned from the travelogues of previous visitors and literature which he was able to consult in Vienna. He also described the natural phenomena (Plitvice Lakes) and the beauty of the landscape (Plješivica, Velebit) for which he also demonstrated a fair amount of literary penchant. Particularly interesting are his descriptions of the towns (Gospić, Otočac, Senj), as well as smaller places – villages (Vrhovine, Korenica, Zavalje). He published this in a major work: Highlands and islands of the Adriatic: including Dalmatia, Croatia, and the Southern Provinces of the Austrian Empire Highlands and islands of the Adriatic: including Dalmatia, Croatia, and the Southern Provinces of the Austrian Empire, Volumes 1 and 2, which he published in London in 1849. This work by received well by the business, political and public readership and by 1862 Paton published an expanded edition in London - Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic; or, Contributionsto the Modern History of Hungary and Transylvania, Dalmatia and Croatia, Servia and Bulgaria2 volumes, in which Paton describes the geographical-historical look of South East Europe, his observations, especially the economic and political views of the existing conditions and future of these countries. Paton’s description of Lika and Senj is not extensive, but it is concise, critical and full of personal ponderings about the current situation, as well as the potentials of these regions. testimonies about the regions and people, and they are not only historical documents, but it is also an insight into the views and thoughts of others, foreigners about these regions and peoples. It is the documentation which significantly influenced and gradually formed the public opinion of the English-speaking regions and further a field. For us today these attitudes and thoughts are slightly strange, often incomprehensible and unacceptable, and so they significantly influenced the political decisions of Anglo-Saxon countries(Great Britain, the USA), and of their adherents in the past, and they can also be recognised in the political, economic and cultural intentions and procedures of these countries, especially of Great Britain. In this paper the author provides a translation of parts of this work with descriptions of Lika and the town of Senj with comments and the necessary explanations, plus a quite extensive bibliography of British and American authors who had visited and written about the Croatian regions from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

  • Issue Year: 45/2018
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 345-428
  • Page Count: 84
  • Language: Croatian