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B.P. Mansurov and the creation of the Russian Palestine (1857–1864)


We analyze the personal involvement of Boris Pavlovich Mansurov in the history of the Russian presence in the Holy Land. We show that as part of his work, he proposed not only an ideological, but also an economic concept of the Russian presence of Palestine. We reveal that the implementation of the “Palestinian project” was seen by him through the execution of a broad preparatory program for the relevant infrastructure construction, the organization of a steamship communication with Palestine, and the consular support of pilgrims. Through the study of business trips to Palestine, we consider the circumstances of the technical documentation creation for the construction of Russian infrastructure, the purchase of land, and the organization of pilgrimage. We analyze the popularization activities of B.P. Mansurov to draw attention to Palestine among the higher authorities. We also reveal the circumstances of the Palestinian Committee creation, its importance for the creation of the Russian infrastructure in Palestine. As part of the first stages analysis of the Palestinian Committee’s work, we consider the question of the relations between B.P. Mansurov and the Head of the Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Bishop of Melitopol, Cyril (Naumov). In addition to the work done by B.P. Mansurov in 1857–1864 we note the large role of personal initiative and its efficiency for the development of the main provisions of the “Palestinian project”. We reveal that as a result of his active work, the prestige of Russia in the Middle East was not only preserved, but also multiplied. The achieved success became the basis for the development of Russian Jerusalem in the future.


Russian Orthodox Church; B.P. Mansurov; Palestine; pilgrims; Palestinian Committee

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