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The new world: movie premiere and exhibition

Three months have passed since we came back from China and we are now ready for our first official event!

Visuals from the Expedition

Check out the trailer for our upcoming documentary: Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and screenings in


This week autumn really has arrived. With the cold setting in, it’s difficult to remember how unbearably hot China was

Kircher Through the Arts

The Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts will be exploring Kircher’s China Illustrata in a very different way to us this

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Now that we are back in Maastricht, just Part 1 of our project has ended but much more is about

Always on the Road

After 16 days of traveling crossing China from the eastern-most point to the western-most one we could go, we caught

Day #16: …. and we made it to the “top of the world”!

We finally made it to our end destination at the edges of China, the marvelous city of Lhasa! On their

Day #15: Three months in 24hrs!

The 31st of July 1661, our two brave Jesuits left Xining and head towards Lhasa traveling for three months trough

Day #14: The end point of China

Gruber and Dorville report arriving in the city of Sining, today named Xining, after two months after they had left

Day #13: Shall we cross?

Gruber and Dorville report crossing the Yellow River two times in their trip trough China, however they do not mention

Day #12: Where the Yellow River Brings the Desert to Life

The Desert: Over the course of several months, the Jesuits crossed an area of the Gobi Desert (which Kircher refers

Day #11: To Hell and Back

Today, we explored the Gao Miao Temple in Zhongwei. Over time, this temple has catered to Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Day #10: Two foreign faces create a lot of fuss

Loyally following the route taken by Grueber and d’Orville, we are now crossing the remote and rural parts of the

Day #9: Pagodas everywhere

Since we started traveling we have seen pagodas of all shapes and sizes almost everywhere. Kircher also noticed the numerous “towers”,

Day #9: What remains of Tangut

 We left our beloved Mongolia on a night train and headed towards the province of Ningxia. We arrived in the city

Day #8: Deep in the Mongolian grasslands

On their way back to Europe through China, our favourite Jesuits, Grueber and d’Orville had to cross the limitless plateaux of grasslands in

Day #7: Ain't no party like a Mongol party

It’s one week into our trip and we are leaving the heat and sweaty streets of Beijing and Datong for

Day #6: Whose bells are biggest?

According to a description of Kircher, in a book previous to the China Illustrata, European bells, especially the Erford one


Today we went to explore some of the mountains of Northern China! Kircher talks about how the Chinese study and

Some of the oldest (non-renovated) parts of the Great Wall.

Yesterday night we left Beijing on a night train and this morning we arrived in Datong in the current Shanxi


One of the greatest evidence of the presence of the missionaries in China is their cemetery; the Zhalan cemetery. The


Today we went to visit the Imperial City, in the center of Beijing. The Imperial City, or Forbidden City, used

Day #3: The Great Wall

Today we conquered the Great Wall of China! Well, at least one small section of it. Mutianyu is one of

The Church of Immaculate Conception, Beijing

Today was packed full of exploring the city and attempting to find the remnants of the Jesuits who came here


We got here as the sun set since it took us a whole day to reach St. Joseph’s Church, known


Our first day in Beijing was hot, sweaty and different from what you would expected from European capitals. Even though

Beginning our Expedition!

At 8 am tomorrow our flights leave! After all the preparation, we are now ready to put ourselves in the

Meeting with an expert on Oriental studies: Dr. Polichetti

Before we leave for such a research expedition, it is important that we are knowledgeable about the topic that we

Getting in touch with the locals

Jesuit travelers who arrived in China from Europe were never left alone to their faith. In fact, the Jesuit order

Mandarin 101

Learn some more about Mandarin from Su Li, one of the teachers from the Maastricht Language Centre. After a week

Drawing the Itinerary

China is not an easy country to travel for someone who does not know the language. You cannot just arrive

Backpack v Horseback

Here we are, less than a week left and then off we go! And so the time to pack has arrived…

The ABCs of Mandarin

Nǐ hǎo! Mandarin isn’t an easy language to learn usually, but with help from the Language Centre we will learn

Jesuits needed no visa

Who said traveling is easier today? Queuing now at the Visa Application Center with a folder full of documents and forms

Jesuits' Headquarters in Rome

Here is the headquarters of the Jesuits’ order in the eternal city! It was within these walls that Kircher wrote the

Step #1: Buying our plane tickets

Our tickets to Beijing cost us a few hundred euros, ten minutes of our time and a couple of mouse

Preparing for China: The Route

Dutch Jesuits traveled far and wide across not only China, but South America, Africa, Japan, North America and others, and

Preparing for China: The Closed Stacks

It is four weeks until we pack our bags, wave goodbye to Europe and begin our month in China. Already


The journey